MaryAnne Lindeblad, the Director of the Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA), the state’s Medicaid agency sat down with State of Reform to talk about today’s roll out of the physical and behavioral health services integration pilot in Southwest Washington.This week the agency will be on high alert, watching out for “early warning signs” that people are losing services due to changes in the delivery system.
In addition, Lindeblad reveals progress on HCA’s efforts to pull “mid-adopter” counties into the integration and address concerns and stakeholder push back.
Finally, she provides a window into the model HCA used to facilitate the interagency collaboration necessary to move foster children into managed care.
JJ Lee: Hi, MaryAnne. How is the Southwest Washington integration coming? What primary challenges or targets you are you tracking as it unfolds?
MaryAnne Lindeblad: Overall, it’s going well. Tomorrow is the first day, but we’ve had great partnership with the community, the health plans, and with the administrative services contractor that we’re going to be using down there.
It’s probably been one of the greatest collaborative works that we’ve done in terms of implementing a project of this scale. I’m certainly optimistic that things will go well.
Of course, when you change a delivery system, there’s always opportunity for confusion. We’re trying to work through the challenge of continuity of care, making sure that people don’t fall through the cracks, with the plans.
We have put an early warning system in place. We’ll be talking with stakeholders, community partners, the plans literally every day for the next few weeks to make sure that people aren’t losing services.
We’ll be watching to see if there’s an increase in emergency room use, increase in jail bookings, things that may be early indicators for us that things aren’t working in the system.