Letter: Case management free of conflict benefits consumers

Published: 6/13/2019 12:01:25 AM

Gov. Chris Sununu, at the behest of New Hampshire’s area agencies that provide services to our citizens with developmental disabilities, has requested our federal delegation file for an exemption from certain federal regulations that promote delivery of case management that is free from conflict of interest. These regulations prohibit case management entities from “holding financial interest . . . in any entity that is paid to provide direct care for the individual.”

A request to exempt New Hampshire from this sound policy seems contrary where current federal regulations provide for individuals choosing freely among the case managers or entities that the state has found qualified to provide case management services. However, individuals may not choose case management providers who have a conflict of interest. A conflict of interest occurs when entities self refer for their own benefit, provide their own quality oversight or steer clients consciously or unconsciously to utilize services provided by their agency. These prohibitions are unquestionably in the best interest of those served. It makes no sense not to comply.

This request does not serve the recipients. It serves the area agencies that fear quality oversight or loss of funding. There is no demonstrable evidence of any consumer being harmed by the requirement for conflict-free case management, quite the contrary.

Our citizens deserve the opportunity to live as they choose in the community, with free choice of qualified Medicaid providers. This is an important beneficiary protection that is also consistent with a person-centered approach to providing services. That is the New Hampshire way.

CAROLYN VIRTUE

Canterbury




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