Legislature(2007 - 2008)SENATE FINANCE 532

02/14/2008 09:00 AM FINANCE


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ SB 196 PRESCRIPTION DATABASE TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSB 196(FIN) Out of Committee
*+ SB 255 SNETTISHAM REFUNDING BONDS TELECONFERENCED
Moved SB 255 Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                  SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                      
                     February 14, 2008                                                                                          
                         9:08 a.m.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman called the Senate  Finance Committee meeting                                                                   
to order at 9:08:51 AM .                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Lyman Hoffman, Co-Chair                                                                                                 
Senator Bert Stedman, Co-Chair                                                                                                  
Senator Charlie Huggins, Vice-Chair                                                                                             
Senator Kim Elton                                                                                                               
Senator Donny Olson                                                                                                             
Senator Joe Thomas                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Fred Dyson                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Tim McLeod, President and General  Manager of Alaska Electric                                                                   
Light  and  Power  Company,  (AELP);  Connie  Hulbert,  Chief                                                                   
Financial  Officer, AELP;  Ginger  Blaisdell, Staff,  Senator                                                                   
Green                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Sara  Fisher-Goad,  Acting  Executive  Director,  Operations,                                                                   
Alaska Industrial Development  and Export Authority, (AIDEA);                                                                   
Valerie  Walker,  Deputy  Director,   Finance,  AIDEA;  Linda                                                                   
Barefoot,   Senior   Regional  Director,   State   Government                                                                   
Affairs, Purdue  Pharma, LP; Patricia Senner,  Alaska Nurse's                                                                   
Association;  Julie Woodworth,  Chair, Legislative  Committee                                                                   
of the Homer Chamber Of Commerce                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SB 255    "An   Act   relating   to  refunding   of   certain                                                                   
          outstanding  bonds issued by the  Alaska Industrial                                                                   
          Development  and  Export Authority  concerning  the                                                                   
          Snettisham   hydroelectric   project  and   related                                                                   
          assets; and providing for an effective date."                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
          SB  255 was REPORTED  out of  Committee with  a "do                                                                   
          pass"  recommendation and  with a  new zero  fiscal                                                                   
          note by  the Department of Commerce,  Community and                                                                   
          Economic Development.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SB 196    "An  Act  relating  to  establishing  a  controlled                                                                   
          substance prescription database."                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
          CSSB 196  (FIN) was REPORTED out of  Committee with                                                                   
          "do pass"  recommendation and new fiscal  note from                                                                   
          the Department of Commerce,  Community and Economic                                                                   
          Development  and  the  letter  of intent  from  the                                                                   
          Senate Labor and Commerce Committee.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:09:00 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 255                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act relating  to refunding  of certain  outstanding                                                                   
     bonds issued  by the  Alaska Industrial Development  and                                                                   
     Export     Authority    concerning    the     Snettisham                                                                   
     hydroelectric project and  related assets; and providing                                                                   
     for an effective date."                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Elton  presented  an   overview  authorizing  Alaska                                                                   
Industrial  Development  and   Export  Authority  (AIDEA)  to                                                                   
refinance bonds  for the Snettisham Hydroelectric  project in                                                                   
Southeast Alaska. Senator Elton read the sponsor statement.                                                                     
                                                                                                                              
     SB 255  authorizes the  Alaska Industrial Development  &                                                                   
     Export  Authority  (AIDEA)   to  refund  bonds  for  the                                                                   
     Snettisham  hydroelectric project  in Southeast  Alaska.                                                                   
     If bond  markets are favorable  and the bonds  meet both                                                                   
     market and AIDEA financial  tests, this refinancing will                                                                   
     save money  for ratepayers whose electricity  comes from                                                                   
     the Snettisham dam at no cost to the state.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     In  1998,   AIDEA  bonded   $100  million  to   buy  the                                                                   
     Snettisham   hydro  project   from   a  federal   energy                                                                   
     authority and construct project  capital improvements. A                                                                   
     private  utility pays  the debt  service on those  bonds                                                                   
     and operates the project.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Recent trends in the financial  markets suggest the debt                                                                   
     can be  refunded at  significantly lower interest  rates                                                                   
     than  the  current  debt.   The  utility  operating  the                                                                   
