Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The (Draft) Ten Guiding Principles for the ICBM

At the request of Anonymous, here is the draft I received as the "ten guiding principles for the Individual Choice Bugeting Model Process." (ICBM) I am typing this all in so I expect Anonymous gratitude.

  • Reduces overall state General Fund costs.
  • Increases fairness, equity, and transparency in the allocation of resources.
  • Accounts for geographical cost differences.
  • To the extent possible, relies on existing state data systems and assessment processes.
  • Accommodates individuals with exceptional or unique care needs and their associated purchase-of-service costs.
  • Easy and efficient to administer for consumers, families and regional center personnel.
  • Does not jeopardize individual's health, safety and/or well-being.
  • Does not impose any unfunded mandates on participants, providers or regional centers.
  • Promotes individuals' ability to achieve and maintain living arrangements and work in the least restrictive settings.
  • To the extent possible, can be implemented within existing resources.

A few things I would note. First, just to cushion the sarcasm to follow, I'll just say that I don't disagree with anything listed and I don't mean to criticize the author(s) in particular.

With that said, I think it is less important what the principles are than that there are ten. This is clearly a document of good intentions, more than a design plan. It is also worth noting that with a maybe exception for the third principle, these are all principles designed into the traditional system as well. On the one hand, you can consider ICBM a useful attempt to try again. On the other hand, there is nothing in these principles to provide for anyone's optimism.

The last thing I'd point out is that nothing here refers to using unvendored supports, decreasing the involvement of the regional center or either providing relief from or adding to the current, expensive and unimpressively accountable regulatory system. So the pessimists I call my brothers and sisters and inanimate or ungendered kin can rightly justify a jaundiced expectation. If ICBM does constitute some sort of constructive reform, that feature will have been added later.

A couple of bonus thoughts at no additional charge: One is that the "unfunded mandates" line is interesting given that Counties and IHSS workers are running around buying fingerprint scans willy-nilly and typically at the expense of the provider. I wonder if this line exists in order to specifically lay to rest fears along those lines or whether the author intends it as comforting boilerplate.

Also, the fact that this is a draft of principles and was presented as current in November should maybe suggest to the providers of suspended services to consider other lines of work. If this represents the extent of the work, and it may not, that doesn't promise much in the way of quick development or expeditious deployment.


I recently received a note that DDS did not produce the document quoted above and cited below. This might be good news, as we can hope that the actual development process is further along than it seemed and may also be less obvious. The bad news is that most of what I have written in the two posts now seems frivolous and mean. Well, sort of bad and not at all news, but I do repent of the error.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

ICBM outgoing

Last week, I received a copy of the draft of 10 guiding principles for the new Individual Choice Budget Model. A few things I'd note. The first is that after several months there is a draft version of 10 guiding principles for the new Individual Choice Budget Model. That right there is discouraging. The second is that the 10 principles look so thoroughly rhetorical. Protect safety, ensure choice, save the state money. Good ideas, all, and I offer this blog as a pretty good proxy for what five years of work along these lines will probably look like.

The rub is you can't really root against them because there are clients and vendors being held hostage until the ICBM is certified by the Director of DDS to have been implemented and to be saving the state money. My modest proposal, submit this blog as the complete implementation of the model and certify that you're saving money by canceling the development.