A health-care billing ordinance comes back to the Ketchikan City Council this week for a second and perhaps final vote.
The council approved the billing-transparency measure in first reading on March 15th. Since then, city officials have gathered community input through letters, emails and a public forum.
Some of that input was critical of the ordinance, others support it. Most of the negative comments came from health-care businesses in town that would be directly affected.
Dentist George Shaffer notes in his letter to the council that most billing complaints are connected to PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center. He suggests that the city instead build something into its lease agreement with PeaceHealth to resolve the problem, rather than enacting a law that applies to all health-care businesses.
The city owns the hospital building, which PeaceHealth manages.
The item is on Thursday’s agenda for a second reading. If the council chooses to make substantial changes to the ordinance, it could come back for a third vote before it’s adopted.
Also on Thursday’s agenda is an executive session to discuss the city’s lease renewal with PeaceHealth.
In other matters, the Council will consider proposed community agency grants for this year, totaling $377,000. That’s based on a percentage of sales tax revenue.
Sixteen local nonprofit agencies are listed as grant recipients. They include homeless services, agencies that work with youth, and arts organizations.
Also Thursday, the council will consider protesting a liquor license renewal for Creek Street Cabaret. According to information in the meeting packet, the business owners are delinquent on personal and business property taxes, totaling about $13,000.
Thursday’s council meeting starts at 7 p.m. in City Council chambers. Public comment will be heard at the start of the meeting.