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Juneau, Alaska – The Alaska Legislature Thursday, with a unanimous vote in the Alaska Senate, passed legislation designed to save the state money when it comes to paying for durable medical equipment, such as canes, wheelchairs, chair lifts, or crutches.
House Bill 161, by Representative Lynn Gattis, states that when the Department of Health and Social Services authorizes the purchase of durable medical equipment it may require a recipient of Medicaid to purchase it used or refurbished if available, less expensive, is the same type, able to withstand at least three years of use and equally meets the needs of the recipient. Under current regulations, the department only purchases new durable medical equipment.
“This is a cost-saving bill and a small, but important reform to our Medicaid system,” Gattis, R-Wasilla, said. “We are working diligently on major and minor reforms to our current Medicaid system, and in today’s financial times this is simply a bill that makes sense.”
One company in Alaska that loans out used medical equipment saved individuals approximately $500,000 in 2014.
HB 161, which passed both bodies unanimously, now goes to the governor for signature. The bill takes effect immediately once signed.