     Snettisham project asked  AIDEA to look into refinancing                                                                   
     the debt  by refunding the  remaining bonds,  which have                                                                   
     an  outstanding  balance   slightly  over  $82  million.                                                                   
     AIDEA's legal counsel advises  that in order to roll the                                                                   
     costs of issuing new bonds,  along with premiums paid to                                                                   
     retire  the old bonds  early, into  the new bond  issue,                                                                   
     AIDEA must receive legislative authorization.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     SB 255  provides an explicit  statement of  authority to                                                                   
     refund the bonds. The bill  provides a direct benefit to                                                                   
     ratepayers in the form of  lower electric bills in homes                                                                   
     and  businesses  buying   kilowatt  hours  generated  at                                                                   
     Snettisham.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:12:40 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SARA  FISHER-GOAD,  ACTING  EXECUTIVE  DIRECTOR,  OPERATIONS,                                                                   
ALASKA INDUSTRIAL  DEVELOPMENT AND EXPORT  AUTHORITY (AIDEA),                                                                   
thanked Senator  Elton for  introducing SB  255 and  asked if                                                                   
the Committee had questions.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator   Thomas   questioned   the   anticipated   cost   of                                                                   
refinancing  this bond.  Ms. Fisher-Goad  replied that  there                                                                   
were $82 million  in bonds outstanding, and  although she was                                                                   
unable  to  give  the  actual   cost  of  the  issuance,  she                                                                   
anticipated the cost of 3 per  cent to finance the bonds. She                                                                   
also  indicated that  the  market circumstances  dictate  the                                                                   
amount of savings.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Senator Thomas  added that the  specific day the  transaction                                                                   
occurred would also affect the savings.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman  inquired about  the coupon  rate is  on the                                                                   
bond.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
VALERIE  WALKER, DEPUTY  DIRECTOR,  FINANCE, AIDEA  responded                                                                   
that the current rate range was  4.85 percent to 5.5 percent,                                                                   
but did  not have  the actual rate  available. The  bonds are                                                                   
outstanding through  2034 but  they are not fully  refundable                                                                   
until October 2008,  so the rate will be whatever  the market                                                                   
is on that date. Refunding will  only occur if rates continue                                                                   
to be  favorable and  rates are favorable  at this  time. She                                                                   
amended that the  current rates ranges are 4.85  percent to 6                                                                   
percent.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman  asked for confirmation that  the bonds were                                                                   
callable  in October.  Ms. Walker  clarified  that they  were                                                                   
callable in January 1, 2009; however  the tax rules allow the                                                                   
bonds to be refunded up to ninety  days before that date. She                                                                   
continued that a new issue could  be made by October 2, 2008,                                                                   
and with  the proceeds of  the new bond,  the old  bond would                                                                   
retire on the date of issuance.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
TIM MCLEOD, PRESIDENT AND GENERAL  MANAGER OF ALASKA ELECTRIC                                                                   
LIGHT  AND  POWER  COMPANY (AELP)  supported  this  bill;  he                                                                   
believes  there is potential  savings  for the customers.  He                                                                   
noted that Snettisham currently  provides about 85 percent of                                                                   
the energy  for Southeast  Alaska and  that the debt  service                                                                   
for  that  project  is  a significant  portion  of  the  rate                                                                   
structure.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:18:20 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Thomas inquired about  the yearly kilowatt hour costs                                                                   
for hydroelectric  as  opposed to other  sources. Mr.  McLeod                                                                   
replied that the company normally  provides about 100 percent                                                                   
from hydroelectric  resources. When in a hydro  deficient, as                                                                   
currently being  experienced, some  power has to  be provided                                                                   
with  diesel.   Diesel  costs  approximately  20   cents  per                                                                   
kilowatt hour  versus hydro costs  of 3.5 cents  per kilowatt                                                                   
hour.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman  inquired if this  was the actual  cost, not                                                                   
what was being  billed to the customer. Mr.  McLeod confirmed                                                                   
that this was not the amount billed to the customer.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Senator Huggins inquired  on the effect to the  company if SB                                                                   
255  did not  pass.  Mr. McLeod  responded  that the  company                                                                   
would not  be allowed to  borrow more  than par value  of the                                                                   
bonds for the Snettisham project,  requiring additional costs                                                                   
to be through traditional financing.  This additional cost of                                                                   
$80,000 to $100,000 a year would  be passed to the customers.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Huggins  noted  that  this could  possibly  cause  a                                                                   
