Legislation Signed Into Law
|Primary Focus||Mandated Benefit-Telehealth|
|Title/Description||Medical Assistance Supervision|
This law allows for the requirement that behavioral health clinic services be provided under Medicaid be done by or under the direct supervision of a qualified physician either in person or by a communication device. Additionally, the law defines “direct supervision” for purposes of such services.
|Effective Date||November 27, 2018|
Enacted through S.B. 169
|Primary Focus||Mandated Benefit-Provider|
|Title/Description||Licensure of Marital and Family Therapists|
This law allows marital and family therapists to be eligible for optional Medicaid coverage. Additionally, the law requires the Department of Health and Social Services prepare a report that describes the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of the coverage of marital and family therapy.
|Effective Date||January 1, 2019|
Enacted through S.B. 105
|Primary Focus||Provider Guidelines for Opioid Prescribing|
|Title/Description||Title 8: Business and Professions Licensing Requirements|
|Citation||AK Stat § Title 8|
This amendment to the Alaska’s medical licensing provisions limits for an initial opioid prescription to four or seven days depending on the clinical indicators and guidelines. Dentists, physicians, and other providers are subject to annual training requirements on pain management as well. The goal of the amendment is to follow the federal CDC guidelines state that a three-day initial prescription of an opioid is sufficient for most cases of acute pain. The amendments do allow practitioners to use their professional judgment in each case and not interpret the seven-day limit as a direction to prescribe the full seven days or the four-day limit as a direction to prescribe the full four days.
|Effective Date||Amendment effective on July 25, 2017|
The Department of Health and Social Services and the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development may adopt regulations necessary to implement the changes made by this Act. The regulations take effect under AS 44.62 (Administrative Procedure Act). Amended by 2017 AK H 159.
|Primary Focus||Promoting Evidence-Based Mental Health Services & Telehealth|
|Title/Description||Medical Assistance Reform Program|
|Citation||AK Stat § 47.05.270 (2017)|
The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services shall, in coordination with the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority, efficiently manage a comprehensive and integrated behavioral health program that uses evidence-based, data-driven practices to achieve positive outcomes for people with mental health or substance abuse disorders and children with severe emotional disturbances. The program shall include:
|Effective Date||Amendment adopted June 21, 2016. No effective date listed (assume upon enactment).|
|Notes||These provisions update the Alaska’s Social Welfare Code Title 47.|
|Primary Focus||Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder State Fund|
|Title/Description||Section 56. Use of Money in the Mental Health Trust Settlement Income Account.|
|Citation||AK Stat § 47.30.056|
This law established an integrated comprehensive mental health program. Specifically, the mental health trust settlement income account funds a wide range of mental health and substance abuse disorder services for Alaska residents. Among other obligations, the fund shall provide for a reasonable level of necessary services who are mentally ill, including:
The law defines an “integrated comprehensive mental health program” with specific types of coverages including emergency care on a 24-hour services, inpatient care, prescriptions and medication monitoring, substance use services, care management, daily living skills training and other designated services.
|Effective Date||Original date 1994; amendment adopted May 4, 2016. No effective date listed (assume upon enactment).|
The funds allocated to the mental health trust settlement income account established in AS 37.14.036 shall be used as provided in AS 37.14.041. The last amendment was May 4, 2016, which required the Governor’s Council on Disabilities and Special Education to make recommendations regarding the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority regarding integrated comprehensive mental health program for Alaska residents. This law was initially enacted in 1994 and includes some outdated language in terms of how MH/SUD conditions are described.
|Status||Signed into law 6/2016|
This bill amends the section of state insurance law so that individual and group insurers must provide coverage for mental health benefits provided through telehealth by a licensed provider and prohibits any requirement of in-person contact between the beneficiary and the provider before the payment is made.
|Sponsor||Many (click on linked bill number to see the sponsors)|
|Status||Became law 6/2012|
In addition to creating an autism task force in the Alaska State Legislature, this bill created the section of the state insurance law about autism coverage (that section is summarized at the bottom of this page under “Alaska Parity Law”, “Autism Coverage”).
- Alaska Insurance Division