Sign In
Skip to content
Help us improve our website by providing your valuable feedback

Medicaid Providers and Licensed or Certified Health Facilities

On April 2, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approved more than 100 section 1135 and blanket waiver flexibilities. The Department of Health subsequently relaxed or suspended multiple Alaska state facility licensing requirements to ensure the availability and sufficiency of health care services in Alaska. On February 11, 2023, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced that the COVID-19 public health emergency and all related flexibilities would expire on May 11, 2023.

The following documents identify all flexibilities that are being terminated and the licensed health facility types that are impacted by each termination.
Visit Previous COVID News to view all notices issued during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Highlighted flexibilities that will end on May 11, 2023 (end of PHE):


  • Medicaid Pharmacy Prior Authorization Requirements
    Throughout the COVID-19 public health emergency, Medicaid pharmacy prior authorizations were automatically renewed to ensure continuity of care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Effective May 11, 2023, pharmacy prior authorizations will resume under pre-COVID requirements (see Medication Prior Authorization). To reduce the burden on providers, the Medicaid Pharmacy team will deploy a 12-month staggered approach to ending automatic renewals and reinstating prior authorization requirements. During the one-year phase-in, providers will be notified via fax 30 days before a prior authorization is set to expire. This advance notice will give providers ample time to complete prior authorizations before the Medicaid recipient is due for their next prescription refill.

  • Allowable Days Dispensing of Medication
    During the COVID-19 public health emergency, the Medicaid allowable days dispensing limit for medications was increased from 34-day supply to 68-day supply. Effective May 11, 2023, with the exception of drugs identified on the 90-day list, dispensing will return to the pre-COVID 34-day limit. Because this flexibility was utilized only minimally, the impact is anticipated to be negligible.

  • COVID-19 Telehealth Flexibilities Continue
    Following consultation with the Alaska Department of Law, the Department of Health is pleased to announce that, consistent with HB 265 which was enacted in 2022, telehealth flexibilities will continue beyond May 11, 2023. Recently proposed telehealth regulations, if filed, will make many of these flexibilities permanent. To subscribe to receive updates on this and other Department of Health proposed regulations, go to Alaska Online Public Notices, scroll to the bottom, and under “Subscriptions” select “all notices” (RSS or email) or “search now.” Step-by-step instructions on how to subscribe are also available.

Health Facilities-Related

  • Waiver of patient visitation rights, facility documentation of visitation policy/procedures requirement
    During the COVID-19 public health emergency, flexibilities to waive visitation rights were allowed to reduce the spread of COVID-19 to vulnerable Alaskans. Effective May 11, 2023, the waived patient visitation rights will return to the pre-COVID status.

  • Waiver of EMTALA requirements
    During the COVID-19 public health emergency, flexibilities to waive EMTALA requirements allowed facilities to triage and review patients outside of the emergency room in efforts to reduce the number of patients congregating. Effective May 11, 2023, all facilities will implement EMTALA regulations as they were pre-COVID.

  • Flexibility to expand temporary locations
    During the COVID-19 public health emergency, flexibilities to expand non-traditional areas to patient care areas were implemented to absorb overflow of admissions due to the Coronavirus. Effective May 11, 2023, the expanded temporary locations will no longer be authorized as expanded patient care areas.