significant  rate hike  to the customers.  Mr. McLeod  agreed                                                                   
that additional  costs would be  passed to the  customers but                                                                   
that  it  would  not be  a  significant  rate  hike.  Senator                                                                   
Huggins asked  about the "no cost  to state" and  wondered if                                                                   
there was  any scenario there would  be a cost to  the state.                                                                   
Mr. McLeod indicated that there  would never be a cost to the                                                                   
state.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:20:32 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman  requested from  Ms. Fisher-Goad  a response                                                                   
to Senator  Huggins' question  about "no  cost to the  state"                                                                   
and asked  if there is any  other entity that AIEDA  needs to                                                                   
refinance  in the  capital markets.  Ms. Fisher-Goad  replied                                                                   
there  would not  be any  additional  costs to  the State  of                                                                   
Alaska.  She added  that there  are no  outstanding bonds  at                                                                   
AIDEA that need refunding or legislation.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:21:58 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Elton  MOVED to REPORT  SB 255 out of  Committee with                                                                   
individual recommendations and  the accompanying fiscal note.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator Huggins OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Senator Huggins thanked Senator  Elton for his work in making                                                                   
this legislation  happen for the people of  Southeast Alaska.                                                                   
Senator  Elton  commented that  as  a  rate payer,  he  would                                                                   
benefit along with the community.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Huggins WITHDREW his OBJECTION.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:23:28 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SB  255  was REPORTED  out  of  Committee  with a  "do  pass"                                                                   
recommendation and  accompanying new zero fiscal  note by the                                                                   
Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
AT EASE:  9:23:47 AM                                                                                                          
RESUME:  9:27:03 AM                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 196                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act relating to establishing a controlled substance                                                                    
     prescription database."                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GINGER BLAISDELL, STAFF, SENATOR  GREEN, provided an overview                                                                   
on the establishment  of a prescription drug  database (PDMP)                                                                   
within the Board of Pharmacy.  She introduced the legislation                                                                   
by referring  to the presentation booklet  (Prescription Drug                                                                   
Monitoring Program  and Databases,  Senate Bill 196,  Offered                                                                   
by Senator Green, copy on file).  Ms. Blaisdell reported that                                                                   
Senator  Green  was approached  by  emergency  room  doctors,                                                                   
pharmacists,  and other medical  professionals asking  if the                                                                   
State of Alaska would consider  introducing this legislation.                                                                   
She  pointed   out  that  there  is  currently   prescription                                                                   
monitoring  programs in forty  of the  fifty states;  most of                                                                   
the other  ten states  were looking  at legislation  and/or a                                                                   
tracking  database. She  remarked that  all states have  laws                                                                   
and regulations  to govern the  distribution and  handling of                                                                   
controlled substances.  The database would  be a new  tool in                                                                   
this control. She continued that  the diversion of controlled                                                                   
substances and other pharmaceuticals  is generally recognized                                                                   
as a  serious problem  throughout the  United States  (p. 1).                                                                   
Ms.  Blaisdell  commented that  national  news  organizations                                                                   
have reported  that most  states have  been pleased  with the                                                                   
outcome of the prescription drug  monitoring program and have                                                                   
found this program  among the most effective  tools available                                                                   
to identify and prevent drug diversion (p. 2).                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:30:11 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Blaisdell  explained that  drug  diversion  is taking  a                                                                   
legal prescriptive  substance  and altering  it to provide  a                                                                   
different effect or selling/giving  it to someone, other than                                                                   
the  person to  whom  it was  intended.  She maintained  that                                                                   
these  practices affects  the  health of  citizens and  often                                                                   
promulgates other criminal activity  (p. 3). The goals of the                                                                   
Prescription Drug  Monitoring Program (PDMP) are  intended to                                                                   
promote   pharmaceutical  care   while  deterring   diversion                                                                   
through education  and law enforcement. She  interjected that                                                                   
law enforcement language is contained  in the bill to give it                                                                   
more substance.  She also mentioned  that PDMPs are  aimed at                                                                   
upholding statutory  mandates in a manner that  is supportive                                                                   
of  but   not  disruptive   to  medical  and   pharmaceutical                                                                   
