News from the Alaska State Legislature, the Office of Senator Wilson
For Immediate Release: August 06, 2018
New Alaska Law Improves Behavioral Healthcare, Saves Money
ANCHORAGE – Today, a bill to increase Alaskans’ access to affordable behavioral healthcare and save state dollars was signed into law.
SB 105, sponsored by Sen. David Wilson (R-Wasilla), adds licensed marital and family therapists to the list of independent licensed practitioners in Alaska to address the shortage of Medicaid-eligible behavior health care providers.
The bill expands behavioral health treatment options for Medicaid clients in a clinical setting as opposed to a crisis emergency room setting. Treating Medicaid patients in a clinical setting is much less costly than what the state currently pays for emergency room visits. Expanded treatment options should reduce the cost of the state’s Medicaid program.
“SB 105 will increase the number of behavioral health providers in Alaska, give more affordable options to patients, and improve behavioral healthcare,” said Sen. Wilson.
Behavioral health therapy treatment addresses a patient’s mental health disorders, including substance abuse, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorders, anger issues, and other conditions.
Currently, licensed marital and family therapists are only allowed to provide services in community health clinics or physician mental health clinics, which limits the number of willing providers. SB 105 expands medical assistance reimbursement services to cover those services provided by independent marital and family therapists directly.
The bill received the support of the Alaska Board of Marital and Family Therapy, the Mat-Su Health Foundation, the Primary Care Association, and emergency room physicians.
For more information, contact Senate Majority Press Secretary Daniel McDonald at (907) 269-0147.
News & Videos more >
JUNEAU – Anchorage Senator Chris Birch passed away on Wednesday. He was 68 years old.
JUNEAU – The Alaska Senate today voted to restore funding for programs critical to Alaskans and provide for a sustainable Permanent Fund dividend amount.
Today, Governor Mike Dunleavy amended his call for the Second Special Session to include the unfinished capital budget appropriations bill and to change the session location from...
This week, the clock ran out on the Alaska Legislature's constitutional opportunity to reject Gov. Mike Dunleavy's $444 million in budget vetoes through an override vote supported by...
Joint floor session scheduled for 11:30a.m. in the Alaska State Capitol
ANCHORAGE – Senate President Cathy Giessel, R-Anchorage, today released the following statement on Governor Mike Dunleavy’s announced vetoes to the state’s operating budget....
JUNEAU – The Alaska Legislature announced today it will convene in Juneau on July 8th for the 2nd special session, with the majority of meetings to be held in Anchorage....
JUNEAU – Senate President Cathy Giessel, R-Anchorage, today released the following statement on the conclusion of the first special session of the 31st Alaska Legislature....
JUNEAU – With about three weeks remaining in the 2019 fiscal year, the Dunleavy administration this week distributed a one-time $20 million grant appropriated last year by the Alaska...
Find your Senator full map
- Chugiak/Peters Creek
- Eagle River
- Jewel Lake, Kincaid, Turnagain, Lake Hood, Sand Lake, Spenard, Dimond, Campbell Lake
- Midtown, Dimond, Huffman, Klatt, Southport, Bayshore, Oceanview
- Huffman, O'Malley, Abbott, Loop, Independence Park, East Dowling
- Northeast Anchorage, Anchorage Hillside, Indian, Bird, Girdwood and Portage
- Downtown, Airport Heights, Fairview, Government Hill, Mountain View, Russian Jack, South Addition
- Spenard, Midtown, UMed
- Muldoon, JBER, College Gate, Nunaka Valley, Wonder Park
- Palmer, Butte, Eklutna, Fairview, Lazy Mountain Knik, Gateway
- Wasilla, Meadow Lakes, Knik Big Lake, Point MacKenzie, Goose Bay, North Fairview
- Mat-Su, Delta Junction, Valdez, Copper River Valley, Talkeetna, Valdez
- North Pole, Farmers Loop
- UAF & University West, Chena Ridge, Kenny Lake, Tok, Copper Center & Tanana
- Adak, Bethel, Cold Bay, Cantwell, King Cove, Nenana, Hooper Bay, Sand Point & Unalaska
- Barrow, Nome, Kotzebue, Northeast + Northwest Alaska