I, Sarah Palin, Governor of the State of Alaska, under the authority of art. III, secs. 1 and 24, of the Alaska Constitution, and in accordance with AS 44.19.145(c) establish the Alaska Health Care Strategies Planning Council (council) in the Office of the Governor.
Background, Findings, and Purpose
The provision of adequate health care for its citizens is one of the most pressing domestic issues facing the United States as a nation. Providing health care services in Alaska is particularly challenging given our unique demographic characteristics, including our small and geographically disbursed population.
Previous and ongoing public and private health care planning efforts have produced a number of reports and initiatives to address various aspects of Alaska’s health care system. The new planning initiative provided for in this Order will not duplicate previous efforts, but will synthesize and build upon them.
The purpose of this Order is to recognize the need to develop a statewide plan to identify short-term and long-term strategies to effectively address the issues of access to, and cost and quality of, health care for Alaskans. The council’s development of a health care action plan should serve to educate all Alaskans about the myriad of public policy choices regarding health care issues and should engage both governmental agencies and the private sector in finding solutions to these problems.
Duties of Council
The council is to prepare and submit to the governor and the Legislature, by January 1, 2008, a health care action plan. The action plan must include the following:
- a description of the current health care system in Alaska;
- an inventory and analysis of all existing private and public health care plans, reports, and initiatives in Alaska, including
- reports and recommendations of the Alaska Health Care Roundtable;
- University of Alaska-sponsored health-related and relevant reports of the Institute of Social and Economic Research, including reports of the activities of the Area Health Education Center;
- health indicators and targets included in the Department of Health and Social Services plan titled “Healthy Alaskans 2020, November, 2005”;
- recommendations of the “Alaska Physician Supply Task Force Report, August 2006”;
- relevant plans and recommendations of the Alaska Workforce Investment Board;
- Alaska State Team Report and follow-up to the National Conference of State Legislatures and National Governor’s Association Center for Best Practices Seminar on “Using Limited Health Dollars Wisely: What States Can Do to Create the Health System They Want”;
- The Lewin Group and ECONorthwest report titled “Long Term Forecast of Medicaid Enrollment and Spending in Alaska: 2005 – 2025”;
- The state’s comprehensive integrated mental health plan titled “Moving Forward, February 15, 2006”; and
- Report to State, Senate Finance Committee, titled, “Medicaid Program Review” prepared by the Pacific Health Policy group, January 2007″;
- short-term and long-term statewide strategic plans designed to improve health care access, cost, and quality within the next ten years; each strategy should
- include estimates of cost and potential funding sources;
- involve non-traditional stakeholders, including business, philanthropic, faith-based, and other community organizations; and
- promote integration across public and private health care delivery systems; and
- performance measures and accountability mechanisms to provide policy makers with tools to assess the success of the strategic plans over time.
In addition, the council shall convene a health care conference to take public testimony on the issues of health care access, cost, and quality, and to serve as a forum to educate all Alaskans on health care issues.
The council will consist of members appointed by the governor, to serve at the pleasure of the governor. Council members will include representatives of appropriate federal, state, and local governments as well as representatives from the general business community, health care providers, philanthropic agencies, faith-based organizations, and other community leaders. The commissioner of the Department of Health and Social Services, or the commissioner’s designee, shall chair the council. The council may elect other officers as determined necessary.
The Department of Health and Social Services shall provide administrative support for the council. In accordance with law, the Department of Health and Social Services may enter into intergovernmental agreements necessary to accomplish the purposes of this Order.
Council members do not receive compensation as a member of the council. Members of the council who are not state, federal, or local government employees are entitled to per diem and travel expenses in the same manner permitted for members of state boards and commissions. Per diem and travel expenses for members of the council who are a representative of a state or federal agency or local government are the responsibility of that agency or local government.
To reduce costs, the council may use teleconferencing or other electronic means, to the extent practicable, in order to gain the widest public participation at minimum cost.
Meetings of the council shall be conducted, and notice of the meetings and hearings provided, in accordance with AS 44.62.310 and 44.62.320 (Open Meetings of Governmental Bodies).
Records of the council are subject to inspection and copying as public records under AS 40.25.110 – 40.25.220.
This Order takes effect immediately.
DATED at Juneau, Alaska, this 15th day of February, 2007.