practices. Ms.  Blaisdell noted that most states  are finding                                                                   
that  reporting the  controlled  substances  takes about  two                                                                   
minutes  per  day  (p.  4). She  asserted  that  there  is  a                                                                   
national presumption  that the  misuse of prescription  drugs                                                                   
are safer  than elicit  or "street"  drugs,  but it is  being                                                                   
found  that prescription  drugs,  when used  inappropriately,                                                                   
can cause death, coma, respiratory  arrest, and other serious                                                                   
problems. Mixing  prescription drugs,  with over  the counter                                                                   
medications, is  becoming the new "party" drug  for teenagers                                                                   
and  young adults  (p.  7). She  pointed  out that  25 to  40                                                                   
percent of MySpace  websites have direct links on  how to get                                                                   
prescription  drugs  over  the  internet.  She  informed  the                                                                   
Committee   that  the  most   commonly  abused   prescription                                                                   
medications  were  painkillers,   stimulants,  sedatives  and                                                                   
tranquilizers  (p.  8). Prescription  abuser  profiles  range                                                                   
from young  children who "overtake"  their medication  to the                                                                   
elderly selling  part of their  medication to  provide needed                                                                   
money. She continued  that nearly 70 percent  of prescription                                                                   
drugs are  obtained free  from family  members and  that pain                                                                   
killers are the number one abused drug (p. 9).                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:34:48 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Blaisdell continued that legislation  is being introduced                                                                   
because  Senator  Green  was approached  by  members  of  the                                                                   
medical community  and law enforcement  officials due  to the                                                                   
increase in  prescription drug  diversion criminal  activity.                                                                   
She asserted  that with this  legislation, the state  will be                                                                   
eligible for federal  funding to pay for the  program in full                                                                   
(p.   11).  This   bill  establishes   a   PDMP  within   the                                                                   
responsibilities  of the Board  of Pharmacy which  will track                                                                   
all schedule 1-V  controlled substances in state  and federal                                                                   
law. The  prescription  data will be  electronic rather  than                                                                   
paper  (p.  12).  She noted  that  licensed  prescribers  are                                                                   
entitled  to use  the  database: medical  doctors,  emergency                                                                   
room doctors,  dentists,  veterinarians, nurse  practitioners                                                                   
and licensed  or registered  dispensers, such as  pharmacists                                                                   
(p.  13). Data  can also  be used  by the  Board of  Pharmacy                                                                   
personnel  regarding  licensing  inquiries and  for  database                                                                   
management.  Ms. Blaisdell  continued that  this data  can be                                                                   
requested through the Board by  law enforcement entities with                                                                   
a subpoena  or court  ordered warrant.  This provision  is to                                                                   
prevent  "fishing"  expeditions  looking for  a  prescription                                                                   
drug pattern for  an individual (p. 14). The  database can be                                                                   
used  to  improve  health  care  for  patients  and  identify                                                                   
prescribing   and  dispensing  practices   that  may   be  in                                                                   
question,  such  as,  individuals   who  show  a  pattern  of                                                                   
inappropriate use  (p. 15). The  access and use of  this data                                                                   
will be  confidential and not  subject to public  disclosure,                                                                   
with some exceptions (p. 16).                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:37:41 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Blaisdell  discussed the two fiscal notes,  starting with                                                                   
the  Department  of  Commerce   requesting  authorization  to                                                                   
receive  $400,000 available  in federal  funding. The  second                                                                   
fiscal note, from  Department of Health and  Social Services,                                                                   
reflects potential  savings in  the Medicaid Agency  (p. 17).                                                                   
She  referenced  that  members were  provided  the  sectional                                                                   
analysis explaining  changes to  the legislation  in previous                                                                   
committees  (copy on  file). She  read the  letter of  intent                                                                   
from  Senator Green,  Senate  Labor and  Commerce  Committee,                                                                   
which stated,                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     It  is the  intent of  the Legislature  that the  Alaska                                                                   
     Prescription Monitoring  Program be funded  with federal                                                                   
     grants and  state appropriations.  It is not  the intent                                                                   
     of the  Legislature that  the professional users  of the                                                                   
     database  absorb  the  costs  of  managing  this  public                                                                   
     program  through   their  license  fees  or   other  fee                                                                   
