Legislature(2013 - 2014)BARNES 124

03/26/2014 03:15 PM LABOR & COMMERCE


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= HB 370 AWCB CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE PRESCRIPTIONS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+= HB 281 PRESCRIPTION WITHOUT PHYSICAL EXAMINATION TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
*+ HB 336 ALCOHOL SALES NEAR SCHOOL/CHURCH TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+= HB 316 WORKERS' COMPENSATION MEDICAL FEES TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 316(L&C) Out of Committee
           HB 316-WORKERS' COMPENSATION MEDICAL FEES                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:39:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR OLSON announced  that the first order of  business would be                                                               
HOUSE  BILL NO.  316 "An  Act relating  to workers'  compensation                                                               
fees  for medical  treatment and  services; relating  to workers'                                                               
compensation regulations; and providing for an effective date."                                                                 
[Version O was before the committee, adopted on 3/10/14.]                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:40:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ANNA  LATHAM,  Staff,  Representative Kurt  Olson,  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, stated  that HB 316  proposes to change  the medical                                                               
schedule  for workers'  compensation from  a usual  and customary                                                               
and reasonable  (URC) schedule  with a  geographical differential                                                               
built at the 90th percentile, which  the state has been using for                                                               
the past  ten years, to  a fee schedule  based on the  Center for                                                               
Medicare and  Medicaid Services, a resource-based  relative value                                                               
scale,   along   with   the  conversion   factor   the   Workers'                                                               
Compensation Board will  set under the advisement  of the Medical                                                               
Services Review Committee (MSRC).                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:41:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  REINBOLD made  a  motion to  adopt Amendment  [2]                                                               
labeled 28-LS1362\O.5, Wallace, 3/24/14, which read as follows:                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Page 4, line 16:                                                                                                           
          Delete "January 1, 2015"                                                                                              
          Insert "July 1, 2015"                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR OLSON objected for the purpose of discussion.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:41:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  LATHAM explained  that this  change would  give the  MSRC an                                                               
additional  six   months  to  reconvene  and   set  the  original                                                               
conversion factors; the committee has not met since 2009.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR OLSON  explained that [Amendment  2] is an attempt  to [set                                                               
the fee  schedule appropriately],  and the additional  six months                                                               
will allow  the MSRC adequate time  to make sure to  get "all the                                                               
kinks out of it."                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:42:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER asked  which organization  will have  the                                                               
delay.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. LATHAM answered  that the MSRC will have  the additional time                                                               
to reconvene.   The  MSRC will  advise the  Workers' Compensation                                                               
Board (WCB) on  setting the conversion factors.   She stated that                                                               
originally some concern  was expressed about the  WCB setting the                                                               
schedules  since  the  board  doesn't  have  the  expertise,  the                                                               
medical background, or experience to do  so.  She related that in                                                               
the  proposed  committee substitute,  [Version  O],  the MSRC  is                                                               
designated as the committee to advise the WCB.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  OLSON  removed his  objection.    There being  no  further                                                               
objection, Amendment 2 was adopted.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:43:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON  said he was  unsure of the goal  of the                                                               
bill and expressed  concern that the legislature  is delegating a                                                               
considerable  amount and  delegating some  of that  to the  MSRC,                                                               
which has been defunct.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR OLSON suggested "inactive" might be a better choice.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON agreed.  He  said he did not hear enough                                                               
testimony whether  needs of injured  workers will continue  to be                                                               
met in workers' compensation law.   The committee heard testimony                                                               
from concerned  doctors who said  if the rates  are significantly                                                               
reduced,  doctors  will  not  be  able  to  see  these  patients.                                                               
Additionally, an  attorney, Michael J.  Jensen, sent a  letter to                                                               
that effect [in  members' packets].  He  recapped his fundamental                                                               
