Friday Night News or The Shape of Things to Come

December 07, 2018

As the end of the year approaches, we are beginning to spend the majority of the time attending to and intended to “shape” the both the message and the material for the upcoming General Assembly Session:
  • The Deed’s Commission (SJ47) finalized their legislative recommendations; what they plan to introduce this year and what they want to postpone for additional study or action later.  The initial plan to totally reorganize the Community Service Board system of community system management appears to have been postponed or tabled at least for the moment.  The efforts now are directed at supporting efforts to reduce the bed census in the State Hospitals, improving services for jail inmates, etc.
  • Transformation of the Behavioral Health system continues, but with the release in recent weeks by CMS of another option for seeking an 1115 Demonstration Waiver for a comprehensive array of SMI/SED Services, the options have suddenly expanded.  A broad group of stakeholders, including VNPP, made a proposal to the SJ47 meeting this week to encourage the support of this vehicle to allow a more comprehensive approach with more options for funding!
  • We are paying close attention to the Family First initiative and will support efforts of members acting with other coalitions and Associations to support funding and policy directions.
  • We have also learned this week that there has been no significant success in the implementation of the “data exchanges” which were to allow the ISP information in the CSB’s electronic health record to be seamlessly transferred into WaMS as a foundation for the Part V to be added.  With the exception of a few CSBs who are manually duplicating their ISPs, this project seems to be stalled.
  • The next project will be the pilots at five (?) CSBs to test implemtation of the service packages and the activity calendar that will be generated.  We have a draft of the training slides and will share when we have a final set.  DBHDS is presenting the concept as a deterrent to “managed care;” we are looking at the data from the first two years of the “redesigned” waivers and sharing that information with the Members and staff of the General Assembly.  It does not appear, to this point, that there is data to support the time, effort or cost of the additions to the WaMS system.  We will watch this carefully!
  • We are also hard at work on one legislative initiative and several budget amendments.  Look at the Legislative Agenda here