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Lessons Learned in Systems Change Idaho Behavioral Health Transformation Workgroup Forum March 24, 2010 Dave Wanser, Ph.D. Visiting Fellow LBJ School of.

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Presentation on theme: "Lessons Learned in Systems Change Idaho Behavioral Health Transformation Workgroup Forum March 24, 2010 Dave Wanser, Ph.D. Visiting Fellow LBJ School of."— Presentation transcript:

1 Lessons Learned in Systems Change Idaho Behavioral Health Transformation Workgroup Forum March 24, 2010 Dave Wanser, Ph.D. Visiting Fellow LBJ School of Public Affairs Executive Director National Data Infrastructure Improvement Consortium

2 The topics: What lessons have I learned in systems change? How to develop cross government coordination What mistakes can you avoid based on our previous experience? Working with legislative bodies Measuring success

3 Who am I? Why am I here? Admiral James Stockdale NorthSTAR HB 2292 – merged health, MH and SA MH Transformation Governor’s Drug Demand Reduction Advisory Committee New Mexico Purchasing Collaborative

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5 Coordinating versus cooperating Other agencies are always willing to tell you how to do a better job – that’s coordinating. Cross agency collaborations for a managed system require each agency to share in staffing a dedicated team with necessary skills – and autonomy to get the job done The only way to ensure cooperation is for: – all entities to have skin in the game –The Legislature and/or Governor to order it to be so –A shared clinical logic and structure –Data collection mechanisms that show how the entire system is performing

6 Lesson #1 Real system change is extremely hard to do It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage than the creation of a new system. For the initiator has the enmity of all who would profit by the preservation of the old institution and merely lukewarm defenders in those who gain by the new one. Nicola Machiavelli

7 System (re)design The plan for the new system always looks great on paper Systems are generally not designed in the first place System design plans rarely operate as planned Transforming a system and having to navigate around sacred cows is a recipe for no change at all. Typical sacred cows include: –Children’s services and other “special populations” –Traditional funding and payment arrangements –Certain providers –State-supported versus private providers –Traditional providers of each respective agency Making the system more logical for consumers pushes complexity upstream

8 Lesson #2 There are no simple answers

9 Starting off on the wrong foot Uniqueness trumps having an organized system No clear authority structure Ignoring economies of scale Lacking a clinical framework: including standardized functional assessments and service level packages Not having a viable financial model (capitation for it’s own sake is not a viable financial model) Hoping that community services will somehow emerge from a system design effort Confusing system transformation with cost cutting

10 Lesson #3 Implementing without a sound foundation ensures failure

11 Working with the legislature There has to be legislative champions for the system change- preferably in the majority party Advocacy organizations need to be fully engaged, on your side, informed throughout the entire process - and you have to share good and bad news You must have data about system performance that is timely and accurate This data needs to be provided to them by agency leadership periodically and preferably before someone complains Anecdotes have a longer shelf life than Twinkies Providers in a legislator’s district are always an exception to the rule Legislators always say they want government agencies to work like a business. This logic is flawed in 2 ways: –More than 50% of businesses fail

12 Lesson #4 Government innovation is usually an oxymoron

13 Measuring success There are different stages of maturity of managed systems and the performance metrics need to evolve as the system does. For example, first stage performance measures: –See clients –Pay providers –Give us data System performance data needs to be available to all stakeholders The funding entity(s) must own and control the data Strong contract, aggressively but fairly managed Incentives and tensions are required to change the status quo

14 Lesson #5 Focus on the vital few indicators- but manage them proactively

15 Final Lesson: The caravan can’t stop for every barking dog.


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