Legislature(2005 - 2006)
2005-03-02 House JournalFull Journal pdf
2005-03-02 House Journal Page 0485 HB 193 HOUSE BILL NO. 193 by the House Rules Committee by request of the Governor, entitled: "An Act relating to the licensing, regulation, enforcement, and appeal rights of ambulatory surgical centers, assisted living homes, child care facilities, child placement agencies, foster homes, free-standing birth centers, home health agencies, hospices or agencies providing hospice services, hospitals, intermediate care facilities for the mentally retarded, maternity homes, nursing facilities, residential child care facilities, residential psychiatric treatment centers, and rural health clinics; relating to criminal history requirements, and a registry, regarding certain licenses, certifications, approvals, and authorizations by the Department of Health and Social Services; making conforming amendments; and providing for an effective date." was read the first time and referred to the Health, Education & Social Services, Judiciary, and Finance Committees. The following fiscal note(s) apply: 1. Zero, Dept. of Health & Social Services 2. Fiscal, Dept. of Law 2005-03-02 House Journal Page 0486 The Governor's transmittal letter dated March 1, 2005, follows: "Dear Speaker Harris: Under the authority of art. III, sec. 18, of the Alaska Constitution, I am transmitting a bill relating to consolidating the licensing functions of the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS). Executive Order No. 108, which took effect in 2003, reorganized the DHSS in an effort to streamline functions and make services more efficient and cost effective. As part of that reorganization, DHSS is consolidating all of its licensing functions. Currently, there are at least 12 different statutory schemes for the licensure of different entities by the DHSS. The complexity of the existing statutes and regulations and the absence of any clear rationale for the wide variation in standards for licensing, enforcement, and appeals has resulted in a very burdensome and bureaucratic system. The proposed bill will streamline the licensing process so that the functions are administered in a much more efficient and cost-effective manner by consolidating virtually all of the licensing functions related to standards, enforcement, and appeal rights into a single chapter of the Alaska Statutes. In addition, the bill requires the DHSS to implement a single, consolidated background check process across all of its programs with the goal of reducing the risk of abuse and neglect of vulnerable clients. In December 2004, the DHSS was awarded a $4.9 million federal grant to conduct background checks for any new worker with direct patient care duties in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, and to establish a comprehensive training program that will meet the unique needs of workers in Alaska's long-term care system. This grant, in conjunction with the provisions of the legislation I am proposing today will: · Improve monitoring and enforcement of life, health, and safety regulations for all DHSS long term-care programs. · Extend background checks and fitness determinations to all staff serving vulnerable populations. 2005-03-02 House Journal Page 0487 · Improve the overall safety and security of vulnerable individuals in state licensed and certified long-term care programs. Finally, this bill contemplates that at the same time that the statutory changes would take effect, DHSS would have adopted regulations to implement these statutory changes. It is anticipated that the resulting regulations would further achieve the goal of efficiency and cost effectiveness. I urge your prompt and favorable action on this measure. Sincerely yours, /s/ Frank H. Murkowski Governor"