SUMMARY OF: A Sunset Review on the Department of Health and Social Services, Alaska Health Care Commission, May 6, 2013

Purpose of the Report

In accordance with Title 24 and Title 44 of the Alaska Statutes (sunset legislation), we have reviewed the activities of the Alaska Health Care Commission (commission). The purpose of this audit was to determine if there is a demonstrated public need for its continued existence and if it has been operating in an effective manner. As required by AS 44.66.050(a), this report shall be considered by the committee of reference during the legislative oversight process in determining whether the commission should be reestablished. Currently, under AS 44.66.010(a)(9), the commission will terminate on June 30, 2014, and will have one year from that date to conclude its administrative operations.

Report Conclusions

Overall, the commission is operating in the public’s interest, but improvements in the development of a statewide health plan are needed to justify its continued existence. Without a statewide health plan, the actions of the commission may not effectively impact health care in Alaska. (See Recommendation No 1.) Deficiencies related to public notices and annual reports were also noted. (See Recommendation Nos. 2 and 3.)

We recommend the commission’s termination date be extended three years to June 30, 2017, to provide adequate time to develop a statewide health plan.

Findings and Recommendations

  1. The commission should coordinate with DHSS’ commissioner to identify each agency’s roles and responsibilities regarding developing a statewide health plan and pursue development accordingly.
  2. The commission chair should implement a policy to utilize DHSS public noticing procedures for commission meetings.
  3. The commission chair should implement procedures to ensure annual reports include all statutorily required components.