Legislature(2017 - 2018)BUTROVICH 205

03/27/2017 01:30 PM HEALTH & SOCIAL SERVICES

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Audio Topic
01:30:25 PM Start
01:30:55 PM Confirmation Hearing
01:53:00 PM SB83
01:56:51 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Consideration of Governor's Appointees: TELECONFERENCED
State Medical Board
- Timothy Olson
- Douglas Mertz
-- Public Testimony On Appointees --
+= SB 83 PROTECT: VULNERABLE ADULTS/LONG TERM CARE TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSB 83(HSS) Out of Committee
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
      SENATE HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                    
                         March 27, 2017                                                                                         
                           1:30 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator David Wilson, Chair                                                                                                     
Senator Cathy Giessel                                                                                                           
Senator Tom Begich                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Natasha von Imhof, Vice Chair                                                                                           
Senator Peter Micciche                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CONFIRMATION HEARING                                                                                                            
     State Medical Board                                                                                                      
          Timothy Olson                                                                                                         
          Douglas Mertz                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     - CONFIRMATIONS ADVANCED                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 83                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to the protection of vulnerable adults and                                                                     
residents of long term care facilities."                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSSB 83(HSS) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 83                                                                                                                   
SHORT TITLE: PROTECT: VULNERABLE ADULTS/LONG TERM CARE                                                                          
SPONSOR(s): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
03/08/17       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/08/17       (S)       HSS, FIN                                                                                               
03/17/17       (S)       HSS AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/17/17       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/17/17       (S)       MINUTE(HSS)                                                                                            
03/27/17       (S)       HSS AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
TIMOTHY OLSON, Appointee                                                                                                        
State Medical Board                                                                                                             
Eagle River, Alaska                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified as appointee to  the State Medical                                                             
Board.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
DOUGLAS MERTZ, Appointee                                                                                                        
State Medical Board                                                                                                             
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified as appointee to  the State Medical                                                             
Board.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:30:25 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DAVID WILSON  called the Senate Health  and Social Services                                                             
Standing Committee meeting  to order at 1:30 p.m.  Present at the                                                               
call to order were Senators Begich, Giessel, and Chair Wilson.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
^Confirmation Hearing                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
                      CONFIRMATION HEARING                                                                                  
                      State Medical Board                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:30:55 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  WILSON announced  the  first order  of  business would  be                                                               
confirmation hearings for the governor's  appointees to the State                                                               
Medical Board: Timothy Olson and Douglas Mertz.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:31:00 PM                                                                                                                    
TIMOTHY  OLSON,  Appointee,  State Medical  Board,  Eagle  River,                                                               
Alaska,  disclosed that  he  is a  physician  assistant (PA).  He                                                               
provided  his medical  background to  the committee.  He detailed                                                               
that he  has been in  practice for 18  months and has  resided in                                                               
Alaska for over a year.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WILSON noted that Mr. Olson  has not been in the state very                                                               
long. He  asked Mr.  Olson what  brought him  to Alaska  and what                                                               
guided him to the State Medical Board.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR.  OLSON  provided  personal   background  information  to  the                                                               
committee. He  explained that  he applied to  serve on  the State                                                               
Medical Board  and thought the  new learning experience  would be                                                               
interesting.  He   summarized  that  serving  on   the  board  is                                                               
something that will  help him learn about public  health and find                                                               
a way to keep people healthy in Alaska.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:37:24 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GIESSEL  thanked Mr. Olson  for applying as  an appointee                                                               
to  the  State  Medical  Board.  She disclosed  that  she  is  an                                                               
advanced nurse practitioner.  She asked Mr. Olson  if he belonged                                                               
to the Physician Assistant Association in Alaska.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. OLSON answered yes.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GIESSEL replied  that being  a member  to the  Physician                                                               
Assistant Association  will help  Mr. Olson connect  with issues.                                                               
She asked  if Mr.  Olson has  attended any  of the  State Medical                                                               
Board meetings.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. OLSON answered no.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GIESSEL  assumed that  Mr.  Olson  is probably  not  too                                                               
versed in issues that are currently before the board.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. OLSON  replied that  he is following  the board's  issues and                                                               
has read  the minutes  from previous  meetings. He  admitted that                                                               
there will be a lot for him to learn.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GIESSEL  commented that  Mr. Olson  is making  efforts to                                                               
