Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Imagine!’s Leadership Development Group Update: February 2017

Pictured above (left to right) are Kathryn Craig, Jessica Gaylord,
Cameron Navis, Alicia Burdick, and MacKenzie Haering

Submitted by Alicia Burdick

On December 19, Imagine!’s Leadership Development Group (LDG) attended the Joint Budget Committee (JBC) briefing for the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF) at the State Capitol in Denver. HCPF oversees all Medicaid funded programs in Colorado, including the waiver programs operated by Imagine!.

According to the Colorado General Assembly website, the JBC is charged with studying the management, operations, programs, and fiscal needs of the agencies and institutions of Colorado state government. Throughout the year, the JBC holds a number of meetings and considers a range of documents to help prepare budget recommendations for the General Assembly.

The purpose of the briefing was to present the JBC with some of the major issues facing HCPF and allowed the committee to ask questions of the departments, who then have the opportunity to respond at a hearing, which occurs a few weeks later. JBC staff member Megan Davisson prepared the materials, presented to the JBC, and then reported the questions back to the departments to gather their responses for the hearing. If you’d like to read more, you can click here to read their questions and responses.

As a Case Manager, I found the briefing to be fascinating because it allowed me the opportunity to see how the issues that Imagine! and our families face are explained to legislatures who are often unfamiliar with how the Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) system functions across Colorado. Interestingly, a large portion of Ms. Davisson’s presentation regarding HCPF was simply (or maybe not so simply) an overview of I/DD services, and Ms. Davisson provided numerous flow charts to explain the various levels of the I/DD system (federal, state, local, and individual). Because I am so immersed in this system as a Case Manager, I don’t always recognize how complicated the world we operate in truly is, and this presentation allowed me to take a step back and think about it from an outsider’s perspective.

Additionally, another large issue facing the department is Conflict Free Case Management, which involved HCPF submitting a plan that would comply with the federal rule requiring the separation of Case Management services and service delivery. This issue has the potential to have a large impact on Imagine!’s structure, but it is still not entirely clear what that will look like. However, for the first time, this briefing included an outline of a plan that the Department, Community-Centered Boards (CCBs), and providers can follow to ensure compliance. If you’re interested, you can see this plan in full by clicking here.

Attending the briefing was a unique opportunity and we enjoyed the chance to observe our government in action, while getting a glimpse of the larger picture and the impact that this system has on our jobs and the people we serve every day.

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