Alaska Native Medical Center working on answers to federal governance questions

Expects to submit response this week
Alaska Native Medical Center working on answers to federal governance questions
Published: Jul. 17, 2023 at 3:32 PM AKDT|Updated: Jul. 18, 2023 at 2:37 PM AKDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium and Southcentral Foundation say in a press release that they are working together to fix problems found by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services “collaboratively and swiftly.”

ANTHC lost its “deemed status” on July 12. Deemed status means a medical facility is accredited and can bill the federal government for Medicare services. At this stage, however, despite losing that status, ANTHC is allowed to continue to treat Medicare patients and receive federal funding for those services.

The ANTHC statement says the issues have nothing to do with the quality of care patients are receiving; rather, it says in the statement that “governance issues” are the reason for the federal action.

The institution must submit a corrective plan and says that the plan will be delivered to the federal government this week.

The Alaska Native Medical Center is a 172-bed facility in Anchorage and is the largest and most comprehensive hospital in the Alaska Tribal Health System.

As a result of the federal action, the Alaska Health Facilities and Licensing unit will step in to conduct a follow-up to confirm compliance with regulatory requirements and that the center’s accreditation could potentially be in question.

A medical center spokesperson, when asked in an email what would happen if the new action plan is not approved, wrote that the center is “confident this issue will be resolved and will not speculate on hypothetical scenarios.”

In a letter from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, it stated that “a survey conducted by Healthcare Management Solutions LLC (HMS) at Alaska Native Medical Center on June 23, 2023, found that the facility was not in substantial compliance” with the following Medicare Conditions of Participation for hospitals.

  • Fed - A - 0043 - 482.12 - Governing Body
  • Fed - A - 1100 - 482.55 - Emergency Services

The center wrote that the consortium’s deemed status was removed effective July 12, and that “survey jurisdiction has been transferred” to the Alaska Health Facilities and Licensing.

The letter said that when a hospital is out of compliance with the Conditions of Participation, officials are required to report that the facility no longer meets the requirements in providing or supplying services in the Medicare program.

“Such a determination has been made in the case of Alaska Native Medical Center and accordingly, the Medicare agreement between Alaska Native Medical Center and CMS is being terminated,” the letter read.

ANTHC has until early October 2023 to work out the problem.

Alaska’s News Source requested the full report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services, but has not yet received those documents.

This story has been updated with additional information