If there ever was a need for scenario-based planning, it’s now – that was my take from our just-ended, California Planning & Performance Management Institute in San Diego. For most executives of health plans, county health and human service agencies, and provider organizations, the future is one of stark possible contrasts.
What are the big game changers that may happen?
- Medicaid expansion has greatly increased coverage in health plans – and decreased demand on traditional safety nets
- Safety net providers – like FQHCs – are competing with health plans for consumers
- The possibly changing role of the counties with regard to mental health service
- The not-yet-defined boundary between mental health services to be provided by counties and by health plans
- The just-launched managed care program for the dual eligible program
- The planned restructuring of the child welfare service system
- The movement of the $5 billion I/DD system to a self-determination model with consumer purchasing power
I could go on…(For more on the California-specific market issues, check out these sessions facilitated by my colleagues Steve Ramsland, Ed.D., The Future Of California’s County Mental Health System: An Update On Policies, Programs & Funding, and Joseph P. Naughton-Travers Ed.M., Mental Health & The California Criminal Justice System: A Town Hall Discussion On Navigating The Path To Treatment).
Situations like this put some very particular demands on planning. In my closing presentation, The Shifting Health & Human Service Market: Planning For Success, I discussed the need for organizations to think of current sustainability, periods of change, and future market positioning as three critical elements in planning. And, building on that planning approach, Joe Naughton-Travers, reviewed our best practice model for strategic planning, and where scenario-based planning “fits” in any market where large market forces are still changing (see The OPEN MINDS Guide To Strategic Planning: How To Find The Right Path For Your Organization In A Turbulent Market).
The California health and human service market is not unlike other states – where large forces (political, financial, commercial, and scientific) are reshaping the landscape. I am reminded of my favorite quote on the monuments of the Gettysburg battlefield, “In God we put our trust but kept our powder dry.”