Our country struggles over the use of terms like “patient” and “consumer” in healthcare services. The two terms can indicate how much power an individual has in impacting his/her services. This struggle is very evident in North Carolina’s public behavioral health and intellectual-developmental disability service arena and, some would say, that is because many individuals who seek services within the BH/I-DD system can remain in the system long-term and should have some power base in making decisions that affect their care. Over the course of several decades, North Carolina has built a BH/I-DD public system that includes mechanisms to support consumer input into the service system at an individual level and at a system level. Now the intent is to bring together services for a consumer’s physical health and BH/I-DD care. It remains to be seen if the historical mechanisms will remain in place, be strengthened and expanded, or weaken as the State shifts to public/private Medicaid/State funded managed care. Some examples of these mechanisms are:
i2i Center brings together stakeholders with different perspectives to ONE NEUTRAL TABLE to develop common goals, to better understand each other’s roles and requirements in serving a specific population, to pool resources and develop recommendations that each stakeholder and i2i Center staff can take forward collectively to effect the legislative process, policy development and implementation and local processes. The i2i Center staff builds on many years of experience in behavioral health and I-DD services, understands the importance of consumer engagement in making health care choices, and promotes mechanisms for meaningful consumer involvement in policy and legislative changes impacting their lives.