Policy & Practice

A professional journal publishing articles on current health and human services issues for wide audience. Coverage includes social policy issues, reports of significant works of human service practitioners, social work theory and legislation, and editoria

Articles from Vol. 68, No. 4, August

A Bridge to Better Government Is Pure Michigan
While the country did not experience extreme difficulty until 2008, Michigan has gone through a difficult decade. It is a decade that has seen an increase in real unemployment numbers from 320,286 in January 2002 to 699,663 by January 2010. While unemployment...
A Confluence of Need and Knowledge
Love it or hate it, health care reform will change your life, if you work in the health and human service business. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Health care--and, in particular, government programs like Medicaid, Medicare, and SCHIP--touches every...
APHSA Looking to Launch Communications Web Site
Do you have trouble generating ideas or looking for best practices? Is your travel budget decimated and preventing you from attending meaningful training opportunities? Would you be interested in reviewing national best practices and receiving interactive...
Can Technology Save Medicaid?
THERE ISN'T A STATE IN THE NATION THAT CAN POINT TO ITS MEDICAID BUDGET, LOOK AT THE NEEDS OF ITS CITIZENS AND SAY, "WE'RE GOOD." Even before the economy declined, there were long Medicaid service waiting lists of the elderly, children and people...
CMS Issues SMD Letter on 'Money Follows the Person Program'
On June 22, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued a State Medicaid Directors letter on extending the Money Follows the Person Rebalancing Demonstration Program. The letter provides background information on the MFP program, explains...
Communicating the 'DFPS Way'
Every organization needs better communication. This old axiom has been used so often that it is a cliche. Yet it is as true today as ever and the bigger the organization, the harder good internal communication is to achieve, and the more important...
Electronic Medical Records Provide Numerous Benefits, Some Risks
Electronic medical records are at the forefront of the Obama administration's efforts in using health information technology to improve the U.S. health care system. More than $20 billion was allocated in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of...
Extenders Bill Stalls in the Senate
Congressional leaders have spent the better part of the last two months trying to enact the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010 (H.R. 4213), which would extend unemployment compensation, other personal benefits, state aid provisions,...
Framework for the Future
I recently began my second year serving as secretary of the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services by running the Capitol City Marathon in Olympia. As the miles got longer and I thought the hills would never stop, I so appreciated...
Full-Service Web Sites Benefit Citizens
In a recent trend of keeping government web sites consumer-centric, many agencies that offer similar or related services have aggregated to form one full-service web site. By applying new software to old systems agencies can offer a more streamlined,...
Health Care Reform Keeps Arizona Busy
The Great Recession has resulted in Arizona experiencing a 40 percent decline in general fund revenues. Even though revenues are now at 2004 levels, our state had added more than 100,000 k-12 students, 10,000 inmates, 18,000 higher-education students...
Health Improvement Not Quality Improvement: A Call to Action for Medicaid
The health care industry is organizing itself to deliver excellent care for a disease rather than focusing equal or greater energy on how to prevent the disease. Furthermore, payers of care, such as Medicaid, perpetuate disease rather than promotion...
Imaging and Document Management
With state budgets depleting and public assistance needs escalating, human service agencies are under rising pressure to do more with less. While the challenges are many, some human service agencies are taking this mantra, "do more with less," as a...
Meeting People Where They're At
In Ohio, we're always looking for ways to be more creative, more innovative, to leverage all the tools at our disposal to do a better job of serving our customers while also operating more efficiently, especially in these trying economic times. With...
Michigan's Child Support Secrets for Tough Times
Will the 2010s become known as the period when human service agencies learned to do more with less while delivering better services along the way? Let's hope so, because we need to find some upside to the economic downturn. Economically speaking,...
National Staff Development and Training Association Names Award Winners
The Quality Training Award will be given to Technical Assistance Systems Builders Collaborative led by Rocio Abundis-Rodriguez and Ellen Gannett. This award is given to a public human service training program that successfully develops and implements...
Partnering to Prevent Foster Care Re-Entry
RIVERSIDE COUNTY, Calif. -- Two years ago, Riverside County, California's Children's Services Division, found that its foster care reentry rate was higher than the state and national average. It decided to tackle that issue head on. The county's...
Pennsylvania's Call Center: A Model for Health Care Reform Implementation
These are exceptionally challenging times. States face daunting revenue shortfalls, shrinking budgets and ballooning demands for public services. These challenges are compounded by the equally daunting task of implementing American Health Benefit Exchanges...
Process Management-They Speak for Themselves
There have been many articles on process management works. Similarly, there have been many questions from program administrators on process management work at a time when state agency capacities remain stagnant while demand for public assistance continues...
Recession Provides Excellent Opportunity to Help Clients
Being a welfare director in the midst of the Great Recession makes one feel like you've been plunged into the middle of a John Steinbeck novel. You're stunned by the specter of untold thousands of families plunged into destitution while your agency...
Taking Ownership of State Medicaid Programs
As an attorney for the Iowa Medicaid program, I frequently hear Medicaid referred to as "a joint federal--state program." A Google search turns up the phrase in the Wikipedia article on Medicaid, in a Michigan state legislative briefing, in the description...
TANF Administrators Hopeful on TANF Action in Congress
The National Association of State TANF Administrators have been working diligently over the last several months to explain to Congress the urgent need to establish an additional year of funding for the TANF Emergency Contingency Fund, scheduled to...
The Best of Both Worlds
The theme of this issue is technology. Inside you will find many forward-looking, insightful articles written by the best minds in public health and human services and the brightest in the private industry. APHSA has had a long history of successful...
The New Business Solution Is an Old Concept
The summer heat makes us think of the vacation days ahead, but Americans looking for a break from the topic of money may have to wait a little longer. Few of us can escape for long. Whether in the form of news headlines blaring unemployment figures,...
Understanding the Challenges: Is Key to Soliving Problems
We often spend too much time "admiring problems" instead of using a problem or challenge as a springboard for innovation and improved relationships and results. My Organizational Effectiveness team works around the country with agencies that are springing...