No one takes delight in having to manage the unknown. It can create uneasiness and discomfort that can even extend to physical affects. This is never good.
It also occurs in business. However, sometimes it can be self-created for a variety of reasons. Some entrepreneurs may not do enough to maintain control of their operations through good prospect follow-up, caring for client needs, regular evaluation of management systems, dumping unproductive personnel, etc. and in the process sort of “leave things hanging in the wind” so an uncertainty is created that can cause anxiety. At all cost, we must avoid these harmful practices.
Then there are changes we cannot control. A good example is in SE Michigan. Several Managed Care Provider Network entities (MCPNs) contract with the Detroit/Wayne County Mental Health Authority to manage, monitor and arrange care for those with mental illness and developmental limitations. Some of those served have serious behavioral issues.
With the requirement to comply with the State’s Mental Health Code, these agencies use public money to care for some of the most vulnerable among us, including arranging housing in licensed adult foster care homes and semi-independent living facilities. Recently it was announced that the County Authority would terminate its contract with one of these MCPN’s, Gateway Community Health which will result in the care of those Gateway served being transferred to another MCPN, Carelink/ConsumerLink. In addition, those care facilities, i.e. adult foster care homes will now have to enter into contracts with Carelink/Consumer Link. (Click Here for an article in a prominent business journal on this subject, including Gateway’s legal fight against the county authority)
This contract termination requires new provider contracts, new operational protocols and a major change in relationships that were previously managed by Gateway. Some providers in residential care who operate outside of Wayne County may lose their contracts altogether. Knowing this allows you to regroup, which must be viewed as having value.
As a result of the overall transition formula, providers may be feeling a degree of uncertainty. How can you manage this and keep the stress level intact? Here are a few suggestions:
- Study carefully how Carelink/Consumer Link operates. Make sure you understand their priorities, their professional acumen, their expectations and comply by demonstrating a team spirit. Do not approach things insisting on your way or make an effort to reinvent how they operate or you will likely find yourself out on your own.
- If you operate outside of Wayne County either make the effort to relocate your business in time for the next contract period or advise Carelink administration that this is your contemplation and perhaps you be added to the current pool of providers mid-year.
- Do not allow yourself to become affixed to past practices that Gateway may have tolerated that a new contract agency may find unacceptable. You need to be willing to adapt and this includes raising your standards and commitment to best practices.
- Return all requested documentation in a timely manner.
- Maintain commitment to your residential population.
- Avoid rumors – spreading them and listening to them – which some do to create comfort levels or to pacify friends. Rumor mongers are never happy and create more uncertainty for self and others. If you have a question, contact the appropriate personnel within Carelink and resolve the matter. Do not let rumors govern your reality!
Yes there is a degree of unpleasantness associated with uncertainty. We just have to be careful allowing it to weigh us down. Keep that head up, keep that smile going….everything will be fine for the truly committed!
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