     structure (copy on file).                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:39:53 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms.   Blaisdell   provided  members   with   sample   reports                                                                   
describing a "good" prescribing  practice that probably would                                                                   
not be questioned (OHIO Automated  RX Reporting System, Betty                                                                   
Testpatient,  copy on  file) and  a  report reflecting  large                                                                   
prescription  doses,  visits to  multiple  doctors,  numerous                                                                   
pharmacies  and frequent  personal  information changes.  The                                                                   
second sample report should raise  questions by the doctor or                                                                   
pharmaceutical  prescriber   (OHIO  Automated   RX  Reporting                                                                   
System,  Joseph Llewellyn,  copy on file).  She outlined  the                                                                   
White  House national  campaign to  prevent prescription  and                                                                   
over the counter  drug abuse by teens (White  House Office of                                                                   
National Drug  Control Policy National Youth  Anti-Drug media                                                                   
Campaign, copy on file).                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:42:35 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman  asked for elaboration on how  the state and                                                                   
federal  databases would  interface.  Ms. Blaisdell  answered                                                                   
that  no  federal  data  base   existed  at  this  time.  The                                                                   
controlled  substance  information  provided  to the  DEA  is                                                                   
viewed  in a "big  picture" approach.  The  DEA looks at  the                                                                   
amount  of pills  being  manufactured by  a  company and  how                                                                   
these  pills  are being  distributed  throughout  the  United                                                                   
States.  She explained  that discrepancies  in importing  and                                                                   
exporting  of  pills  are  reviewed.  The  only  states  that                                                                   
currently share information are Nevada and California.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:44:30 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Elton  asked about the imposition on  the pharmacists                                                                   
per   prescription.   Ms.  Blaisdell   explained   that   the                                                                   
imposition to  the pharmacist is  two minutes per  day total,                                                                   
which  accounts for  the time  the data  is transferred.  The                                                                   
program would  be on the  pharmacist's website, then,  at the                                                                   
end of the day,  the data could be downloaded  with a push of                                                                   
a button.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Senator Elton  inquired who has  access to the  database. Ms.                                                                   
Blaisdell  explained  that  the  Board  of  Pharmacy  sets  a                                                                   
specific set of  criteria that allows one to get  a log-in ID                                                                   
to obtain  access to the  data. This  applies to all  who can                                                                   
prescribe   medicines  and  pharmacists   who  are   actively                                                                   
dispensing.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:47:32 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Elton   questioned  the   time  limit  a   name  and                                                                   
prescription  information  is   kept  in  the  database.  Ms.                                                                   
Blaisdell indicated that most  states have time limits of two                                                                   
to three years.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:48:18 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Elton asked if Medicaid  would have to obtain a court                                                                   
order  to  access  the data.  Ms.  Blaisdell  explained  that                                                                   
Medicaid  and other  government agencies  could only  acquire                                                                   
this information  if there was  "just cause" to  obtain legal                                                                   
access, then it would be through a court order.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:49:48 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Thomas  inquired  how this  bypasses  HIPAA  (Health                                                                   
Insurance Portability and Accountability  Act). Ms. Blaisdell                                                                   
explained that  HIPAA did adopt "exception language"  and any                                                                   
state entering  into a prescription drug  monitoring program,                                                                   
for the  purposes of  health policy  or law enforcement,  are                                                                   
exempt from breaking any HIPAA laws.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:51:09 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson wondered what kind  of a burden would be placed                                                                   
on the  physician to access  this information.  Ms. Blaisdell                                                                   
responded that it could be "zero"  if a doctor chooses not to                                                                   
participate; otherwise  it takes about 15 seconds  to receive                                                                   
a report.  Senator  Olson inquired  how this  would work  for                                                                   
physicians  without computer  access, such  as rural  Alaska.                                                                   
Ms.  Blaisdell explained  that  this is  one  of the  reasons                                                                   
there is no requirement  or mandate in the bill  for a doctor                                                                   
to be  required to look up  the data information.  A solution                                                                   
for doctors without  computer access could be  to request the                                                                   
Board of Pharmacy to run a report and FAX it to the doctor.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Olson  inquired  if  there would  be  some  sort  of                                                                   
