Alaska's Department of Health and Social Services said it will not rule on any certificate-of-need applications until it approves new standards and regulations for the program, an effort likely to be completed by late June 2005. The state is updating its regulations to include residential psychiatric treatment centers, which were brought into the CON program under new legislation this year. Alaska health officials expect an influx of new residential treatment centers as the state moves to treat more mental-health patients in-state. Alaska's Medicaid program spent more than $40 million in fiscal 2003 for minors in residential treatment, most of it to send hundreds of children and teenagers to centers outside the state. -- by Laura B. Benko
Alaska to hold off on CONs while revising standards
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