Skip to content
Health Care Services

Section of Residential Licensing & the Background Check Programs 

2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

DHSS is closely monitoring an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus. Learn more about 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and how it may affect your facility. 

Residential Care Facility Admissions
Please refer to COVID-19 Guidance for Long-Term Care, Assisted Living, and Residential Facilities and other resources for residential care facilities available at COVID-19: Specific Groups.
  • New icon 9/3 - Governor's Office Issues Updated COVID-19 FAQs
    The Governor's Office has updated its COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions. Updates include information for those who, because of a disability, cannot safely wear a mask.

  • 8/7 - Clarification on Recent Notices to Providers from Visit Healthcare
    Providers throughout Anchorage have reported receiving notices from a company called Visit Healthcare that states “Alaska has hired Visit to assist with COVID testing across Anchorage” and that that Visit Healthcare would soon begin testing of staff and residents of Assisted Living Homes.

    Visit Healthcare has a contract with the Municipality of Anchorage (MoA) to do COVID testing.   Visit Healthcare has not been hired by DHSS nor any State of Alaska department or office. COVID-19 testing conducted by Visit Healthcare is not required by or reimbursable by the State of Alaska. The State of Alaska supports the MoA’s efforts to provide access to additional testing options for its residents. If you have questions about COVID-19 testing done by Visit Healthcare, please contact the MoA Health Department at (907) 343-6718 or or visit the Municipality of Anchorage for more COVID-19 testing information.

  • 6/30 - Reopening Guidance for Congregate Residential Settings
    On June 30, 2020, the Department of Health and Social Services released reopening congregate residential settings guidelines for providers to use in making reopening decisions.

  • 5/21 - Health Mandates Remain in Effect

  • 5/1 - Interim Guidance on SARS-CoV-2 Testing for Asymptomatic Residents Being Admitted to Congregate Living Facilities
    The Division of Public Health’s Section of Epidemiology released guidance for administrators and health care providers affiliated with congregate living facilities (e.g., skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, residential treatment facilities) that serve persons who typically remain at the facility for a sustained period of at least 14 days.
  • Please check back frequently for new information and important updates.
    Please call your licensing specialist if you have any questions.

    Updated 9/3/2020

The mission of Certification and Licensing is to protect and reduce the risk to the health, safety, and exploitation of Alaska's most vulnerable citizens being served, and to ensure that there is public confidence in the health care and community service delivery systems through regulatory, enforcement, and educational activities. This is accomplished by:

  • conducting inspections of adult and children's residential facilities to ensure compliance with state licensing requirements;
  • receiving and investigating complaints involving resident physical, mental, and sexual abuse, financial exploitation, and safety/sanitation concerns;
  • providing facilities with a notice of violation, when necessary, and take appropriate action when facilities fail to come into compliance with state or federal law;
  • ensuring a process where all service providers with direct client access have a background check.

The Consumer Protection Unit of the Alaska Attorney General’s Office warns Alaskans that a new health care scam is on the rise and may be coming to Alaska. The Division of Insurance has received reports of groups going to senior living communities, assisted living facilities, senior centers and RV/trailer parks offering to swab the cheeks of seniors for genetic material. The scammers are saying the swabs are to perform tests of DNA for cancer or Alzheimer’s disease.

If a non-cancer patient provides material for genetic testing under the pretense that the test would be covered by Medicare, this may be a scam or fraud. Be alert if anyone asking to swab your cheeks requests that you agree to be billed for services in the event Medicare does not pay.

Medicare has different guidelines regarding the testing of genetic material in patients depending on whether or not they have been diagnosed with cancer. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) requirements must be met in order for such testing to be paid for by Medicare. Disreputable, roving “testers” may be committing Medicare fraud or trying to rip you off if Medicare does not pay.

Do not give your Medicare number to anyone who contacts you unexpectedly. Theft of your Medicare number is a common form of identity theft and it may be used to commit fraud. Guard your Medicare number as you would your social security number.

If there are any questions, please contact the Consumer Protection Unit Staff at (907) 269-5208 or contact