educate himself  and added that  he will learn  a lot as  a board                                                               
member should  he get confirmed. He  asked if Mr. Olson  is aware                                                               
of the time commitment required for serving on the board.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. OLSON answered yes. He disclosed  that he has been exposed to                                                               
the  time commitment  that  is  required. He  noted  that he  has                                                               
interacted  with the  board regarding  a few  issues that  he has                                                               
been asked to comment on.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GIESSEL opined that Mr.  Olson's response implies that he                                                               
is aware  that the time required  for a new applicant  to receive                                                               
their license  in the  state is  one of the  big issues  that the                                                               
board deals with.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:40:02 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BEGICH asked  if he has only been in  Alaska for a little                                                               
less than 18 months.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. OLSON answered correct.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BEGICH  admitted that he  is a little concerned  with Mr.                                                               
Olson's length  of time  in the  state and  his knowledge  of the                                                               
issues. He  asked Mr. Olson  what unique characteristic  he would                                                               
bring to the  board that would help them  in their deliberations.                                                               
He noted that the board deals with most of the state's doctors.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. OLSON explained that he  would bring enthusiasm to the board.                                                               
He said  he would continue to  strive to learn. He  asserted that                                                               
he is exposed  to a lot because he is  in general-family medicine                                                               
and  urgent care.  He  asserted that  his exposure  to  a lot  of                                                               
different specialties, doctors, and  health-care issues helps him                                                               
to understand health care and to help understand issues.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:42:56 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GIESSEL addressed  the board's oversight responsibilities                                                               
as follows:                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     The State  Medical Board is responsible  for licensing,                                                                    
     regulation   and    discipline   of    allopathic   and                                                                    
     osteopathic    physicians,    podiatrists,    physician                                                                    
     assistants,  and mobile  intensive  care paramedics  in                                                                    
     the State of Alaska.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
She noted for  the public record that there is  a designated seat                                                               
for a PA on the State Medical Board.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WILSON thanked Mr. Olson.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:44:05 PM                                                                                                                    
DOUGLAS MERTZ,  Appointee, State  Medical Board,  Juneau, Alaska,                                                               
stated  that he  was appointed  by the  governor for  one of  two                                                               
public seats. He  specified that a public seat  is non-medical on                                                               
the  board.  He  provided personal  and  professional  background                                                               
information to the  committee. He disclosed that  he is currently                                                               
a lawyer in  private practice with a primary  focus on employment                                                               
law.  He  noted that  he  has  encountered  a number  of  medical                                                               
issues. He  disclosed that he  has a great concern  about mental-                                                               
health  issues  in  addition to  addiction  and  substance  abuse                                                               
issues.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:46:29 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  GIESSEL  asked if  he  has  attended  any of  the  board                                                               
meetings.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. MERTZ answered  that his service actually started  on March 1                                                               
and he attended a meeting via teleconference.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GIESSEL  asked what the  key issues are before  the board                                                               
right now.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. MERTZ  replied that the  board is spending  a lot of  time on                                                               
discipline  related to  over-prescription of  opioids as  well as                                                               
dealing with the tremendous problem  of opioid addiction. He said                                                               
the next  issue is making sure  the board does not  lose sight of                                                               
mental-health issues during the  current budgetary time for state                                                               
and federal governments.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GIESSEL  pointed out  that the  State Medical  Board does                                                               
not really  directly deal with  the policy issues that  Mr. Mertz                                                               
noted. She  asked Mr. Mertz  how he  sees the application  of his                                                               
interests.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MERTZ remarked  that  the board  indirectly  deals with  the                                                               
opioid  over-prescribing   issue  through   disciplinary  actions                                                               
against physicians who  over-prescribe or do not  take the proper                                                               
care in determining whether a  patient can handle opioids or some                                                               
other kind  of painkiller.  He added  that because  psychiatry is                                                               
one  of the  covered  fields  within medicine,  the  board has  a                                                               
general mandate  to watch  and give advice  on what  happens with                                                               
psychiatric services.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:48:47 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GIESSEL asked him to  flesh out his previous remarks. She                                                               
inquired in which  way is a professional  regulatory board having                                                               
any jurisdiction over psychiatric services offered in the state.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MERTZ  replied  that  the  only  direct  ways  would  be  in                                                               
disciplinary actions. He added that  the board plays another role                                                               
