What is the problem that needs to be addressed? Please describe how it is related to mental health.
Many Orange County MHSA programs were created from the INN submission system as a proof of concept. This is great to prove a concept, however, when the concept transitions to normal operations of a service the original contract and structure may need to change. INN Submissions and Orange County MHSA operators tend to use self-reported or “snapshot” statistics. This is great to show the initial “vote by feet” utilization. However, as a program grows into mature operations, the self-reporting snapshots may show stagnation – the capacity of the program is always met and at steady-state. No growth is shown nor future benefit. What is missed is traking a person through a program and into a promotion/graduation to what is next. If a program relies on self-reporting or snapshots, it will never capture the true value and successes that are achieved.
Why is this a concern for Orange County? What can Orange County and other counties learn from this project?
Many programs exist in Orange County that are contracted via the snapshot / self-report method. These programs may be underfunded or undervalued because the structure of the data collection has been outgrown by the program. Orange County may be misallocating resources because of the known issues with self-reporting of data. Thus misinvestment may occur and subsequent medical error, up to and including reduced life expectancy, maybe in our future. When decisions are made that reduce life expectancy for a cohort of people, litigation and severe compliance oversight usually follows.
What is currently being done to resolve this problem in our county and throughout the United States? If applicable: Is it working; why or why not?
Unknown, but a basic biostatistics course is a good start for answering this question. Please consult your local provider of biostatistics/bioinformatics education for more information.
What is new or different about this project idea? Please describe how this differs from what is already being done (Question 6). Please list any research that was done on this topic.
Enabling an upgrade of data benchmarking, collection and reporting for existing county contracts that will enable the growth of existing programs into services with greater value, capacity, and impact.
What is the project idea? Please describe how this project will operate.
Allow existing Orange County MHSA programs to submit a plan for the transition from snapshot/self-report of data to case-matched data – with client consent – and concurrent opportunity to renegotiate a funding contract with the county of orange-based upon different methodology of data collection/reporting and contractual goals. Alternatively, the contractee could also be changed from the County of Orange to an entity TBI. Such a change would be equivalent to the Federal Receivership experienced by California State Prisons (https://www.propublica.org/article/guide-to-california-prisons).
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