Legislature(2005 - 2006)SENATE FINANCE 532

05/03/2005 09:00 AM FINANCE


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ HB 187 AMERADA HESS INCOME; CAPITAL INCOME FUND TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 187(FIN)(efd fld)Out Committee
+= SB 46 APPROP: CAPITAL BUDGET TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+= SB 102 COASTAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSB 102(FIN) Out of Committee
*+ SB 192 SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION BOND REIMBURSEMENT TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ SB 22 MEDICAID COVERAGE FOR BIRTHING CENTERS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSB 22(FIN) Out of Committee
+ SB 78 SENIOR CARE PROGRAM TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled But Not Heard
+ SB 125 LICENSING MEDICAL OR CARE FACILITIES TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSB 125(JUD) Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
= HB 178 SPECIAL REQUEST LICENSE PLATES
Moved CSHB 178(STA) am Out of Committee
                                                                                                                                
     CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 125(JUD)                                                                                            
     "An  Act relating to  the licensing,  regulation, enforcement,                                                             
     and  appeal rights  of ambulatory  surgical  centers,  assisted                                                            
     living homes, child  care facilities, child placement agencies,                                                            
     foster   homes,  free-standing   birth  centers,  home   health                                                            
     agencies,  hospices or agencies  providing hospice services  or                                                            
     operating   hospice  programs,  hospitals,  intermediate   care                                                            
     facilities for the  mentally retarded, maternity homes, nursing                                                            
     facilities,  residential  child  care  facilities, residential                                                             
     psychiatric  treatment  centers,  runaway shelters,  and  rural                                                            
     health  clinics;   relating  to  possession  of  a  firearm  at                                                            
     licensed entities  and facilities; relating to criminal history                                                            
     requirements,  and  a  registry,  regarding  certain  licenses,                                                            
     certifications,    approvals,   and   authorizations   by   the                                                            
     Department  of Health  and Social Services;  making  conforming                                                            
     amendments; and providing for an effective date."                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
This  was the first  hearing  for this  bill in  the Senate  Finance                                                            
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Green  explained that this legislation would  relate to the                                                            
licensing,  regulation,   and  reinforcement   of  medical  or  care                                                            
facilities.  She  specified  that  this legislation  would  have  no                                                            
fiscal impact,  as zero  fiscal notes accompany  it. Four  Committee                                                            
Members heard testimony  on this bill during its hearings before the                                                            
Senate Health,  Education, and Social Services (HES)  Committee. Due                                                            
of an inadvertent  oversight  on her part,  the intent to waive  the                                                            
bill from Committee  had not occurred. Therefore the  bill is before                                                            
the Committee with the desire that a brief discussion occur.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:29:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RICHARD  MANDSAGER,  M.D.,  Director,  Division  of  Public  Health,                                                            
Department   of  Health   and   Social  Services   explained   that,                                                            
originally, a zero fiscal  note from the Department accompanied this                                                            
bill. A Department  of Law zero fiscal  note was subsequently  added                                                            
to account for  a federal grant that would provide  for the expenses                                                            
the Department  of Law might experience  in its regulation  revision                                                            
and review.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Dr. Mandsager  stated that this legislation  "would bring  together"                                                            
in a  standardized  manner the  different statutory  and  regulatory                                                            
authorities  for the  various entities  such  as hospitals,  nursing                                                            
homes,  hospice,  and assisted  living  homes  that  the  Department                                                            
licenses. This  legislation would make the process  easier for these                                                            
entities to manage.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Dr. Mandsager  continued that the bill would align  background check                                                            
processes  for  employees  and entities  that  provide  services  to                                                            
vulnerable Alaskans. Public  and criminal information regarding such                                                            
issues  as  abuse,  fraud,  neglect,  or  Medicaid  fraud  would  be                                                            
streamlined to develop  a measurement to determine which individuals                                                            
would be prohibited  from working in the affected  fields. Were this                                                            
bill adopted, one entity would monitor the background checks.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:30:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Green spoke  to "the  consistency"  that this legislation                                                             
would provide  to the different users and providers  of services. It                                                            
would provide  one set of qualifiers as opposed to  multiple sets as                                                            
is the  current mode  of operation.  In addition,  higher  standards                                                            
would be implemented.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Dr. Mandsager  affirmed.  He noted  that currently,  the  Department                                                            
does not conduct  background checks on the entirety  of the entities                                                            
it might license.  In addition, some  employers voluntarily  conduct                                                            
background  checks  on  its  employees   and  others  do  not.  This                                                            
legislation  would align  the same  standard to  all entities.  This                                                            
information   is  included  in  the   Department's  "Public   Health                                                            
Protecting and  Promoting The Health of All Alaskans"  handout [copy                                                            
on file] that is included in Members' bill packets.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:31:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson  asked whether there has been any response  from small                                                            
clinics or single practitioner  in the State in regard to the impact                                                            
this legislation might incur on them.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Dr. Mandsager  explained that this  legislation would only  apply to                                                            
entities that  the Department currently  licenses. Therefore  single                                                            
doctor offices  and health aid clinics that the Department  does not                                                            
currently license would not be affected by this legislation.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Wilken moved to  report SB 125  (JUD) from committee  with                                                            
individual recommendations and accompanying fiscal notes.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
There being no  objection, SB 125 (JUD) was REPORTED  from Committee                                                            
with previous  zero fiscal note #2 dated February  28, 2005 from the                                                            
Department  of Health and  Social Services  and zero fiscal  note #3                                                            
dated April 12, 2005 from the Department of Law.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
AT EASE: 4:32:00 PM / 5:00:22 PM                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                

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