In Alaska Spine Center, LLC v. Mat-Su Valley Medical Center, LLC, the supreme court held that the common usage of the term “same community” applies for the purposes of the statutory exemption allowing ambulatory surgical facilities to relocate within the same community without obtaining a certificate of need from the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. The Department of Health and Social Services granted Alaska Spine Center a statutory exemption from filing the certificate of need (CON) typically required to begin construction of a new ambulatory surgical facility. It found that the relocation from Anchorage to Wasilla would be a relocation within the “same community” as required in the exemption. Mat-Su Medical filed suit in superior court, and the superior court grated Mat-Su Medical’s motion for summary judgment, holding that Anchorage and Wasilla are not the same community. Alaska Spine Center appealed, arguing that community should be defined as the service area of the facility based on the CON program. The supreme court affirmed the lower court’s decision, holding that Anchorage and Wasilla are not in the “same community” under the common usage of the term. The court reasoned that the phrase did not require any statutory definition or construction, and that the legislative history and purpose did not suggest any meaning other than the plain language. The court noted distinctions between Anchorage and the Matanuska-Susitna Borough in finding that they are different communities, including geographic distance and separate government entities. Additionally, the court reasoned that prior eligible exemptions were for relocations in the same municipality. Affirming the lower court’s decision, the supreme court held the common usage of “same community” applies in the context of the CON exemption for relocation within the same community.
 440 P.3d 176 (Alaska 2019).