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Alaska Psychiatric Institute
3700 Piper Street
Anchorage, AK 99508-4677
Telephone: (907) 269-7100
Fax: (907) 269-7251

Alaska Psychiatric Institute management and operations


DHSS commissioner takes over management of API


InFebruary 2019, Commissioner Adam Crum assumed management of the Alaska Psychiatric Institute due to the considerable problems that put patients and staff in jeopardy and in light of ongoing investigations by state and federal regulatory authorities. Alaska Statute 47.32.140 gives the commissioner the authority to assume management of a licensed health care entity when there is reasonable cause to believe there’s a danger to the health, safety or welfare of those receiving care from that entity. 
 

Contract for hospital administration services


As part of that change, DHSS contracted with Wellpath Recovery Solutions to immediately step in during Phase 1 and provide administrative leadership at API. That contract originally planned for Wellpath to assume full responsibility for API in Phase 2 if it successfully fulfilled its mission in the first phase. In response to concerns from the community, in April 2019, Phase 2 was removed from Wellpath’s contract by mutual agreement and Phase 1 was extended to Dec. 31, 2019.

The facility is currently managed by State of Alaska employees with Wellpath acting in an advisory and support role to the state’s administrative team. Wellpath is under contract to provide hospital administration services for API through December 31, 2019.

The vendor for Phase 2, which will include long term management and operations of the facility, will be determined through a request for proposals (RFP) process. This step was taken not due to any violations of the procurement process, but rather so Alaskan have trust in their government and know that decisions are being made in the best interest of the safety of our patients and staff. 


Timeline of key dates


July 31, 2019 - Forensic Psychiatric Hospital Feasibility Study report released
April 22, 2019New CEO chosen for API
April 22, 2019Contract with Wellpath amended to remove phase 2 and extend phase 1 through Dec. 31, 2019
April 3, 2019API accreditation renewed by The Joint Commission
March 18, 2019Findings of the Alaska Ombudsman investigation released
Feb. 8, 2019DHSS contracts with Wellpath Recovery Solutions for hospital administration services at API in two phases (stabilization and on-going operations)
Feb. 8, 2019DHSS Commissioner Adam Crum invokes authority under AS 47.32.140 to assume management of API
Jan. 3, 2019CMS notifies of their intent to terminate API’s participation in Medicare and Medicaid
Nov. 30, 2018DHSS contracts with North Star Behavioral Hospital to provide 14 beds for emergency mental health needs
Oct. 13, 2018DHSS Emergency Operations Center activated to respond to psychiatric care capacity emergency
Sept. 12, 2018Dept. of Law and DHSS release findings of independent workplace safety investigation at API
March 8, 2018DHSS requests independent investigation of workplace safety at API

Further details can be found in the documents and information posted on this webpage. Comments and questions regarding these changes may be submitted to api.info@alaska.gov.

The following are non-confidential, public documents that provide further information about the ongoing situation at API.

Documents related to assumption of management


Background Documents


Centers for Medicare and Medicaid –
Statements of Deficiencies and Plan of Correction
Legislative proceedings
Emergency Operations Center Psychiatric Care Capacity Response, October-December 2018
Workplace safety investigation, 2018
Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education consultation reports
Forensic Psychiatric Hospital Feasibility Study

This project was designed to identify challenges facing the forensic psychiatric system and to issue feasible recommendations for improvement to that system.
Other reports & studies
Bargaining union contracts
Certificates of Need

Recent Certificate of Need (CON) activity details for behavioral health or acute psychiatric care services are available online for:
For access to documents not listed here please submit a public records request. 

Many documents provided on this site are formatted to meet specific ADA requirements for accessibility. We are working to ensure that all of the posted files meet these requirements and will update documents once they are available. If you have issues concerning any of these documents you may contact api.info@alaska.gov to get a file that will meet your specific needs.


Health care community support


DHSS recognizes the importance of its collaborations with health care partners across the state, as well as legislators, and appreciates the support that has already been expressed for these actions.
  • Senator David Wilson
  • Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority
  • Jerry Jenkins, Alaska Behavioral Health Association
  • Jeff Jessee, College of Health, University of Alaska Anchorage
  • Julie Taylor, Alaska Regional Hospital
  • Dr. Vanessa Venezia, Fairbanks Memorial Hospital
  • Elke Villegas, Chris Kyle Patriots Hospital, North Star Behavioral Health
  • Dr. Andrew Mayo, Northstar Hospital
  • Roald Helgesen, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium