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  • Hayley Studer

Ohio Budget Cuts Provide Opportunities for Innovation

Governor Mike DeWine announced needed cuts totaling $775 million to Ohio’s FY 2020 budget (ending June 30) as a result of decreased revenues due to COVID-19. These cuts will primarily be made to education and Medicaid, two systems which already have been stretched. As projected revenues continue to show a decline for months to come, additional

budget challenges are expected. Although budget cuts are never pleasant, when approached the right way, they can give us opportunities to look at things in a new light.

COVID-19 has most certainly brought an element of chaos to all of our lives, but maybe chaos can be a good thing. In her book, A Beautiful Mess, Danielle Strickland defines chaos as “an invitation to rearrange everything”. She goes on to say “…that without the chaos, nothing else would have been born from it.” Her message is that when embraced, chaos can allow us to transform broken systems, close the gaps of social and health disparities, and begin the process of repair in people’s lives.

So, what if we began looking at things through that lens? Could needed transformation come out of our current chaos? I’m already seeing examples of this. A friend sent me a link to a website created by four competing hospitals on the East Coast. These entities have joined forces to support their local communities by working together and sharing resources, all with a common goal of improving the lives of the people they serve. This was a great example of leaders being willing to break down barriers and look at new ways to collaborate. I’m seeing similar hope in my own community where competitors are willing to discuss nontraditional methods of joining forces to accomplish a common community goal.

If competitors can throw out the bureaucracy and work toward a unified outcome, we can do the same at the government level and use this time as an opportunity to re-engineer old, outdated processes and payment systems. COVID-19 has placed a glaring spotlight on both social and health disparities in our communities. As we look at how to finance programs in the future and where to focus resources, let’s use this as an opportunity to make impactful investments in things that will truly move the needle on improving the health and well-being of our communities. Our communities deserve our commitment to use the current chaos to develop something beautiful and lasting.

About achi

achi is a holistic care management company that lowers overall expenses by actively engaging people and connecting them to organizations to address the social determinants of health. Through innovative partnerships, cross-sector collaboration, and creative solutions, we equip organizations across multiple industries to educate the people they serve and connect them with resources to improve their lives from the ground up. By partnering with health systems, educational institutions and corporations, achi empowers lasting transformation in individual lives—resulting in an overall healthier population and data to transform our healthcare payment models. To learn more about achi and its mission, visit www.achi.solutions.

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