ANCHORAGE, Alaska-Thirteen Alaska long-term-care facilities have received a total of $5.1 million in payments and interest in settlement of a lawsuit filed by the Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association against the state in 1990. The settlement, reached in June, follows a decision by the Alaska State Supreme Court in July 1993, upholding a lower court ruling that Medicaid payment caps imposed by the state violated the Boren amendment to the federal Medicaid Act. The amendment requires states to pay providers "reasonable and adequate" rates (July 26, 1993, p. 34). In the June settlement, payments ranged from a high of $1.1 million, received by South Peninsula Hospital in Homer, Alaska, to $33,090, received by Wrangell (Alaska) General Hospital.
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz.-The board of directors of Flagstaff Medical Center approved a $4.2 million construction project that will include expanding the hospital's lobby and patient registration area, renovating its west campus tower, and remodeling its labor and delivery unit. The hospital's lobby improvements will include a larger seating and patient registration area. The west campus will be updated with a new entrance and refurbished elevators, and temporary administration offices will be put in place. Construction on the project will begin in mid-October and is expected to be completed by January 1996. Flagstaff Medical Center is a subsidiary of Northern Arizona Healthcare.
OLYMPIA, Wash.-The Washington Health Services Commission will hold eight public hearings statewide from Sept. 27 to Oct. 13 seeking comment on rules and policies developed to implement the state's health reform law. Based on public comment, the proposals will be revised and submitted to the state Legislature in December. The commissioners have developed a uniform benefits package that includes modest copayments but has no deductibles or annual or lifetime total dollar limits. Beginning in July, only certified health plans, which must be managed-care systems, may offer the package. A plan must meet certification standards, which cover network adequacy and quality assurance, and may not refuse to enroll anyone within its service area. Enrollees may change plans and primary-care providers once a year.