concerns, including  concerns about prescription  drugs, although                                                               
he acknowledged he may propose some amendments later.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR   OLSON   reminded   Representative  Josephson   that   the                                                               
prescription drugs are not part of this bill.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:45:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON argued  that prescription  benefits are                                                               
part of  HB 316.  He  noted previous testimony from  the Workers'                                                               
Compensation  Committee of  Alaska on  March 7,  2014, indicating                                                               
that  doctors have  a "blank  check"  for two  years without  any                                                               
recourse to  question or limit  costs.  He  said that may  or may                                                               
not  be  true;  however,  he  expressed  concern  that  too  much                                                               
regulation might be occurring.   Certainly, premium costs need to                                                               
be  reduced.    He  questioned,  as raised  by  testimony  in  an                                                               
unrelated bill,  whether some  of these  premiums are  related to                                                               
the high costs  in Alaska since rates are high  across the board,                                                               
not  just  for workers'  compensation  patients.   Primarily,  he                                                               
would like  to afford injured  workers time to get  better access                                                               
to medical care.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR OLSON told him that he shares this goal.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:46:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MICHAEL MONAGLE,  Director, Central Office, Division  of Workers'                                                               
Compensation,  Department   of  Labor  &   Workforce  Development                                                               
(DLWD), echoed  the Chair's  comments.  It  is certainly  not the                                                               
department's  intent to  reduce medical  fees to  the point  that                                                               
doctors will not treat injured  workers and direct them elsewhere                                                               
to  get the  quality  of  treatment needed.    Certainly, as  the                                                               
department works with the MSRC  and the WCB to achieve conversion                                                               
factors, it  will not  be his intent  to reduce  reimbursement to                                                               
doctors  to  the  point  that doctors  refuse  to  treat  injured                                                               
workers.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:47:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON  declared a  conflict of interest  as he                                                               
has an existing  workers' compensation claim of  his own stemming                                                               
from  a car  accident  injury.   In response  to  a question,  he                                                               
answered that it is incumbent upon  him to make the record clear.                                                               
He then said, "I would love to vote."                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR OLSON thanked him for declaring the conflict.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:47:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR OLSON reported that Representative Millett is on-line.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD  moved to  report the  proposed committee                                                               
substitute  (CS)  for HB  316,  Version  O, labeled  28-LS1362\O,                                                               
Wallace, 3/10/14,  as amended, out  of committee  with individual                                                               
recommendations and  the accompanying fiscal notes.   There being                                                               
no  objection, the  CSHB  316(L&C) was  reported  from the  House                                                               
Labor and Commerce Standing Committee.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB316 Draft Proposed Amendment O.5.pdf HL&C 3/26/2014 3:15:00 PM
HB 316
HB316 Opposing Documents-Letter CompPharma 3-21-2014.pdf HL&C 3/26/2014 3:15:00 PM
HB 316
HB316 Supporting Documents-Letter Alaska AFL-CIO.pdf HL&C 3/26/2014 3:15:00 PM
HB 316
HB316 Opposing Documents-Letter Michael Jensen 1-02-2014.pdf HL&C 3/26/2014 3:15:00 PM
HB 316
HB316 Supporting Documents-Letter AMLJIA 3-01-2014.pdf HL&C 3/26/2014 3:15:00 PM
HB 316
HB316 Supporting Documents-Letter Express Scripts 3-21-2014.pdf HL&C 3/26/2014 3:15:00 PM
HB 316
HB316 Supporting Documents-Letter Healthcare Solutions 3-11-2014.PDF HL&C 3/26/2014 3:15:00 PM
HB 316
HB336 ver N.PDF HL&C 3/26/2014 3:15:00 PM
HL&C 4/7/2014 3:15:00 PM
HB 336
HB336 Sponsor Statement.pdf HL&C 3/26/2014 3:15:00 PM
HL&C 4/7/2014 3:15:00 PM
HB 336
HB336 Fiscal Note-DCCED-ABC-03-20-14.pdf HL&C 3/26/2014 3:15:00 PM
HL&C 4/7/2014 3:15:00 PM
HB 336
HB336 Supporting Documents-Meyer Sponsor Statement.pdf HL&C 3/26/2014 3:15:00 PM
HL&C 4/7/2014 3:15:00 PM
HB 336
HB336 Supporting Documents-News Article ADN Conditional Permitting.pdf HL&C 3/26/2014 3:15:00 PM
HB 336
HB336 Supporting Documents-Signed Postcards.pdf HL&C 3/26/2014 3:15:00 PM
HB 336
HB336 Supporting Documents-CHARR Legislative Priorities.pdf HL&C 3/26/2014 3:15:00 PM
HB 336
HB336 Supporting Documents-Hotch Letter.pdf HL&C 3/26/2014 3:15:00 PM
HB 336
HB336 Supporting Documents-Letters-Assorted-Clark Middle School.pdf HL&C 3/26/2014 3:15:00 PM
HB 336
HB336 Supporting Documents-Letters-Assorted-Clark Middle School2.pdf HL&C 3/26/2014 3:15:00 PM
HB 336
HB281 Draft Proposed Amendment U.1.pdf HL&C 3/26/2014 3:15:00 PM
HB 281
HB281 Draft Proposed Amendment U.3.pdf HL&C 3/26/2014 3:15:00 PM
HB 281
HB370 Fiscal Note-DOA-RM-03-21-14.pdf HL&C 3/26/2014 3:15:00 PM
HB 370
HB370 Supporting Documents-Health Partners Opiate Drug Screens.pdf HL&C 3/26/2014 3:15:00 PM
HB 370
HB281 Opopsing Documents-Letter State Medical Board 3-18-2014.pdf HL&C 3/26/2014 3:15:00 PM
HB 281
HB336 Supportiing Documents-Fairview Business Association.pdf HL&C 3/26/2014 3:15:00 PM
HB 336