December 30, 2016
We tend to look back at the end of the year and try to find the good things that happened; this year, however, has been a struggle for much of the provider community. We had high hopes for the Waiver redesign, but began the year talking about the lack of information the provider community needed for planning and the concerns we all had that systems were being developed in a vacuum and without input or testing. The two month delay, which caused confusion and disrupted what little planning had occurred, was not used to great advantage for solving the basic problems which were inevitably going to occur with roll-out. The count down to “go live” is still posted as a Members Page if you want to refresh your memory!
MLTSS, which has morphed into CCC+ will change the way we manage BH services when the Magellan contract ends; in the meantime, the ARTS programs, funded by the General Assembly last year seems very provider friendly. The other changes in the manual(s) and the announcement, with short notice, of the IAACT (now not to be implemented on 1 January) have produced the usual confusion and struggles to keep up to date.
If we look on the bright side, the changes should have a positive impact on the way services are offered for those we support. And there are a couple of bright spots for 2017 – it looks like the OT rule which, while an admirable goal would have been a costly investment without revenue to support it, will not be pursued by the Trump administration and on the local level we will not be required to produce quarterly LHRC reports, nor attend most meetings!
For the Association is has been a very good year – the conference in October was very successful and the new “on-line” capability for conference registration and membership seems to have been very well received. We were able to update the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws to make some much needed changes to the structure of the Board with term limits and number of members.
We are optimists by definition – glass half full sorts of people or we wouldn’t/couldn’t be in the business we are in. We support individuals who have great need and are challenged to just live day-to-day with dedicated staff who are generally overworked and underpaid. And yet, we work it out, we solve the problem, we develop the new strategy, or we work a little more “efficiently” to get the job done within the rules and the revenue available. We will survive, if not thrive, in the new year and we will make a difference in many lives! Happy 2017!