Council Accomplishments 2013-2014
Affordable Care Act and Medicaid Restoration
- Monitor and provide information to members on ACA and AHCCCS enrollment
During FY2013-14, Council staff kept member agencies informed about issues related to implementation of the Affordable Care Act, enrollment through Healthcare.gov and Health-e Arizona Plus, and worked with state agency staff to advocate for enrollment of individuals with SMI diagnoses and the “dropped” Title Non-XIX population.
- Identify and address mental health parity issues within Health Insurance Marketplace policies
A tool to help benefits specialists when enrolling consumers in the Health Insurance Marketplace was developed.
Board of Behavioral Health Examiners (BBHE):
- Continue to monitor reform and restructuring of BBHE
We continue to monitor the reform and restructuring of BBHE. We effectively advocated with BBHE staff to open the required rule making process for stakeholder input. Member representatives, community collaborators, and staff provided strategy and vehicles to improve the rule making process. Council made recommendations to Governor Brewer’s staff of individuals for appointment to the BBHE.
- BBHE clean-up bill to fix reciprocal licensure issues (SB1077)
SB1077 was passed by the legislature with the emergency clause needed to help those with reciprocal licenses receive licensure by endorsement.
- Monitor changes within Department of Economic Security and Division of Child Safety and Family Services
Council staff, lobbyists, and members were actively involved in providing information and resources to DES and DCSFS staff that helped to frame the need for a child safety AND wellbeing perspective when developing evidence based prevention and intervention models. We brought Bryan Samuels from Chapin Hall to Arizona to present briefings to the CPS Oversight Committee and the Governor’s workgroup drafting legislation creating the Department of Child Safety.
- Monitor and advocate for increased funding for child safety and wellbeing programs
Council staff, lobbyists, and members were actively involved during the regular legislative session and special session to ensure there was increased funding for casework staff, prevention and early intervention programs, reducing time in out of home placement, and ensuring the case backlog was eliminated.
- Monitor and advocate with the CPS Oversight Committee, CARE committee, and other groups
We reinforced the idea that the Council was the “go to” resource on child safety and wellbeing issues, further developed relationships with agency staff and legislators, and reinforced their understanding of the need for earlier intervention based on evidence based practices. We co-hosted a well-attended community forum on child welfare with Children’s Action Alliance, invited the CARE team to hear presentations from members about their concerns, and were actively involved with the Governor’s workgroup that drafted SB1001 and SB1002.
- Monitor issues related to CRS contracts
Council staff and members were actively involved in multiple problem resolution meetings involving providers, DHS, and United Optum, who was awarded the CRS contract.
Department of Health Services:
- Continue to monitor and comment on DHS Integrated Rules impacting Council members
Council staff, lobbyists, and members worked diligently with DHS staff to create integrated health care rules that were clear, appropriate, and manageable for licensees. We were able to identify and correct omissions in the rule set, meeting with DHS licensing staff to draft language acceptable to all.
- DHS statutory revision bill (SB1216)
Council members identified concerns that there was not a definition of Behavioral Health in the DHS licensing statute. Additionally, there were concerns about duplicative requirements when integrating or co-locating physical and behavioral health care services in outpatient centers. SB 1216 was drafted by Council staff, lobbyists, and members, actively worked on before and during the legislative session, and passed both House and Senate. We will continue to work with DHS on creation and implementation of rules to address these statutory changes.
Other FY 2013-14 Activities
- Developed education materials for member agencies, legislators, and state agency leaders
- Educated members about candidates, voter registration, legislative advocacy, and the advocacy roles that non-profits can play
- Influenced federal legislation by participating in “Hill Day” in Washington, DC in September 2013 and May 2014.
- Influenced state legislation by hosting the annual “Day at the Capitol” which was attended by over 60 people from our member agencies
- Maximized our political impact by keeping our members informed of legislative and policy issues so they could effectively communicate with their elected officials through weekly updates, fact sheets, and action alerts.
- Continued Quarterly Community Forums with state agency leaders
- Further developed the Council as the “Go To” Organization on behavioral health and child welfare:
- The Council has established itself with DHS, DES, DCS, AHCCCS, and AOC as the organization that they want to work with to find solutions to problems and to bring the provider voice to policy development.
Political Action Committee
- Set a goal to raise $12,000 for candidate support; raised almost $10,000 between October 2013 and June 2014
- Provided $4,300 in PAC contributions to all Representatives and Senators who supported Medicaid Restoration
- Provided an additional $1,700 in PAC contributions to 11 candidates in contested campaigns
- Educated candidates and legislators about issues of concern to our membership
Services to Member Programs and the Community
- Actively responded to member needs and issues as they arose throughout the year.
- Actively sought input from members to ensure we had provider and consumer voice and commitment to our advocacy efforts
- Continued development of the Spanish language Interpreter Academy
- Increased membership in the Council. In 2008 we had 68 members. We now have 93 committed members, retaining existing members and growing new members from throughout the state.
- Maintained active participation of members in committee, community forums, and general membership meetings
- Provided workshops on CMMS compliance issues identified in the New Mexico audit that were well attended in Phoenix, Tucson, and via teleconferencing
- Provided training, resources, information, and education in a variety of venues throughout the state to improve awareness and understanding of the issues impacting Arizona’s families
- Upgraded our teleconferencing system to enable increased participation of member programs outside of the Phoenix metropolitan area
- Upgraded our website to allow for a “member only” information section