First – Show Up!

September 08, 2018

One of the guiding principles of VNPP is that we “show-up” and are visible and, if appropriate, active participants at a wide variety of meetings with both the Executive Branch and the Legislature and this week was a good example:

  • The two SJ47 (Mental Health in the 21st Century or the “Deeds Commission”) sub-committees met; they have not finalized their legislative proposals for the upcoming Session, but they are getting closer to making those decisions.  The Commission will end next year, so any major initiatives on the structure of the system will need to come quickly.  It seems, however, that in fairly sharp contrast to the rhetoric that we were hearing several years ago, they will not recommend radical changes to the existing “structure.”  Their research suggests that the community services system, locally managed, which can attract local dollars and support is the best option for building a better system.  We will continue to monitor.

  • There appears to be consensus and a strong assumption that STEP-VA is the plan for community behavioral health; there was a very brief presentation of the Farley Transformation Initiative which left more questions than it answered.  We continue to be concerned about the very short timeframe, the fact that we have just been through a significant transformation to Managed Care which left many providers (public and private) scrambling, and we are in the midst of the development of the depth and breadth of services for STEP-VA.  More to come on the Farley Plan!

  • The Quality Improvement Committee for DBHDS met this week; they continue to refine their focus and their ways to collect and analyze data.  They are beginning to move away from being focused exclusively on DOJ Settlement issues and trying to be more focused on issues across disciplines.  We found it fascinating that all of the “Key Performance Areas” which were proposed were about the performance of providers and none focused on the performance of DBHDS in their role of regulatory oversight or support for providers. And finally,

  • The System Leadership Committee has been reconstituted and met on Friday; Ray Ratke attended for VNPP.  This group brings together a  number of players who are stakeholders in the behavioral health and DD system.  Dr. Melton, Commissioner, will initially use the forum to learn more about the system, but eventually it can be a used as a sounding board for new ideas.