Kansas Mental
Health Coalition

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  • June 02, 2013 2:00 AM | Amy Campbell (Administrator)
     
    The Budget Bill - H Sub for SB 171

    After adopting the one and only budget bill of the 2013 Legislative Session, the Kansas Senate adjourned around 2:00 a.m. Although June 2nd would technically be the 100th day, it counts as 99 since they worked straight through from Saturday, June 1st.

    Both the House and Senate had to have a Call to adopt the one and only budget bill of the 2013 session, where the doors are locked and everyone is supposed to report to the chamber to vote, while hesitant legislators are cajoled and/or more forcefully convinced to vote for the bill at hand. Each chamber was then able to manage to get just the majority needed to pass the bill - House Substitute for SB 171. In the House, the vote was 63-51. In the Senate, 21-15. No Democrats supported the bill.

    It is an ugly budget - every legislator could easily name at least one objectionable facet of the bill. The items that garnered the most attention were cuts to higher education - the Regents Institutions, cuts to the Department of Corrections that one senator suggested would create a "catch and release" policy, large sweeps of funds from Transportation and other agencies - including $9.5 million from tobacco dollars that are supposed to be earmarked for children's programs, and the fact that the budget bill did not include a carveout for the long term services and supports for intellectually and developmentally disabled populations from KanCare. $202 million in additional bonding debt was included over the protests of many legislators, to fund a larger than expected state share of the NBAF project in Manhattan.

    The policy that may end up having the most impact is a House created salaries and wages cap based on funding spent up to March of this fiscal year. That policy is certain to prevent agencies - such as State Hospitals - from being able to fill important staff positions that have been held open to hold down expenses. Some of these positions have been unfilled for months or years now.

    See budget bill description here.

  • May 21, 2013 1:05 PM | Amy Campbell (Administrator)

    The Hospital and Home Team, convened by the Kansas Department on Aging and Disability Services, released a report this month reviewing the Mercer Study and making recommendations on alternative uses of the Rainbow Mental Health Facility.

    Read the report here.

  • May 21, 2013 12:59 PM | Amy Campbell (Administrator)

    Employers are increasingly recognizing they may be able to avoid certain penalties under the federal health law by offering very limited plans ...  Read more.

  • May 20, 2013 11:00 AM | Amy Campbell (Administrator)

    In January, Governor Brownback initiated his Mental Health Initiative, which canceled proposed cuts to mental health grants and funding for at-risk children.  The Initiative proposes to continue $5 million in mental health grants to community mental health centers and re-purpose $4.75 million from the Family Centered Systems of Care to focus on regional resources for difficult to engage Kansans with serious mental illness.  The mental health community has welcomed the attention to the system, and is working with the Kansas Department on Aging and Disability Services for planning.  At this point, there are four identifiable planning activities associated with the initiative:

    1. Regional Recovery and Supports Centers (RRSC) Advisory Committee

    2. Contract Revision Committee

    3. Stakeholder meetings (held in May)   See presentation.

    4. GBHPSC Task Force Review of Mental Health System  (not yet appointed by the Governor)

    There are difficult tasks to be accomplished here.  So far, the agency has identified the target population and a map of the regions - each will have a lead community mental health center for its Regional Recovery and Supports Centers grants. According to planning documents, the target population is individuals who are uninsured and under-insured and are at risk of being admitted to state or local hospitals due to a lack of engagement or demonstrated ability to follow a treatment plan.  This may include individuals who use crisis services but never engage in other services offered by the CMHCs.  Also included are those who keep appointments inconsistently and tend to be elusive or "on the fringes".  

    What is not yet clear are the services currently being provided under the Family Centered Systems of Care program that might be lost and what will be continued under each centers' ability to absorb those costs under different funding streams.

    Initial planning indicates that the regions will design their own programs based on a needs assessment of the region.  This process is supposed to include cooperation among the centers and stakeholders in the region, to develop a collaborative program of resource sharing.  The

    Information is available at a special website developed by KDADS - www.bhsupdates.org.   

    KMHC members are engaged in various levels of this planning process and will continue to have monthly updates at regular meetings.  The Coalition is hopeful that this Initiative will be able to build on the work that has already been done in Kansas to introduce effective programs regionally that may eventually be implemented statewide.  The fact that this Initiative will not bring new money into the system makes it a daunting challenge, so the program must have a realistic focus. 

    See events page for more information about the monthly meetings.

  • May 17, 2013 10:36 PM | Amy Campbell (Administrator)

    See link below for the KHI article about the Manhattan RRSC stakeholder meeting. 

    http://www.khi.org/news/2013/may/16/governors-mental-health-initiative-panned-manhatte/

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(c) Kansas Mental Health Coalition, P.O. Box 4103, Topeka, KS  66604-0103         785-969-1617

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