Alaska | 50 states of population health

JULIE TAYLOR. CEO of Alaska Regional Hospital (Anchorage)

On the top challenge

"One of the most pressing healthcare concerns facing our community is accessing affordable healthcare. According to experts, healthcare costs in Alaska are among the highest in the nation. Reasons for this are complex and varied, including the issue that only about 30 percent of our state's population has commercial insurance that is not either a federal or state insurance plan. This has created small risk pools of patients, which in turn has driven up the cost of premiums."

On the hospital's response

"We provide dedicated financial counselors who actively assist patients in understanding how their insurance works regarding copayment and deductibles, and who work to identify discounts and charity programs for which patients may be eligible. We also run two primary clinics in our local area who welcome Medicare and Medicaid patients. In fact, we acquired one of these — a senior clinic — four years ago. It was heavily subsidized by the state of Alaska at the time, and was at risk of closure."


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