AHCCCS will take over the administrative oversight (and the statutory responsibilities) of the Children’s Rehabilitative Services (CRS) program on January 1.  The CRS program (which began in the 1920s as the Crippled Children’s Program) provides medical care and support services to kids who have certain chronic or disabling conditions.  This administrative change won’t impact the kids that we serve or their families, in fact they won’t really even notice any changes.  For the past several years both the ADHS and AHCCCS have been involved in overseeing the CRS program including the contract with Arizona Physicians IPA-Children’s Rehabilitative Services or APIPA (who manages the CRS program).  All of us in state government have been looking for ways to streamline and simplify how we manage our programs these days, and we’ve (ADHS & AHCCCS) decided to move all of the oversight for the program to one agency (AHCCCS) in order to simplify the administrative structure and workflow.

As I mentioned, families and doctors will experience a seamless transition, and the same providers will continue to provide exactly the same services through the same clinics as today.  In fact, most folks won’t even notice that this is happening.  Although the ADHS won’t oversee the APIPA’s contract after 1/1/11, our Office for Children with Special Healthcare Needs will continue to be available to support families with information and resources and will continue to provide the same Title V services that we provide today.

This transition has nothing to do with the performance of our program; it’s really a decision we’re making to simplify  administration and oversight of the program.  In fact, we’re proud of the many accomplishments that our program has achieved over the past several years.  Our dedicated team of professionals has increased contract compliance from 49% in 2006 to 95% in 2009.  We’ve also maintained high levels of family satisfaction (averaging 9 on a 10 point scale for overall healthcare) while reducing administrative costs by 30%.  We’ve also found creative ways to improve performance in CRS and leverage Title V resources on behalf of all children with special health care needs throughout the state and completed a new needs assessment that takes a fresh look at statewide resources.  In short, we’ve done a dynamite job.

We still need to work out a number of details and I’ll be able to let you know about those in a few weeks.