I write to you today excited and frustrated. It’s been one of those days.
I’m excited because of what NADSA is doing and building: We are the fortunate recipients of an excellent marketing plan developed for us by Lyn Geboy, Ph.D. She has helped us with research projects, strategic planning, and much more. She has taken much of what we’ve been discussing and dreaming about for Adult Day and has put it into a very actionable document. The Board and the marketing Committee are excited to put it in place.
On April 15-16, 2013, NADSA will converge on Washington, DC for its second annual Capitol Hill Day. It’s vitally important that we show up and make our presence known. We hope that you come and please bring champions and constituents of Adult Day to DC. We can’t have too many people there. I’m looking forward to the first state that brings 25-plus constituents to invade a Senator’s or Representative’s office. It’s time to be heard.
Teresa Johnson, NADSA Managing Director, has been doing a masterful job rallying the troops around the National Study for Long Term Care Providers (NSLTP) (in addition to teaching the Centers for Disease Control more than a thing or two about adult day!).
We’re hosting more and more great webinars, our conference in Kentucky is looking to be better than ever, and we’re making great progress in improving our national public policy position.
Yet, I’m also frustrated.
In Georgia, the public policy news is becoming more and more troubling. My guess is that we’re not all that different than other states. We just survived our first Medicaid Waiver freeze in years. It had something to do with CMS (in Washington!) being concerned about how many unduplicated individuals were listed in the Waiver. The program was in budget, it was just some technical accounting issue that CMS didn’t like. After the freeze, many Adult Day providers are reporting significantly lower referral rates from the waiver than before, so something else has also changed on the public policy front. In Georgia, transportation is provided by a managed care provider. “Somehow” the Medicaid regulations singled out Adult Day and severely limited transportation options as compared to other healthcare providers. The VA in Atlanta also cut its adult day program by about 80%.
The challenges are many. The strategic options are few.
We must become better at attracting a private pay audience. In Georgia, there are some centers located in areas where this is possible, but many are located in truly low income areas. It’s hard, but it is the only way to create some freedom from the vagaries of politics and economic challenges. NADSA is working to help you with this through our new locator service on the web site and in improved educational opportunities.
We must invest in advocacy and active, professional lobbying. Every center needs to add a line item to its budget: ADVOCACY! I understand that many centers have small budgets, but as health care providers we are married to the government, whether this is for Medicare/Medicaid spending, insurance spending, licensure, and the very basic “benefits” we can legally offer in the center setting. The private market can insulate us some, but not fully. In some states, larger organizations take the lead, but the need for all of us to participate both personally and financially is now upon us. At NADSA, we continue to develop programming, Capitol Hill Day training and organization, and education. We are actively looking for more opportunities for public policy investment.
Enough complaining. I know my company will be making a financial investment in this area. I’m freeing up my calendar to talk with the executive branch and members of the legislative branch.
This is a time to build and create. It’s challenging. Our association is providing leadership and more and more tools for success. We can thrive, but there’s some hard work to do.
—Ned Morgens, Chair, NADSA Board of Directors