In what was supposed to be a one-hour meeting, the SIM Steering Committee met yesterday to discuss how to cut the original $64m budget in the federal application down to $45m, as requested by CMMI. It was a poorly structured meeting that quickly led to a disorderly grab for money. Staff provided members with a proposal for what to cut and what to keep at least 24 hours before the meeting, but the proposal was not made public. Members argued for their own agencies and providers while carefully explaining why competing items were less worthy. Funding for HIT, community health workers, and state personnel were among the areas questioned. The Consumer Advisory Board agreed to cut travel to conferences for volunteer CAB members from their $1.6m budget. Less experienced members were confused about several areas including staffing and when funding parts of several positions and the use of consultants can be the most effective way to direct complex projects that cross many programs. The voting was not well planned and created deep confusion among members. I hung up after 2 hours but can’t wait to see what was decided. The regularly scheduled public Steering Committee meeting on Thursday has been cancelled.