Sunday, July 14, 2013

SIM planning Committees Missing True Consumer Representation

The SIM (State Innovation Model) grant process is well into its final development and consumers are not at the table. In March, CT received millions of federal tax dollars through SIM to completely restructure the health care system that covers at least 80% of state residents. The final model design is due to the federal government in just a few weeks. Of the 75 SIM committee seats defining that health care system model, only three represent consumers of health care. Consumers/taxpayers are the ultimate funders of our health care system, and unlike other stakeholders, more than our incomes are impacted – our lives depend on a functional system. With only three seats for consumers, you’d think that they’d be filled by true consumers and independent advocates, those with direct knowledge of the challenges the SIM needs to address. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Since the implementation of health care reform began in Connecticut there has been a very obvious and, in my opinion deliberate, movement to exclude consumers from the decision making process. So few seats being allotted by the SIM committee organizers and the individuals chosen continue the lack of consumer input to our health care system. Connecticut is rich with passionate consumers and knowledgeable consumer advocates. Knowledge, experience and passion that are all being wasted. One would think the SIM leadership would want the very best input from all stakeholders, especially consumers, at the table to develop the best possible product. I guess not. Kevin Galvin Small Business for a Healthy CT