Behavioral Health Committee

Psychiatric Care Capacity Response – State Emergency Operations Center

ASHNHA is serving as the point of contact for hospitals and nursing homes for the response.

ASHNHA will be facilitating the exchange of information between ASHNHA members and the tactical workgroups focused on eight areas. To provide input or ask questions email contact Becky Hultberg.


Psychiatric Care Capacity Response Situation Reports

10-13-18 Situation report   

Incident Action Plans

IAP Quick Start 10-15-18 

Tactics Group Incident Objectives

To be provided when available

Situation Summary

On October 6, 2018, the Alaska Psychiatric Institute (API) notified external partners that they were at capacity and could no longer accept psychiatric patients due to high patient acuity, workforce shortages, and increased staff injury rates. In response to API capacity issues, hospital emergency rooms holding psychiatric patients and public safety concerns, DHSS activated the DHSS Emergency Operations Center (EOC) on October 13, 2018.

The main objectives are to maintain health and safety of staff, patients and the public; reduce the pressure on the point of entry system; provide timely and accurate information to the public regarding the State response.

Eight incident objectives (immediate) have been defined with work groups assigned to develop strategies and tactics. The eight objectives are:

  1. Expedite review of the RFP substance use disorder services expansion proposal.
  2. Medicaid emergency room boarding payment
  3. DSH emergency regulations
  4. API staffing
  5. Crisis stabilization center (Anchorage)
  6. Media communications plan
  7. North Star behavioral health system
  8. Access to patient care plans in emergency departments


Other resources:

Emergency Mental Health Services Utilization Project Report

Alaska Statutes Related to Behavioral Health