Legislature(2009 - 2010)BUTROVICH 205

03/17/2010 01:30 PM Senate HEALTH & SOCIAL SERVICES

Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as

* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved SB 193 Out of Committee
Heard & Held
Moved CSSB 172(HSS) Out of Committee
Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled
              SB 172-ALASKA HEALTH CARE COMMISSION                                                                          
1:43:54 PM                                                                                                                    
Chair  Davis announced  consideration  of SB  172.  It was  heard                                                               
DENISE LICCIOLI,  Staff to  Senator Donald  Olson, sponsor  of SB
172, said the sponsor has  seen the proposed committee substitute                                                               
and has no objection.                                                                                                           
CHAIR DAVIS  moved to adopt  the work draft  committee substitute                                                               
(CS) for  SB 172,  labeled 26-LS0790\P  as the  working document.                                                               
There being no objection, version P was before the committee.                                                                   
1:47:04 PM                                                                                                                    
BILL  HOGAN,  Commissioner,  Department   of  Health  and  Social                                                               
Services (DHSS), spoke in favor of  CSSB 172 to create the Alaska                                                               
Health Care  Commission in statute. The  temporary commission has                                                               
been  focusing  on how  to  improve  access  to the  health  care                                                               
system, contain the  growth of cost, improve  quality and safety,                                                               
and put  increased emphasis on  prevention programs  like tobacco                                                               
cessation  and  obesity prevention.  He  stated  his belief  that                                                               
having  the Alaska  Health  Care Commission  in  place will  help                                                               
position  the state  to  address costs  related  to the  Medicaid                                                               
budget and to prepare for the national health care reform.                                                                      
1:48:43 PM                                                                                                                    
D. TYRELL  MCGIRT, Alaska Primary  Care Association  (APCA), said                                                               
he  is also  a board  member with  the Iliuliuk  Family &  Health                                                               
Services Clinic Inc.,  the community health care  (CHC) center in                                                               
Unalaska/Dutch  Harbor. While  APCA  believes  the committee  has                                                               
done  an  outstanding  job   identifying  different  health  care                                                               
representatives to  sit on the  commission, they would  point out                                                               
that specific representation by  community health care centers is                                                               
missing and  could offer a  great deal. Community  health centers                                                               
are a  proven model  of primary and  preventative care  in Alaska                                                               
and  nationwide. They  never turn  patients away,  42 percent  of                                                               
their users are uninsured, and 72  percent of their users are low                                                               
income. Alaska  has 26 CHCs  with 146  sites and in  rural Alaska                                                               
they  are often  the  only option  for  primary and  preventative                                                               
health care. He  reiterated support for a seat  on the commission                                                               
specifically for community health centers.                                                                                      
1:51:44 PM                                                                                                                    
MARIE DARLIN,  AARP Capital City Taskforce,  Juneau, Alaska, said                                                               
AARP adds its voice to those  supporting SB 172 to make permanent                                                               
the  Alaska Health  Care  Commission. Not  all  of the  decisions                                                               
regarding health care  will be made in Washington  DC; Alaska has                                                               
to decide how  national health care will be applied  here so that                                                               
it works for everybody.                                                                                                         
1:53:38 PM                                                                                                                    
J. KATE BURKHART, Executive Director,  Alaska Mental Health Board                                                               
(AMHB)  and  the Advisory  Board  on  Alcoholism and  Drug  Abuse                                                               
(ABADA), thanked the committee for  including a representative of                                                               
the Alaska  Mental Health  Trust Authority in  the CS  and echoed                                                               
previous testimony  from the  Primary Care  Association regarding                                                               
the importance of dedicating a  specific seat to community health                                                               
centers. Most indigent Alaskans  receive health care through CHCs                                                               
so having someone  familiar with practicing in  that context will                                                               
be  imperative to  addressing  the issue  of  rising health  care                                                               
costs, particularly the Medicaid budget.                                                                                        
1:55:27 PM                                                                                                                    
SONIA  HANDFORTH-KOME,  Acting  President,  Alaska  Primary  Care                                                               
Association  (APCA), and  Executive Director,  Iliuliuk Family  &                                                               
Health Services  Clinic Inc. in  Unalaska/Dutch Harbor,  said she                                                               
is speaking  in favor of SB  172 but she believes  that there has                                                               
been  a little  oversight in  not providing  a specific  seat for                                                               
community health  centers. The commission  is looking  for varied                                                               
view points and ways to reduce  health care costs and CHCs have a                                                               
proven track  record for  doing that on  a national  level. Their                                                               
perspective  is  different  than the  hospital  perspective,  the                                                               
tribal perspective, or the for-profit  perspective so it would be                                                               
useful for the commission to  have this representation. In Alaska                                                               
CHCs see 1 in 9 patients in  142 sites so they're a solution that                                                               
works.  APCA   would  like  that   to  be  represented   on  this                                                               
commission, she concluded.                                                                                                      
1:57:21 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  PASKVAN asked  how  many  of the  142  sites are  tribal                                                               
health community sites.                                                                                                         
MS.  HANDFORTH-KOME replied  she isn't  sure,  but 13  of the  26                                                               
community health center organizations are tribal.                                                                               
SENATOR ELLIS  commented that  he went to  Unalaska 18  years ago                                                               
when the  clinic opened and  last fall  he visited again  and was                                                               
impressed with their outstanding work in the community.                                                                         
MS. HANDFORTH-KOME said  they're getting ready to  do a community                                                               
health needs assessment in an effort to do more with less.                                                                      
SENATOR  DYSON commented  that they  must have  the world's  most                                                               
interesting clientele.                                                                                                          
MS. HANDFORTH-KOME  agreed; providers  actually visit  because of                                                               
the interesting clientele, she said.                                                                                            
1:59:24 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DAVIS  closed public testimony.  She stated that  while she                                                               
agrees  with the  statements about  the community  health centers                                                               
she believes that can be addressed in a subsequent committee.                                                                   
SENATOR PASKVAN  moved to report  CSSB 172,  labeled 26-LS0790\P,                                                               
from the  committee with individual recommendations  and attached                                                               
fiscal note(s).  There being no  objection, CSSB 172  (HSS) moved                                                               
from Senate Health and Social Services Standing Committee.                                                                      

Document Name Date/Time Subjects