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Sidebar: CEO of LifePlan says new care management model will improve, expand services

Watertown Daily Times - 4/16/2018

April 16--WATERTOWN -- The new Health Home Care Management model for people with disabilities in New York state has two main goals, said Nicholas Cappoletti, chief executive officer of LifePlan CCO NY.

"We want to make sure people are getting a high quality, consistent level of service," Mr. Cappoletti said Friday in a phone interview.

The second goal is to expand services.

"Right now, service coordinators only coordinate disability services," he said. The new model will add things like medical, dental, behavioral health, housing solutions and connections to the community.

"The role will be broader by having a major care coordination organization offer the services to build the capacity and infrastructure to be able to do that better," he said.

Mr. Cappoletti said that LifePlan CCO is different from other CCOs because it was founded by a collaboration of more than 70 agencies.

"We're agency-owned," he said. "For the first year, we are sub-contracting with many of those agencies. Many of those care coordinators will be working for the same agencies that they work for today. We'll be able to train them on the new role of care coordinator and slowly bring them into LifePlan."

Mr. Cappoletti said some CCOs are requiring current care managers to resign from their existing positions.

"We're subcontracting so we can keep the providers engaged in the process," he said.

Mr. Cappoletti has a child with a disability.

"I know how important it is for them to keep the relationships," he said of clients. "We're trying everything we can to make sure that families don't lose that trusted resource that's been part of their lives."

One reason the statewide changes are being made, Mr. Cappoletti said, is the possibility of conflict of interests.

"The federal government dictated to New York that an agency that provides services can't coordinate those services," he said. "They should be an independent entity that could look objectively at the person's need and provide support. We needed to move to a conflict-free model. That's being done across the country."

He said it's not a matter of saving money or of budget cutbacks.

"If anything, the federal government is paying New York state more money to add to add this level of service," he said.

"There's more money being put in the system under this new model. The thought is, if we can provide better care coordination for somebody and address their holistic needs, ultimately that will improve the quality of life for somebody and also maybe minimize more expensive hospital trips and people going into crisis situations."

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(c)2018 Watertown Daily Times (Watertown, N.Y.)

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