Department seeks consultant on health care provider tax

The state health department is seeking consulting help to develop a proposal for a health care provider tax in Alaska.

The solicitation is in line with legislation from Gov. Bill Walker to expand and make changes to Alaska’s Medicaid program.

The bill includes a provision calling for the department to submit by late January a proposal to authorize a provider tax “up to the maximum extent allowed by federal law” to help offset Medicaid costs.

In material provided to the House Finance Committee, Walker’s office said Alaska is the only state without a provider tax and that Walker would not propose any tax that results in a loss of medical providers.

The deadline for responses to the solicitation is next Thursday. The budget for the work is estimated at $175,000.