Over the past several days, RCPA has been in contact with numerous DHS and Department officials to brainstorm issues and ideas in this time of crisis. There have been some emergency relief efforts already released (e.g., ODP, OCYF), and there are no doubt more to come from other departments.
Many providers have also brought their ideas to RCPA and we have, in turn, incorporated them in submissions to DHS.
Most importantly, we are emphasizing the following:
- This is not “business as usual.” If there was ever a time to put aside standard rules and operations, it is now.
- The Governor has declared this an “emergency.” So let’s take emergent action.
- Waive rules around alternative ways to reach out to individuals, such as paying for all telehealth and telephonic contact.
- Implement alternative payment mechanisms (e.g., via BH-MCOs) to allow providers to do what is necessary to outreach to individuals and keep them engaged.
- Understand that if traditional services decrease (e.g., program closures, increased no- shows), then billable units disappear along with cash flow. Measures need to be taken immediately to ensure that agencies are solvent and services – even non-traditional – are available for consumers.
We are also urging as streamlined an approval process as possible. It is a fluid situation and we cannot wait days, let alone weeks, to discuss these ideas.
If any providers have specific ideas or suggestions, please reach out to RCPA and we can, in turn, bring them forward. We are hopeful that our discussions with DHS will lead to some creative and critically needed solutions.