SB 1839 also mandated this new program which provides a venue for providers and regulatory staff to come together on a frequent basis for discussions on regulations. The goal of the program is to assure that there is a common understanding of the regulations, to facilitate dialogue about concerns regarding inconsistencies in the application of the regulations across different regions of the state, and generally to work to reduce the sense of an adversarial relationship between the regulators and the regulated.
Liaisons are former surveyors who are considered to be particularly knowledgeable about regulatory issues, each of whom are assigned responsibility for one geographic area of the state. The legislature funded the state's share of this program by transferring approximately 14 FTEs from the survey function to the new program. The liaisons had just begun to go out and meet with providers at the time of the site visit.