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Background Information

Health Facilities Licensing and Certification is a unit in the Division of Health Care Services, Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. Our staff is comprised of health facility surveyors (Registered Nurses and other health professionals) and support staff.

WHAT do we do?

We inspect all health facilities in the state to determine whether they meet state and federal standards, and we investigate complaints made against health facilities and agencies licensed or certified under our program. The purpose of our inspections is to determine a health care provider's ability to give services which are safe and of an acceptable quality.

WHEN do we do it?

We inspect health care providers, according to requirements set by the state and federal government generally once a year, and more often when there are problems. Complaint investigations are prioritized and investigated as necessary.

WHERE do we do it?

We travel throughout Alaska, from Kotzebue to Ketchikan and out on the Aleutian chain.

HOW do we do it?

Our inspections (called surveys) are usually unannounced, and the providers do not typically know in advance when we will arrive. The size of the survey teams varies depending on the size of the facility and complexity of program. Inspections can take from two to five days to complete. Survey tasks include: review of medical records; observations of direct care; interviews with staff, patients and families; review of policies and procedures; and inspection of the building, to name only a few.

WHY do we do it?

State law requires most health facilities to be licensed every two years. In addition, health care providers must comply with federal requirements if they wish to participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Our purpose is to promote and maintain quality health care for all Alaskans.

How to contact us:

Health Facilities Licensing & Certification
4501 Business Park Blvd. Ste. 24, Bldg L
Anchorage, Alaska 99503.
(907)334-2483
(907)334-2682 fax

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