BHT's Navigator, Israel Vidales, Goes to D.C. for 2018 Families USA Conference

The Navigator Network team gave their newest team member, Israel Vidales, the opportunity to attend the 2018 Families USA conference in Washington D.C. last month. Israel learned about the various ideas that states are planning with their Medicaid waivers. These ideas included Medicaid buy-in options and payment reform. He also attended a panel discussion on lowering prescription costs and how states were strategizing to implement bills pertaining to price gouging and drug pricing transparency. Israel had the pleasure of hearing inspiring speeches from Senators Cory Brooker, which can be found here, and Elizabeth Warren, which can be found here. Besides the exciting topics and speakers from the conference, Israel managed to visit all the national monuments around the D.C area. Out of all the monuments, he enjoyed the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials. Our Navigator team are making east coast connections and enjoying the sites in their spare time.

Managed Care Contracting Training with Adam Falcone

As part of our FIMC investment in Behavioral Health providers in the region, BHT hosted a presentation and training session on Managed Care Contracting, presented by Adam Falcone. With a turnout with 23 agencies and 60 individuals participating, it was clear this was a topic of importance for our region! His presentation included preparing for Managed Care contracting, evaluating contracts, negotiation, and key terms and legal protections. Check out the agenda of the presentation here to take a look at the full span of everything that was covered. 

ACH Communications Council Recap

Last Wednesday, BHT sat in on a call with the eight other ACHs and the HCA for our monthly Communications Council call, an opportunity for all parties to align on communication projects and language for Healthier Washington.

One discussion point during the call was around the use of the word “Demonstration” in our project work. This word was determined to be insensitive because of its association with experimental medical and surgical practices in the antebellum South. Going forward, it has been decided that ACH work will be referred to as the Medicaid Transformation. For more information, see the full guidance here.

A second point of discussion was the HCA’s VBP webinar series, which launched in January and will continue through March. This series is a great opportunity to get familiar with all things VBP, so we encourage everyone to participate if they are able to or listen to the recordings of the webinars when they find time. Find out more about the series here

Community Voices Council Meets for the First Time

The Community Voices Council met officially for the first time this week in its very early stages. Co-chairs Phil Tyler and Marion Lee led a lively discussion on factors to consider as we work together building the rest of the council in a way that best represents the diverse needs and interests of the Medicaid community in the BHT region.

The nomination survey is still open—we would love to hear who you consider to be a strong community advocate with either lived experience as a Medicaid beneficiary or experience navigating the Medicaid system on behalf of others and who is willing to make their voice heard.

Delay of Collaborative Launch

Throughout the ACH development process the BHT team has committed to keeping our partners informed on the many moving parts of this work. This often means we release information ONLY to find it to be “clarified” by new information or additional guidance provided via the Health Care Authority. As we noted on Friday, there are ongoing uncertainties surrounding ACH Funds Flow, specifically related to negotiations with the BHO and HCA, on behalf of our region, for our Integrated Managed Care efforts and the timing of earned Project funds for Year 1.
Both of these outstanding issues caused us pause. We know we have a lot of work to do to be ready for transformational efforts. We are also very clear that this is a heavy lift for our Providers and Partners, and we want to maximize the amount of time we give you to plan and make sure we aren’t getting ahead of ourselves. To this end, we are delaying both the release and request for signed Commitment Forms/MOUs from Providers and Partners until the week of February 19th. We are encouraged by several conversations that have occurred in the last couple of days that the outstanding issues will be resolved and we will have more clarity on the release of earned funds to our region.
Throughout our 101 sessions, we noted that Collaborative membership was due on February 22nd. It’s our intent to extend this deadline until late March providing ample time for Collaboratives to develop and partners to be clear on commitments.
As always, please continue to reach out to BHT staff if you have any questions. We look forward to sharing updates as soon as we can.

-Alison Carl White, BHT Executive Director