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Alaska Legislature

Dunleavy signs bill lowering rates for Pioneer Homes

JUNEAU — Gov. Mike Dunleavy has signed legislation that would undo rate increases for state-supported elder-care facilities implemented last year by his administration.

The state last year expanded from three to five the levels of care offered at its Pioneer Homes and raised rates between 40% and nearly 140%, to levels that officials said were more in line with the cost to provide services.

In March, the Legislature passed a bill reducing prices for the first four levels and allowing for inflationary increases. The bill allows Alaska's health department to set a monthly rate it deems sufficient to compensate the state for care and support for residents receiving the most comprehensive level. The cost for that tier currently is $15,000 a month.

The state health department, in a fiscal analysis, said the bill sets rates that are an average of 26% less than the costs of providing services.

Dunleavy spokesman Jeff Turner said the governor’s office had nothing to add beyond confirming Dunleavy had signed the bill.

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