backlash  or  discipline  to   physicians  who  are  seen  to                                                                   
overprescribe.  Ms. Blaisdell responded  that, in  past state                                                                   
experiences, most  physicians are aware  that there may  be a                                                                   
doctor  overprescribing.   Often  this  problem   is  settled                                                                   
through "peer  review." This database  would make  the review                                                                   
more efficient.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:54:28 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Thomas questioned  how the security or  pin number is                                                                   
protected.  Ms. Blaisdell  responded that  most states  use a                                                                   
physician's  Drug  Enforcement  Administration  (DEA)  number                                                                   
with a  confidential password.  The DEA  number has  recently                                                                   
been scrutinized since it is often  written on doctor's forms                                                                   
making it fairly  accessible. Some states have  chosen to use                                                                   
the NPI  number (National  Provider Identifier).  Pharmacists                                                                   
also  have  a  separate  identifier   number  for  individual                                                                   
persons.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Senator Elton did  not see that the Medical  Board had access                                                                   
to database  when  considering disciplinary  action toward  a                                                                   
physician.  Ms. Blaisdell  responded that  the Medical  Board                                                                   
would  need a  court  order. Senator  Elton  inquired if  the                                                                   
Medical  Board  fell  under  federal,  state  and  local  law                                                                   
enforcement  authorities  (p. 4,  Section  5). Ms.  Blaisdell                                                                   
responded that board members,  appointed by the Governor, are                                                                   
considered  state  public officials  acting  on  behalf of  a                                                                   
government agency.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:58:30 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Olson  added  that, having  served  on  the  Medical                                                                   
Board,  the investigator  has  no problem  obtaining a  court                                                                   
order.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:58:39 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman MOVED to ADOPT Amendment #1:                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
                                                 25-LS1092\K.1                                                                  
                                                     Luckhaupt                                                                  
                                                       1/10/11                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
                     A M E N D M E N T                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     OFFERED IN THE SENATE                                                                                                      
     TO:  CSSB 196(L&C)Page 5, lines 18 - 22:                                                                                   
     Delete all material and insert:                                                                                            
          "(i)  A person                                                                                                        
               (1)  with authority to access the database                                                                       
     under (d) of this section who knowingly                                                                                    
                    (A)  accesses information in the                                                                            
          database beyond the scope of the person's                                                                             
          authority commits a class A misdemeanor;                                                                              
                    (B)  accesses information in the                                                                            
          database and knowingly discloses that information                                                                     
          to a person not entitled to access or to receive                                                                      
         the information commits a class C felony;                                                                              
                    (C)     allows another person who is not                                                                    
          authorized to access the database to access the                                                                       
          database commits a class C felony;                                                                                    
               (2)  without authority to access the database                                                                    
     under  (d) of this  section who  knowingly accesses  the                                                                   
     database  or  knowingly receives  information  that  the                                                                   
     person is  not authorized to  receive under (d)  of this                                                                   
     section from another person commits a class C felony."                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Page 5, following line 26:                                                                                                 
     Insert a new paragraph to read:                                                                                            
               "(3)  "knowingly" has the meaning given in                                                                       
     AS 11.81.900;"                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Blaisdell  discussed that intent  of the amendment  is to                                                                   
better clarify what  a class "A" misdemeanor and  a class "C"                                                                   
felony  might involve.  A class "A"  misdemeanor would  cover                                                                   
someone  accessing  data,  beyond one's  authority,  such  as                                                                   
front desk  staff in  a doctor's office.  A class  "C" felony                                                                   
applies to someone who tries to alter the data in a PDMP.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
10:00:58 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator Elton  asked what happens if someone  inappropriately                                                                   
accesses  this information  to  give it  to a  pharmaceutical                                                                   
