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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Oct. 8, 2007

Contact: Ross Soboleff, (907) 465-1611, cell (907) 321-3838


Sherry Hill, (907) 465-1618, cell (907) 321-2838

State adopts emergency regulations for project to help FAS children

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( Juneau , AK ) — The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services adopted emergency regulations on Oct. 5, 2007 to launch a demonstration project that allows Medicaid payment for special services for youth (14-20) with a severe emotional disturbance who are also diagnosed with or suspected to have a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).

“Through this demonstration project, children with severe FASD can live in their own communities, and receive the services they need,” Commissioner of Health and Social Services Karleen K. Jackson said. “Up until now, these children had to leave home and live in residential psychiatric treatment centers. This program will bring them home and keep them home.”

The services are designed to address the unique needs of youth with an FASD and are intended to allow a youth, who otherwise would have to live away from home at a residential psychiatric treatment center, to live and work in his or her own community. Provider and family training for initial participants is being held Oct. 8–12 in Anchorage .

The emergency regulations took effect Oct. 5, 2007. The Department of Health and Social Services intends to make the emergency regulations permanent.

Interested individuals may comment on the permanent regulation changes, including the potential cost of complying with the changes, by submitting written comments to Kevin Henderson, Office of the Commissioner, P.O. Box 110601 , Juneau , AK , 99811 , kevin.henderson@alaska.gov . All written comments must be received no later than 5 p.m. on Nov. 21, 2007.

A public information session is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2007, 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Immediately following the information session; the department will conduct a public hearing from 10:30 a.m. to noon. The information session and the public hearing will occur in the large conference room, Anchorage Legislative Information Office and will be teleconferenced. Those interested may participate at local Legislative Information Offices throughout the state.

For a copy of the emergency regulation changes, contact Kevin Henderson at Office of the Commissioner, P.O. Box 110601 , Juneau , AK , 99811 , kevin.henderson@alaska.gov , or go to the Health and Social Services public notice Web site at: http://www.hss.state.ak.us/publicnotice/regulations.cfm .

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