Thanks to Karen Koch, FCCMH, for capturing this information and reporting it so precise and timely. I will continue to forward these updates so you can follow the issues as they go through committee. We will be discussing bills and actions on our Policy call, February 21 at 6pm.
Click here: Select Committee on Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Committee Page – The Florida Senate
Tuesday, February 12, 2012
The House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee spent more than an hour discussing managing entities with Secretary Wilkins yesterday. Representative Matt Hudson, chair announced at the beginning of the Secretary’s presentation that the committee would be permitted to ask questions at each slide of the Secretary’s presentation rather than waiting until the end of the presentation as is the usual procedure. He stated that he felt it was necessary so that questions that may arise during the presentation could be addressed immediately and not lost at the end.
It didn’t take Representative Swartz long to ask the first question.
At the end of the first slide that outlined the department’s responsibilities as they relate to mental health and substance abuse Swartz asked about the department’s recommendations regarding CSU payment methodology. Wilkins asked Rob Siedlecki to answer the questioned. Siedlecki stated that they were proposing a hybrid model which included some utilization analysis but his explanation was very confusing. Hudson explained to the committee that the question was related to last year’s proviso and that the department had issued a report based on the proviso and if the committee had not seen the report he would make sure they got a copy. He indicated that the department would be back to address the report but Siedlecki indicated that the department did not need legislative authority to make the change.
The next slide was about the individuals the mental health and substance abuse program serves. This triggered a question from Representative Pafford related to whether the department had supported the Governor’s position of not funding community projects. When the Secretary responded he did not know what projects or loss of funding Pafford referring to, Pafford responded that it was available on the Governor’s web site.
The Secretary got through 4 – 5 more slides with limited questions but by slide 6 questions from the committee and especially committee chair Hudson began to occur rather rapidly. Questions varied from why the department did not request new funding to how much funding was lost or shifted to cover funding the managing entities. Hudson basically drilled the Secretary and at times Siedlecki on issues as specific as how administration cost savings were determined, the duplication of having each ME establish its own IT systems, and even the purpose of universally requiring contract procurement across all services. Hudson went as far as telling the Secretary that he needed to allow for an anonymous measure from stakeholders regarding how MEs were doing on the ME score card. Rep. Swartz asked about what the department was doing to analysis the impact of ACA on the department and ME functions in the future of which the Secretary had to admit they haven’t really addressed that issue.
Both the Secretary and Siedlecki had to state many times that they were still in the process of analyzing certain aspects of implementation, for example what are administrative costs or the impact of procurement in rural areas and would expect changes to be made along the way. The Secretary stated at one point that maybe it was more competitive bidding for “new” services. Representative Wood was the only committee member strongly advocating for procurement.
On the issue of requiring each ME to develop IT systems the Secretary admitted that it was probably not the best way to go and in the future DCF may pull that back. By the end of the presentation Hudson acknowledged that change was not bad but change for change sake was not good.
The video of the meeting is available at the web site below and I would recommend members listen to it. The presentations by Secretary Wilkins are the first 2 on the video. Staff will also be following up with questions from committee members and suggest that if you have a relationship with committee members you do so as well.
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Wednesday, February 13, 2013
2:00 – 4:00 p.m. — House Healthy Families Subcommittee will be taking up HB 317 related to forensic mental health and providing for rights of persons committed under ch. 916 F.S. The event is available live on the Florida Channel.
3:30 – 5:30 p.m. – Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services has a full agenda including a discussion regarding the implementation of DRGs. The Council’s area of interest will be the review of the state’s agencies proposed budget reductions and the interest of committee members in taking any of the proposed reductions as a way to address President’s Gaetz’s requirement to each appropriations committee to find cost savings. This event is available live on the WFSU-TV – The FLORIDA Channel webcast.
Judi Evans, Executive Director