company  with  the purpose  of  soliciting the  patient  with                                                                   
additional  drug  information.   He  wondered  if  a  penalty                                                                   
existed  for  that  person  or  pharmaceutical  company.  Ms.                                                                   
Blaisdell  considered the  person giving  the information  to                                                                   
the  pharmaceutical company  would  have legal  repercussions                                                                   
but   not  certain   what   penalty   would   apply  to   the                                                                   
pharmaceutical company itself.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stedman  WITHDREW  his OBJECTION.  There  being  NO                                                                   
further OBJECTION, Amendment #1 was adopted.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
10:01:51 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stedman  commented  positively  on  the  zero  line                                                                   
fiscal notes.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
10:02:16 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
LINDA BAREFOOT, REGIONAL DIRECTOR,  STATE GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS,                                                                   
PURDUE   PHARMA,   L.P.,   identified   the  company   as   a                                                                   
manufacturer   and  distributor   of   controlled  and   non-                                                                   
controlled  prescription  medication  and  over  the  counter                                                                   
products. Purdue Pharma supported SB 196.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stedman  inquired  if  Purdue  Pharma  manufactured                                                                   
OxyContin.  Ms. Barefoot  responded  "yes." Co-Chair  Stedman                                                                   
wondered if this bill would impact  sales or marketing of the                                                                   
drug.  Ms. Barefoot  responded  that the  company only  wants                                                                   
OxyContin prescribed for legitimate pain patients.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
10:04:07 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
PATRICIA  SENNER, ADVANCED  NURSE  PRACTIONER, ALASKA  NURSES                                                                   
ASSOCIATION, indicated  that the nurses association  has been                                                                   
working  with Senator  Green on  this bill  and supports  the                                                                   
intent  of  this bill.  Many  nurse  practitioners  prescribe                                                                   
medicines and would  like the ability to confirm  a patient's                                                                   
history when  prescribing pain  medication. She informed  the                                                                   
Committee  that,  having  worked   with  both  teenagers  and                                                                   
adults, she found more problems  with adults. A major concern                                                                   
about the  database has  to do  with confidentiality  and who                                                                   
will  have  access  to  the  database.   The  association  is                                                                   
concerned about  the wrong person  getting access  to patient                                                                   
addresses  with  the  purpose   of  robbery  to  obtain  pain                                                                   
medications.  She  also  indicated that  inserting  into  the                                                                   
database  information if  the  patient is  currently under  a                                                                   
"Pain  Management  Contract"  with  a pain  doctor  would  be                                                                   
helpful.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
10:07:04 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Olson questioned  if Ms. Senner  had any  experience                                                                   
with  any Prescription  Drug Monitoring  Program. Ms.  Senner                                                                   
responded  that   she  had  not   had  experience   with  any                                                                   
databases.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Olsen   wondered  if   she  agreed  with   the  time                                                                   
commitment expressed for the prescribers  and pharmacist. Ms.                                                                   
Senner  believed that  the  pharmacist who  has  it on  their                                                                   
computer will have  a far shorter time commitment  than those                                                                   
that  dispense  from  their  office,   especially  for  rural                                                                   
offices.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
10:08:03 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
JULIE  WOODWORTH,  CHAIR,  LEGISLATIVE   COMMITTEE  OF  HOMER                                                                   
CHAMBER OF  COMMERCE supported  SB 196. She remarked  hearing                                                                   
positive  responses to  this bill  in the  medical and  local                                                                   
communities.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
10:09:18 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator Elton  asked if  Ms. Blaisdell had  a comment  on the                                                                   
information  of individuals obtaining  patient addresses  for                                                                   
criminal  purposes. Ms.  Blasdell responded  that one  of the                                                                   
reasons for pursuing this nationwide  database is that access                                                                   
to people's personal information is already occurring.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hoffman MOVED to REPORT  out of Committee as amended                                                                   
with  individual recommendations  and  attached fiscal  notes                                                                   
and the letter of intent.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CSSB 196 (FIN)  was REPORTED out of Committee  with "do pass"                                                                   
recommendation  and new  fiscal note  from the Department  of                                                                   
Commerce, Community  and Economic Development and  the letter                                                                   
of intent from the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
The meeting was adjourned at                                                                                                    
10:11:59 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                

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