(Continued from Home page.) First of all, our Department of Health and Human Services and our Managed Care Organizations must consider what is at stake when administrators and providers do not respond to concerns in a timely way. Things just get worse. Period. Many of us liken this to watching a person who is having a personal difficulty as it quickly devolves into a serious crisis event because no one has responded at an earlier point with the appropriate action according to what the need is. In other words, our system tends to create crises when it does not respond in a timely way as transparently and as accountably as it can. This is, in part, why we are in the midst of this large system evolution–the crisis within our system that has spun out so many individual crises. Yet the only way having the new kind of care management is going to relieve our crisis is by focusing first on how it responds to those who must depend on it and their families.
A Request for LME/MCO staff: Please, at least call people back when they call you! Yes, we are hearing that LME staff are simply not following up with callers, even after they may have spoken. Even when you have to study a situation further or do not know how best to resolve it, please just be engaging and responsive to the person who is calling. Likely, the person is exhausted, in emotional turmoil, and is very aware of all that is at stake for himself or herself and close relationships when pieces of our system are not helpful. You cannot understand what a relief it is to be listened to, not just heard, with affirming statements identifying what you hear as problematic!
An engaged, considerate, and supportive voice on the other end of the line goes a long way to restore our faith in a process, and it gives us hope that there may indeed be a solution.
Now that so many are contacting our organization in moments of personal distress, NC CANSO wants to be confident that when we refer a person to a particular customer services staff within an LME, or to staff at the Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Servcies, or even to our protection and advocacy agency, Disability Right’s North Carolina, there will be a fully attentive, caring, and responsive individual empowering the caller with support, information, and some kind of action!
Please do your part to convey hope for us! We need this hope! And when hope is not a guiding value for system and provider behavior, the system itself can be more disabling to us than our problems.