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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Oct. 17, 2007

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


Wilda Laughlin, (907) 465-1613, cell (907) 723-3802

Members named to Certificate of Need program reform committee

Committee to meet starting late October

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( Juneau, AK) — Health and Social Services Commissioner Karleen Jackson today named 21 individuals to work on a committee charged with finding solutions and coming to consensus on a comprehensive package of Certificate of Need program reforms, including new regulations. Jackson appointed the following to serve on the committee, which will issue a final report by Jan. 7, 2008:

Representing the interests of diagnostic imaging businesses:

Ward Hinger, Administrator, Diagnostic Health of Anchorage

Jeff Kinion, CEO, Alaska Open Imaging Center, Wasilla

Robert Bridges, MD, Aurora Diagnostic Imaging, Fairbanks

Chakri Inampudi, MD, President, Alaska Radiology Associates, Anchorage

Bradley K. Cruz, M.D., Alaska Imaging Associates, LLC, Anchorage

Representing the interests of hospital facilities:

Shawn Morrow, CEO, Bartlett Regional Hospital, Juneau

James Shill, CEO, NorthStar Behavioral Health Systems, Anchorage

Edward Lamb, CEO, Alaska Regional Hospital, Anchorage

E. Al Parrish, CEO/VP, Providence Health Systems, Anchorage

Mike Powers, CEO, Fairbanks Memorial Hospital and Denali Center, Fairbanks

Norman Stephens, CEO, Mat-Su Regional Medical Center, Palmer

Ryan K. Smith, CEO, Central Peninsula Hospital, Soldotna

Representing the interests of private physician groups:

Creed Marnikunian, M.D. Geneva Woods Surgical, Anchorage

Baxter Burton, CEO, Alaska Heart Institute, Anchorage

Gerald L. Nicholson, Administrator, Katmai Oncology Group, Anchorage

Jeremy Hayes, Administrator, Advanced Medical Centers of Alaska, Anchorage

Bruce Jayne, Administrator, Alaska Surgery Center, Anchorage

Representing the interests of all physicians:

J. Ross Tanner, DO, President, Alaska State Medical Association

Representing the interests of hospital and nursing facilities:

Rod Betit, President/CEO, Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Association

Representing the interests Tribal health providers:

Victor Joseph, Health Director, Tanana Chiefs Conference Health Services

Representing the interests of the State of Alaska:

Jay Butler, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health and Social Services

DHSS sought people affiliated with a health-care facility and health-care providers — including physicians in individual or group practices — to serve on the committee.

The department has also issued a request for proposal to seek an individual to serve as a facilitator/negotiator for the negotiated regulation making process (detailed in AS 44.62.710 – 800). The facilitator will conduct a series of public meetings with the committee members who have competing interests and perspectives, with the objective of reaching a reasonable consensus that can be presented to the DHSS commissioner. The commissioner will consider the recommendations in the final report to develop and implement regulations and to prepare legislation, if necessary.

The committee will hold meetings in Anchorage, tentatively set for Oct. 29-30, Nov. 13-14, Nov. 20, and Dec. 3, 2007. For those who want to listen to or view the meetings, the meetings will be video- teleconferenced in Fairbanks and Juneau, and a teleconference number will be available for the public as well. The locations and telephone number will be publicized and posted on the DHSS Public Notice site prior to the meetings starting at http://www.hss.state.ak.us/publicnotice/ .

The department’s Certificate of Need program reviews applications by health care providers on facility projects, and evaluates such factors as service development, rational health planning, health-care quality, access to health care, and health-care cost containment. A wide divergence of opinion among health care providers exists on the effectiveness of the program.

The current Certificate of Need statute and regulations and the statute governing the negotiated regulation making process are available at: http://www.hss.state.ak.us/commissioner/Healthplanning/cert_of_need/law/default.htm .

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