Legislature(2003 - 2004)

02/27/2003 01:35 PM Senate L&C

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
               SB  43-EXTEND STATE MEDICAL BOARD                                                                            
CHAIR CON BUNDE announced SB 43 to be up for consideration.                                                                     
SENATOR  DONNY  OLSON,  sponsor  of   SB  43,  read  his  sponsor                                                               
statement as follows:                                                                                                           
     This is the  year for the legislative  sunset review of                                                                    
     the  Alaska   State  Medical  Board's   operations  and                                                                    
     activities. I introduced  SB 43 to extend  the life and                                                                    
     function  of   the  board   based  on   a  satisfactory                                                                    
     performance audit and my  own experience, having served                                                                    
     on the medical board from 1994-2000.                                                                                       
     The Legislative  Budget and Audit  Report (08-20017-02)                                                                    
     concludes  that   the  board   'has  carried   out  its                                                                    
     responsibilities in a  manner consistent with statutes,                                                                    
     good administrative practice  and the public interest.'                                                                    
     The   report  further   recommends  that   the  board's                                                                    
     termination date be extended for another eight years.                                                                      
     In  my own  view,  I  expect there  will  be a  greater                                                                    
     necessity  for the  board's licensing  function in  the                                                                    
     near  future  to  serve both  the  medical  community's                                                                    
     expansion   needs  and   the  substantial   replacement                                                                    
     anticipated   from  the   retirement  of   many  senior                                                                    
     professionals.  Indeed,   last  year   the  Legislature                                                                    
     modified the  state's locum tenens law  specifically to                                                                    
     better recruit  and retain medical  personnel essential                                                                    
     for the future health care of the Alaskan population.                                                                      
     I respectfully urge your  favorable consideration of SB
CHAIR  BUNDE asked  if the  questions about  the verification  of                                                               
paramedics,  particularly  from  other  jurisdictions,  had  been                                                               
SENATOR  OLSON  replied  that the  State  Medical  Board  doesn't                                                               
license  just   medical  doctors;  it  also   licenses  physician                                                               
assistants,  paramedics   and  those  people  who   have  medical                                                               
training who haven't gone to  medical school. He wasn't sure that                                                               
there was  a conclusive resolution  as yet, but he  thought there                                                               
would be one before the bill passes out of the Senate.                                                                          
CHAIR BUNDE  asked if  Senator Olson had  any concerns  about the                                                               
length of the extension.                                                                                                        
SENATOR OLSON said there was a  concern about it, but eight years                                                               
is the  length of  time appointees have  served because  they are                                                               
appointed by governors and typically serve for their term.                                                                      
CHAIR  BUNDE said  some medical  doctors  have expressed  concern                                                               
about  the  effectiveness  of  the  board  in  carrying  out  its                                                               
SENATOR  OLSON  responded  saying  he has  heard  both  good  and                                                               
critical  comments  about  the  medical board,  which  is  to  be                                                               
expected of any such entity.  Medicine and licensing are becoming                                                               
more and more complicated with  telemedicine and high tech health                                                               
care delivery system advances.                                                                                                  
CHAIR BUNDE said there have been  some high profile cases and the                                                               
Anchorage  Daily  News  has  suggested that  a  strong  board  is                                                               
SENATOR  OLSON responded  that there  has to  be balance  so that                                                               
many physicians aren't practicing in a defensive mode.                                                                          
SENATOR  SEEKINS  moved  to  pass   SB  43  from  committee  with                                                               
individual recommendations and  its fiscal note that  is user fee                                                               
supported.  There were  no  objections and  the  roll was  taken.                                                               
Senators  Davis,  French, Stevens,  Seekins  and  Bunde voted  in                                                               
favor and SB 43 passed from committee.                                                                                          

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