Magazine article Policy & Practice

Health Services Resolution

Magazine article Policy & Practice

Health Services Resolution

Article excerpt

The American Public Human Services Association announces its enhanced member service array in the area of health services for low-income populations.

On Dec. 9, 2010 the APHSA Board of Directors met to discuss the future role of health services support for its membership following the decision of state Medicaid directors to establish a separate association as an independent affiliate of the National Governors Association. The APHSA Board unanimously agreed that APHSA needed to continue to maintain a presence in the health care arena. Through its Health Services Division, with expertise in Medicaid, APHSA will focus its resources and activities on the intersection of vulnerable Medicaid populations, including the behavioral health and substance abuse populations, persons with disabilities and the chronically ill and human service programs. The policy team will ensure substantial interaction and coordination of emerging Medicaid policy and the implementation of health care reform with other APHSA affiliated human services programs, including TANF, child welfare and SNAP.

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2011, the APHSA Health Services Division plans to:

* Establish an Advisory Board to direct and assist staff in the development of national policy positions related to the activities of the Health Services Division and in the presentation of positions to the administration and Congress related to the intersection of Medicaid and other human service programs.

* Develop an electronic mailing list for the dissemination of notices from the administration, such as state Medicaid director letters and other administration sponsored phone calls or releases.

* Provide ongoing updates to members related to implementation of health reform and the effects of implementation on Medicaid and the traditional safety net and human service beneficiaries through e-letters or other communications.

* Continue APHSA's role in the multi-state collaborative in developing the infrastructure and information sharing related to the implementation of health information technology.

* Continue APHSA's role in maintaining relationships with key administration and congressional staff in assuring that members have access to relay concerns to these officials.

* Continue other ongoing member service roles, including developing confidential information-sharing between and among members, and conference planning and implementation.

* Continue to represent state interests in the health care reform debate and coordinate the involvement of state health and human service agencies in reform discussion.

* Work with Congress to reduce the burden of health reform on state bud gets, and to ensure that Medicaid is strengthened by the legislation.

* Continue to develop and expand uniform business applications and business reference models to eliminate costly redundancy in systems development.

* Further explore, develop and disseminate health and human service prevention and wellness models.

Implementation of health reform will continue to affect every health and human service program and the services provided by APHSA will allow its members to stay current and up-to-date on the important policy decisions that affect their services. We look forward to supporting you.

Resolution 01-2010

Resolution of the Board of Directors of APHSA to Maintain a Health Services Policy Unit Within the Organization

WHEREAS, Publicly funded health care is part of the continuum of services for low-income populations; and

WHEREAS, State human service programs, including economic supports, services for persons with disabilities and older adults, child well-being, and nutrition initiatives all intersect with Medicaid and other publicly financed health care toward the common goal of keeping vulnerable populations healthy; and

WHEREAS, The implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a major focus for states; and will lead to expanded health coverage for populations receiving other human service benefits; and

WHEREAS, Medicaid will continue to drive fiscal policy in states, and is expected to continue to need greater funding than most states anticipate in revenue growth; and

WHEREAS, State budgets continue to be extremely difficult to manage due to the lingering effects of the recent recession with decreased state revenue and increased rolls of individuals needing state assistance; and

WHEREAS, State Medicaid programs are focusing their resources and activities to fulfill the insurance mandates of the ACA,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that APHSA will maintain a Health Services Policy team with subject matter expertise in all aspects of Medicaid and health services for low-income populations, and will focus its resources on the intersection of vulnerable Medicaid populations, including, but not limited to the behavioral health populations, persons with disabilities and the chronically ill, and human service programs. …

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