Is the latest GAMC plan better than nothing?

That appears to be the question asked this past week at the Legislature.  In order to provide health care to the poorest Minnesotan’s, hospitals will have to develop a Coordinated Care Organization (CCO) for their GAMC patients.  GAMC recipients will have to learn to go to clinics instead of the emergency room.  Their health care will be “coordinated” in order to improve their health.  Can this system of health care work well with the homeless population once the new program begins in June?

There will be two levels of hospitals in this bill.  Level one are those who currently serve a substantial number of GAMC patients (approximately 17).  These hospitals will receive a lump sum reimbursement determined by the hospital’s recent share of GAMC business.  Currently level one hospitals serve 80 % of the GAMC patients.

The second level serves the other 20%.  They would receive funding for serving GAMC patients through an uncompensated care pool of $20 million for six months (June to November 2010) and then could become a CCO.

There are some positives with this new plan:

  • Current GAMC recipients will be automatically eligible with no transition.
  • It preserves access and affordability of prescription drugs.
  • It preserves the Health Care Access Fund (HCFA).

Here are some questions and concerns to be alert to:

  • What are the type of services to be offered?
  • Will they be different depending on the CCO?
  • Will hospitals opt in or out?

Part of the funding is taken from the Adult Mental Health grants to counties.  What services at the county level will be cut or eliminated? MHAM’s view of the GAMC funding bill is that it maintains a level of health care for our poorest Minnesotans.  But what will be lost in other mental health services provided at the local level with the shifting of dollars throughout the system?

State Operated System (SOS) Redesign

DHS has released their SOS redesign.  Here are some brief highlights:

  • There will be Level 1 psychiatric care centers in regions of the state.
  • There will be a new 24 hour psychiatric access service
  • There will be a partnership process to involve service providers.
  • Closure of the Mankato Crisis Center and transfer to St. Peter.
  • Closure of the adult mental health residential facility in Eveleth.
  • The development of Psychiatric Extensive Recovery Treatment Services (PERTS).

As we mentioned before, there is more to information to come and many more questions.  We will provide additional information on Wed. March 17th following a presentation at Sen. Berglin’s committee Tuesday morning.