February 24, 2021 (Juneau, AK) – To address the high cost of health care in Alaska, today Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy introduced legislation establishing an All-Payer Claims Database (APCD) to allow the State to collect health care payment data from insurers and providers. The database is one of the first steps to understanding the cost of health care as recommended by the Alaska Health Care Transformation Project; a bipartisan group of Alaskan employers and health care providers.
“Providing transparency in Alaska’s health care system is the first step towards stabilizing and reducing the cost of health care in Alaska,” said Governor Mike Dunleavy. “I am committed to effecting positive change in our health care system; this includes extending efforts to employers, individuals, and other payers to understand costs. This legislation is an important step as we begin to rebuild Alaska’s economy following the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Currently twenty states have adopted APCD legislation, including Washington, Oregon, West Virginia, and Arkansas. Efforts to improve price transparency are also occurring at the federal level through the Transparency in Coverage Final Rule and the No Surprises Act, which includes federal funding and uniform standards for establishing state APCDs.
“Alaska has among the highest cost of health care in the nation,” said Lori Wing-Heier, Director of the Division of Insurance. “The cost is detrimental to individuals and employers, regardless of how their health care is funded. An APCD will allow us, for the first time, the ability to collect health care cost data from multiple payers across the state. We can’t afford to wait and be the 50th state to have an APCD, to begin this important work.”
As proposed, the bill (SB 93, HB 113) would mandate insurers and providers to disclose cost information, while data would be collected voluntarily from other entities such as self-funded payers (e.g., AlaskaCare and health care trusts). The APCD would be established within the Division of Insurance.