HB 335: "An Act establishing a program and account for grants to support access to Medicare and primary health care services in shortage areas."

00 HOUSE BILL NO. 335 01 "An Act establishing a program and account for grants to support access to Medicare 02 and primary health care services in shortage areas." 03 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 04 * Section 1. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section 05 to read: 06 SHORT TITLE. This Act may be known as the Medicare and Primary Care Access 07 Act. 08 * Sec. 2. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to 09 read: 10 LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS. The legislature finds that 11 (1) persons 65 years of age or older are increasingly unable to find medical 12 providers in the state who are willing to accept medical assistance or Medicare reimbursement 13 for health care services; 14 (2) because there is a shortage in the state of medical providers who are

01 willing to accept Medicare patients, persons who have contributed to the Medicare insurance 02 system are unable to benefit from the insurance; 03 (3) Medicare reimbursement rates for certain services are too low to provide 04 reasonable incentives to medical providers; 05 (4) because Medicare reimbursement rates are established by federal law, the 06 state should provide additional near-term incentives to increase access to health care by state 07 residents who are Medicare recipients; 08 (5) the federal government currently provides facility grants and higher 09 reimbursement rates to physicians at community health centers; 10 (6) to increase access to primary health care services, the state should provide 11 incentives by expanding the availability of nonprofit primary care clinics when the clinics can 12 provide cost-effective help to solve medical access problems. 13 * Sec. 3. AS 47.05 is amended by adding new sections to read: 14 Article 4. Grants for Primary Health Care Services in Physician Shortage Areas. 15 Sec. 47.05.400. Grant program established. (a) A grant program is 16 established in the department to provide supplemental funding to a health care facility 17 that provides primary care services to needy persons and to persons 65 years of age or 18 older who are recipients of medical assistance or Medicare. The purpose of the 19 program is to increase the availability of health care services in areas in which the 20 commissioner determines a physician shortage exists. 21 (b) The department shall establish annual application and award procedures 22 that prioritize funding to health care facilities that will provide the most cost-effective 23 expansion of the medical services needed in shortage areas. 24 (c) Grants awarded under this program may, to the extent permitted by federal 25 law, be used to provide additional incentives to physicians to provide services at the 26 health care facility. 27 Sec. 47.05.410. Grant account established. (a) A primary health care services 28 grant account is established in the general fund. The commissioner shall use the 29 account for the grant program established under AS 47.05.400 - 47.05.450. 30 (b) The account established under this section consists of funds appropriated 31 to the account by the legislature, which may include

01 (1) federal receipts; 02 (2) state money; 03 (3) donations and gifts; 04 (4) interest accrued on the account. 05 (c) Appropriations made to the account established under this section do not 06 lapse. 07 Sec. 47.05.450. Definitions. In AS 47.05.400 - 47.05.450, 08 (1) "commissioner" means the commissioner of health and social 09 services; 10 (2) "department" means the Department of Health and Social Services; 11 (3) "health care facility" means a primary care clinic, community 12 health center, or other outpatient health clinic that is eligible to receive medical 13 assistance or Medicare reimbursement and that is operated as a nonprofit entity in the 14 state.