“My mom has a home health care business and an assisted living home. We work with a lot of people with dementia and Alzheimer’s –- it can be hard for our employees emotionally. We have a lot of turnover.”
“Without Medicaid we would just be kicking these people out into the street. It just doesn’t feel right."
- Josh, Anchorage
The Trust has long served as an “incubator” for innovation, often providing the necessary seed money so new or evolving programs will bring about necessary change. Once that has been accomplished, the Trust shifts its focus and limited funding to other important needs in order to make additional improvements to the state’s comprehensive mental health program. In keeping with this proven formula, the Trust provided the transitional funding necessary to support the essential administrative infrastructure for Medicaid expansion enrollment. This resulted in a $1.6 million grant to the State of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services for the administrative costs to implement Medicaid expansion. Today more than 40,000 Alaskans have enrolled and are receiving care due to Medicaid expansion.
Additionally, working with the Legislature, administration, and many other partners, the Trust recognized the need to reform the Medicaid system to better serve Alaskans and create a sustainable continuum of integrated are for beneficiaries to achieve optimal wellness and control costs over time. When Senate Bill 74, the omnibus healthcare and Medicaid reform bill passed the Alaska Legislature and was signed into law in 2016, trustees approved $10 million in multi-year funding for the start-up costs of Medicaid reform.
Behavioral health redesign and reform is part of the larger Medicaid reform initiative aimed at improving access to behavioral health care, enhancing quality of care and managing costs for the well-being of all Alaskans. The goal is a redesigned and enhanced system of behavioral health services that fully encompasses health promotion, prevention, early intervention, appropriate treatment and the services and necessary supports to sustain a person in recovery.
Goals + Strategies
Katie Baldwin Johnson, Senior Program Officer