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The Appropriations and Human Services Committees held a public hearing today on DSS’ proposal for a PCCM pilot for HUSKY. Over thirty legislators came to hear Commissioner Mike Starkowski and Director of Medical Administration David Parrella outline their plans for the program. Legislators universally expressed enthusiasm for the plan and commended DSS for faithfully implementing the program. DSS is planning to hold forums around the state to introduce the program to providers and to collect feedback. They intend to hire a contractor to evaluate the program and a nurse advice line for patients. Legislators expressed concern that the implementation of PCCM be timed to fairly compete for members with the current plans to default HUSKY families into HMOs December 1st. PCCM isn’t slated to start until January 1st. The committees then heard from provider representatives, an IPA, advocates and consumers all in favor of the plan and urged the committees to approve it. Advocates commended DSS for an inclusive process to design the program, including advocates at every step and incorporating most of our input. Improving access to care for families and reducing burdens on providers were the highest priority and every design decision was tested against that standard. The collaboration created not only a strong proposal, but also deepened trust and respect between the agency and stakeholder groups which will continue into the future. While the vote was left open, voting at the meeting was unanimously to approve the plan.
The application and draft agreement for providers interested in PCCM is posted on DSS’ website.
Ellen Andrews