Monday, June 16, 2014

SIM update – good news but new concerns

Last week’s SIM steering committee included some good news but new concerns. Based on public comment from independent advocates supporting national standards for patient-centered medical homes and urging SIM to reconsider their decision to create a CT-specific standard, wasting time and resources to fix something that is not broken and working well. In response, the committee agreed to send the issue to the new Practice Management Transformation Committee to re-consider. That’s the good news.

Later in the meeting we heard from multiple groups at UConn, which appears to be given most or all of the SIM functions. It was unclear how and under what authority the proposals for these very important functions was sole-sourced to UConn. One presentation was from the UConn School of Pharmacy on how they intend to design and implement the new CT-specific medical home standard. Unfortunately there were not many details on the plan and none of the independent advocates’ concerns have been addressed or acknowledged. The plan seems to be designed to track with requirements to get the federal funding rather than CT experience and what is working well in our state. Consumer advocates have emphasized that getting federal funds to state agencies and consultants is not a high priority for consumers. Transparent, inclusive, thoughtful processes leading to better access to quality care and cost control are priorities for consumers. There is substantial and growing evidence that national PCMH standards are working and delivering on that triple aim, both nationally and in CT’s Medicaid program.