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Annie Feidt, APRN - Anchorage

afeidt (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  |  907.550.8443 | About Annie

For each hospital in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' analysis, Medicare calculated a preliminary “hospital acquired-condition” score from 1 to 10 (10 is the worst.) Hospitals getting the penalty, will lose 1 percent of each Medicare payment from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30, 2015. This data was analyzed by Kaiser Health News. (Graphic by Josh Edge, APRN - Anchorage)

Medicare Will Penalize Alaska Hospitals For Patient Safety

The four largest hospitals in Alaska are facing Medicare payment penalties for the quality of their care. Providence, Alaska Regional, Alaska Native Medical Center and Fairbanks Memorial are all in the bottom 25% nationally for the number of infections and serious complications patients get in their hospitals, according to data analyzed by Kaiser Health News.

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June 23, 2014

Health Care Broker Enroll Alaska Scales Back

Enroll Alaska is scaling back its business in the state. The division of Northrim Bank launched last year with plans to help tens of thousands Alaskans sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. The company ended up with disappointing results and is now rethinking its strategy.

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June 13, 2014

Report Says 12,000 Alaskans Without Reliable Access To Health Care

When Governor Sean Parnell decided to reject federal Medicaid expansion last fall, he asked for a study detailing the safety net services available to low income Alaskans. That report is out this week and it shows 12,000 Alaskans have no reliable access to health care, particularly specialty care.

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June 11, 2014

State Report Identifies Gaps In Safety Net Care

When Governor Sean Parnell decided to reject federal Medicaid expansion last fall, he asked for a study detailing the safety net services available to low income Alaskans. That report is out this week and it shows 12,000 Alaskans have no reliable access to health care, particularly specialty care.

June 11, 2014

New President At Premera Alaska Will Be Based In Seattle

Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska has a new president. Jim Grazko is replacing Jeff Davis, who held the job for 17 years and is retiring at the end of June. Premera Alaska is the largest health insurer in the state, serving more than 100,000 customers.

May 22, 2014
Anchorage Scientist Studies Ancient Cancer For Clues To Modern Disease

Anchorage Scientist Studies Ancient Cancer For Clues To Modern Disease

Cancer is often described as a modern disease. But the skeletal remains of our ancient ancestors are marked by the ravages of cancer. And an Anchorage scientist- who’s a cancer survivor, thinks those prehistoric bones could hold clues to understanding how the disease works today.

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May 21, 2014

13,000 Alaskans Enrolled With Healthcare.gov

About 13,000 Alaskans signed up for health insurance on healthcare.gov during the open enrollment period that closed March 31st. The two insurers offering plans on the exchange in Alaska shared their enrollment figures today with APRN.

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April 30, 2014

BP Sells Some North Slope Assets To Hilcorp

BP announced Tuesday it’s selling some of its assets on the North Slope. The company will sell to aging oil fields – Endicott and Northstar – to Hilcorp, a company that is developing oil and gas wells in Cook Inlet. Hilcorp will also buy a 50 percent interest in two other fields- Milne Point and Liberty.

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April 22, 2014

The 7.5 Million Obamacare Number Only Part Of The Story

Want to know how many people have signed up for private insurance under Obamacare? Like the law itself, the answer is complicated. The administration is tracking the number of plans purchased on healthcare.gov and on the state exchanges. But the federal government isn’t counting the number of people buying plans directly from insurance carriers.

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April 14, 2014

Alaska’s Health Insurers Call Marketplace Enrollment Figures Disappointing

The Obama administration announced today more than 7 million Americans signed up for health insurance on government run marketplaces by Monday’s enrollment deadline. In Alaska, the final numbers aren’t in yet. The two insurers on the state’s federally run marketplace are reporting they had 7,500 enrollees by mid March.

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April 1, 2014

Health Insurers Brace For Confusion Over Deadline

March 31st is the deadline for signing up for health insurance. And insurance companies in Alaska are bracing for confusion over the deadline. They worry many Alaskans don’t realize they won’t be able to buy health insurance anywhere after that date.

March 28, 2014

Two Alaskans, Two Very Different Affordable Care Act Experiences

The deadline to sign up for health insurance is next Monday, March 31st. To accommodate the last minute rush, the Obama administration announced this week you’ll be able to enroll as long as you begin the process before the end of the month. After that, you won’t be able to buy coverage on healthcare.gov, or anywhere, unless you have a qualifying life event, like getting married or having a child.

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March 26, 2014

Tsunami Debris Clean Up Is Slowed By Huge Volume, Rugged Terrain

The state is planning an aerial survey this spring to figure out how much new debris from the 2011 Japanese tsunami has arrived on Alaska’s shores. Environmental groups spent much of last summer cleaning up debris. But the state’s vast and rugged coastline has made it a slow and costly project.

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March 19, 2014

With Deadline Approaching, More Alaskans Signing Up For Health Insurance

Alaskans working to sign people up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act say they’re seeing a big increase in enrollments this month. The boost comes as the March 31st open enrollment deadline approaches.

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March 18, 2014

SHARP-II Program Under Fire

A State House committee has eliminated funding for a state program that helps medical professionals repay their student loans if they serve poor or rural patients. It’s called the SHARP-II program and clinics say it’s an essential tool to convince physicians and other medical professionals to care for patients in under-served communities.

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March 12, 2014

Employers Struggle With Ballooning Cost Of Workers’ Comp Medical Bills

Employers in Alaska pay the highest workers compensation premiums in the country. And most of that cost goes toward medical claims. The Alaska State Chamber of Commerce has for several years, made reforming the system one of its legislative priorities. And this year, at least one state lawmaker is working on legislation to help control workers compensation costs.

February 18, 2014
Iditarod to Start in Willow, Not Fairbanks

Iditarod to Start in Willow, Not Fairbanks

The Iditarod Sled Dog race will start from Willow as planned. The Iditarod Trail Committee has been weighing moving the race start to Fairbanks in the last week because of low snow and icy conditions on the 65 miles of trail between Willow and Skwentna.

February 17, 2014

5,000 Alaskans Sign Up On Healthcare.gov

More than five thousand Alaskans have signed up for health insurance on the federal marketplace. The new numbers released today include enrollments through the beginning of the month and show a 30% jump since the end of the December.

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February 12, 2014

U.S. Ski Team’s Winning Formula Includes Plenty Of Fun

On the Cross Country Skiing World Cup scene, the U-S Women are known as the team that has the most fun. And you can bet they’ll have more glitter, face paint and fancy socks than any other Olympic team in Sochi. The accessories may seem silly, but they’ve also become an important element in the phenomenal success of the team.

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February 5, 2014
Photo courtesy of APU.

APU Coach Finds His Own Recipe For International Success

Most Alaskans know who Olympic skier Kikkan Randall is. But can you name her Alaskan Pacific University coach? His name is Erik Flora. He’s a workaholic who is enthusiastic, passionate and motivated. And he deserves more than a little credit for the dramatic turn around the U.S. cross country ski team has managed in the last decade.

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February 4, 2014