Medical associations head to court over state reduction in rates

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - State reductions in medical rates announced by the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services are being challenged in court.

    Charles Bill, the administrator of Bartlett Regional Hospital in Juneau, is the chair this year of the Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association.  

    He said on Action Line that his association along with the groups representing doctors and behavioral health professionals are seeking the injunction.

    The rate cuts were announced on Friday evening, June 28, to take effect on July 1.  Bill said there was no comment period.  According to Bill, statute requires a comment period unless there's a true emergency and he added that there was not a true emergency.

    Bill said his hospital is looking at a loss of a million and a half dollars with the Governor's veto of Medicaid funding.  Beyond that, he's worried that the impact will be greater depending on the number of paying insured jobs that will be going away as the result of the Governor's budget vetoes.

    He said the Governor has been fairly reluctant to meet with them and obtain their input and that has trickled down to the department.

    His message to the Governor and to lawmakers is that they would like to be asked for their input so they can be part of the solution.



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