The Risks of “Integrated Care”
Season 2 Episode 4
August 18, 2021
Podcast: The Risks of “Integrated Care”
The Space Shuttle, with over 2.5 million parts, 230 miles of wire and 1,060 plumbing valves was once described as the most complex “machine” ever made by man. For successful results it’s mission requirements complex systems and a flawless degree of accountability were essential. Flaws in those complex systems resulted in the disasters of Columbia and Discovery. Our health care system, experienced from a patient perspective, appears to rival the Space Shuttle in complexity. But in the case of health care, complexity and a lack of accountability are factors that often lead to inadequate, inaccessible, unaffordable and unacceptable levels of care for our some of our most vulnerable citizens…those living with intellectual and developmental disabilities and/or mental health concerns that necessitate a lifelong array of specialized care services to live a full life and participate in their communities. As it exists today, our health care system is flawed and everyone agrees changes are needed. “Integrated Care” is the term often used to propose solutions to the complexity that haunts our health care system. However the political solutions being debated today merely “integrate” the payment side of care. These are “top down” economic solutions designed to outsource the state’s responsibility to it’s vulnerable citizenry to private enterprise where profitability and shareholder ROI is the #1 primary concern. Integrating care from a patient’s perspective would ensure all mental and physical health care needs are adequately and appropriately met, attendant care is always available and barriers to inclusion are removed or mitigated. Integrated care should enable persons with disability to be integrated into our communities.
Elizabeth W. Bauer
Elizabeth Bauer advocates the human and legal rights of people with disabilities in Michigan, nationally, and internationally. Throughout her professional life Bauer has consulted in the United States and internationally on development of public policy, services, human rights, and support for people with disabilities. She has testified before Congress and the Michigan Legislature and assisted in the development of legislation and public policy related to people with disabilities.
During her 50 year career, she also served as a speech pathologist and special educator. After moving to Michigan in 1975, Bauer was a consultant in special education and an adult education administrator for the City of Pontiac School District. She then served as director of staff development and as the director of community placement in Michigan’s public mental health system.
In 1981, Bauer founded and became the executive director of Michigan Protection and Advocacy Service, Inc. (MPAS) Michigan’s federally mandated protection and advocacy system for people with disabilities. After retiring from MPAS in 2001, Bauer was elected in 2002 to the State Board of Education for an eight year term during which time she led the State Board’s educational technology initiative and was a member of the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) Work Group on Career and Technical Education. She received the NASBE Distinguished Service Award in 2012. Bauer currently serves as president of the Board of Directors for the Widening Advancements for Youth (WAY) Academy of Detroit.