FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 14, 2018
House Passes Legislation to Improve Healthcare and Reduce Burden on Budget
HB 215 Would Help Restore Services by Expanding Fee Authority
The Alaska House of Representatives today passed House Bill 215, to enable the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) to collect fees for providing public health services. The bill had broad bipartisan support, passing 30 to 8.
“Recent budget cuts have resulted in the Department of Health and Social Services reducing or eliminating services the industry desires,” said Rep. Paul Seaton (R-Homer) “Current statutes prohibit the Department from collecting fees for those services which would enable them to meet demand.”
DHSS is already permitted to collect fees for some functions such as nutritional services, maternal and child health services, and health education. HB 215 would expand the Department’s authority to include collecting fees for services such as radiological and other equipment inspections, data extraction and analysis, and training and expert consultation.
“This bill is about getting the legislature out of the way,” said Rep. Seaton, “HB 215 doesn’t contribute to the deficit or mandate any fees, it simply enables the Department to work with stakeholders to identify valuable services the industry is willing to pay for.”
HB 215 now moves on to the Senate for consideration.
For more information, please contact Elizabeth Diament in Representative Seaton’s office at (907) 465-2689.