in  evaluating qualifications  of foreign-trained  physicians and                                                               
PAs  to  make  sure  their  education  in  particular  areas  are                                                               
equivalent to  what is  received from a  U.S. medical  school. He                                                               
opined that  indirect ways  encompass matters  that come  up that                                                               
are of  concern to the board  as a group with  general knowledge,                                                               
oversite and care about particular  medical issues that the board                                                               
is in  a position to offer  advice on it. He  conceded that there                                                               
is no direct role mandated in the board's authorizing statutes.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GIESSEL noted  that Mr. Mertz is an  attorney and pointed                                                               
out  that  discipline  was  mentioned   in  response  to  several                                                               
questions.  She  asked if  Mr.  Mertz  saw  discipline as  a  key                                                               
function of any professional regulatory board.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MERTZ  answered  absolutely.  He  noted  that  he  has  been                                                               
involved   on  behalf   of  the   Alaska  Bar   Association  with                                                               
disciplinary  matters  having to  do  with  attorneys, the  rough                                                               
equivalent to what  the State Medical Board  does with physicians                                                               
who may have mental-health issues  or negligence issues or issues                                                               
relating  to  over-prescription  of  particular  drugs,  such  as                                                               
opioids.  He reiterated  that over-prescription  of opioids  is a                                                               
prime  matter of  concern  for  the board.  He  noted that  after                                                               
reviewing  the  board's  minutes  over the  past  several  years,                                                               
disciplinary matters have come up with some regularity.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:51:06 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  WILSON   opened  and  closed   public  testimony   on  the                                                               
appointments of Mr. Olson and Mr. Mertz.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WILSON read  a statement regarding the  appointments of Mr.                                                               
Olson and Mr. Mertz as follows:                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     In accordance  to AS 39.05.080,  the Senate  Health and                                                                    
     Social  Services   Committee  reviewed   the  following                                                                    
     recommendations and  appointments will be  forwarded to                                                                    
     a joint  session for  consideration: Timothy  Olson and                                                                    
     Douglas  Mertz to  the State  Medical Board.  This does                                                                    
     not reflect  an intent  by any of  the members  to vote                                                                    
     against  or for  the confirmations  of the  individuals                                                                    
     during any further sessions.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:51:53 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
        SB 83-PROTECT: VULNERABLE ADULTS/LONG TERM CARE                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:53:00 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WILSON  called the  committee back  to order.  He announced                                                               
the  consideration of  SB  83, the  governor's  bill relating  to                                                               
vulnerable adults.  He noted that  public testimony was  taken on                                                               
SB 83  during the  bill's previous hearing.  He announced  that a                                                               
committee substitute  (CS) is before  the committee,  labeled 30-                                                               
GS1815\D.  He  entertained  a  motion  to adopt  the  CS  as  the                                                               
committee's working document.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:53:23 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GIESSEL moved that the committee  adopt the CS for SB 83,                                                               
version 30-GS1815\D.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:53:33 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BEGICH objected for purposes of hearing the changes.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WILSON  specified that  the CS  makes the  following simple                                                               
changes to the original version A:                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
   · Corrects the drafting error on page 4, line 5 to reflect                                                                   
     the accurate statute of citation of AS 47.62.090.                                                                          
   · Aligns additional paragraphs under AS 47.24.011 with                                                                       
     proposed amendment language requested  elsewhere in the bill                                                               
     that  being changing  references  from "central  information                                                               
     and  referral services"  to  "vulnerable adults  centralized                                                               
     intake office."                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:54:43 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BEGICH removed his objection to the CS.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:54:48 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WILSON  announced that hearing no  other further objection,                                                               
version D is adopted.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:54:58 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  GIESSEL moved  the CS  for SB  83, version  30-GS1815\D,                                                               
from  committee  with  individual  recommendations  and  attached                                                               
fiscal note(s).                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:55:10 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  WILSON  announced  that without  objection,  CSSB  83(HSS)                                                               
moved  from  the  Senate  Health  and  Social  Services  Standing                                                               
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:55:19 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:56:23 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WILSON called the committee back to order.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:56:51 PM                                                                                                                    
There being  no further  business to  come before  the committee,                                                               
Chair  Wilson adjourned  the Senate  Health  and Social  Services                                                               
Committee at 1:56 p.m.                                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
CSSB 83(HSS) v D.pdf SHSS 3/27/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 83
17.03.23 CSSB83 Sectional Analysis.pdf SHSS 3/27/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 83