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Does your data drive innovation?

Develop a Mind for Innovation: Is Your Behavioral Health Agency Driven by Data?

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“Crises, especially the one we are experiencing now, have a significant financial and human toll, stranding assets and human capital and causing significant social and economic dislocation. However, many of these dynamics are ingredients for disruption from which new business models emerge.” – Innovation in a Crisis: Why it is more critical than ever, McKinsey & Company

Many of us read this quote and understand what is being communicated explicitly. There isn’t much to argue in the above statement. But how do these words translate into a reality where data can truly drive innovation for behavioral health providers? Have you considered all that has taken place with COVID-19 and the effects on our industry as innovative ingredients to create a new or revised agency model? A model that can sustain future crises? If not, it is likely due to one of two reasons:

  1. You are currently still operating your agency from a state of crisis due to the effects of COVID-19. You are simply trying to keep your agency afloat, devoting each resource to essential needs of today.
  2. You are uncertain of the first steps to take in becoming an innovative agency. This has impacted your ability to create an adapted and thriving business model.

Then what is the first step in becoming innovative? Without data, innovation will be misplaced and misguided. Efforts, resources, and changes will be applied to unaffected areas of the business. More than ever, right now is the time to look at data. Not tomorrow. Not in a few months. But right now. Because tomorrow may be too late. That over-worked service provider may decide she will submit her two-week notice tomorrow. All of which could be prevented by analyzing billed amount and units by clinician today to reveal potential burnout. To ultimately lead you to ask the right question and reveal the burnout you believe is taking place (likely as a result of overproduction due to COVID-19). Today you could speak to that service provider to create a plan for her sustainability and engagement, and prevent the two-week notice from being submitted in the first place.

So if data is the first step to becoming an innovative agency, what is keeping you from analyzing and utilizing it? Again, two major components are at play here:

  1. You don’t have the proper tools to analyze your data.
  2. You don’t know how to analyze the data. You are unsure of what data to look at and what the data tells you about your current state of business and future decision-making opportunities.

Having the tools to make decisions just as fast as our current environment is changing, is essential. In this upcoming blog series, we will explore the tools needed and points of data to analyze within three major aspects of your agency’s operations:

  1. Behavioral Health Staff Productivity and Utilization: Is overproduction a good thing?
  2. No-Show Rates in Behavioral Health: Can you explain your agency’s no-show rates?
  3. Service Types: Has your response to increased demand in Behavioral Health services actually lost your agency money?

Join us as we take a deep dive into each one over the coming weeks to understand how data can drive innovation in the behavioral health and I/DD fields.

 

For the entire article of ‘Innovation in a Crisis: Why it is more critical than ever’, click here

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Giving You One Day Back – Quick Resources To Help Your Agency Survive COVID-19

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Our mission has remained steady: we want to remove any obstacles that get in the way of a behavioral health or I/DD provider impacting the life of another person. Our goal is to create one extra day a week for every role in your organization. Amidst the sudden changes and drastic impacts your agency has recently experienced due to COVID-19, our goal remains the same. One way we believe we can give you one day back during this unprecedented time is to create a central hub with the most essential and consistent resources available for the success of your agency – regarding both the services you provide and the staff that make it all possible.

Essential Resources to Provide Services

Telehealth & Reaching Isolated Populations

As you transition to providing most or all of your services through telehealth, here are the most important resources to monitor. Please keep in mind your agency can use any non-public facing remote communication product, even if you haven’t entered into a HIPAA business associate agreement (BAA) with video communication vendors. For more details of the announcement from the US Department of Health & Human Services regarding HIPAA and Telehealth during COVID-19, click here.

  • American Telemed has many resources, pertinent webinars, community groups, and recent news in one place at your fingertips. This resource is great for an agency that has never conducted telehealth services or has been doing it for years!
  • This Provider Telehealth and Telemedicine Tool Kit put out by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) outlines detail on the expansion of telehealth with the 1135 Waiver and Medicare’s coverage (along with billing codes). This also includes essential state statute guidance and telehealth implementation resources.
  • Medicaid.gov has put out a Coronavirus Disease Response Tool Kit with tools & checklists for states, state waiver approvals, billing & coding guidance, Medicare and other coverage guidance, and much more. This is a great one-stop shop for resources no matter where you are at in the process of transitioning to providing telehealth services through your agency.
  • Doxy.Me is a free, simple, and secure telemedicine tool for providers. Doxy.me has a goal to remove any barriers that may be preventing your agency from conducting telemedicine visits. Please note, doxy.me is a HIPAA-compliant video communication product and is willing to enter into a HIPAA BAA for the longevity of your telehealth services.
  • For those of you navigating video conferencing and calls as a means of communication for the first time, take a look at these Meeting & Webinar Best Practices and Resources from Zoom (these can be applied to any video conferencing application you are using).

General Resources

  • For timely industry-specific news, ongoing webinars, mental health first aid tools, and even DIY mask tutorials, head to the National Council’s COVID-19 Resources and Tools page.
  • Check out the many resources, blogs, podcasts and mental health matters practices from our partner and friend, Kevin Hines, as he shares fluidly and actively during this time.

Essential Resources to Support Staff

The Remarkable Way

Here at Remarkable Health, we have gone through a similar transition to a fully remote company within the past month. In that transition, we have learned important lessons and created innovative ways to engage our team. We want to share four initiatives that have had the most impact in order for you to integrate within your agency!

  1. Weekly Vlog: Our CEO, Peter Flick, hosts a weekly vlog (video blog) in which he communicates important updates to our team regarding COVID-19, our company, and the industry. He also takes this time to encourage us to remain positive and seek support as needed to remain healthy. It has been important for each employee to candidly hear from the CEO of the company on a regular basis during this time.
  2. Charity Miles Competition: We encourage you to check out the Charity Miles app available on Android and iOS. This app donates money to a charity of your choice for every mile you track walking, running and biking. On the app, you can create teams. This has allowed our company to participate in a competition to see who can accumulate the most miles over the next two months – promoting healthy interaction and fun competition with teammates, while engaging in activity proven to increase our mental health!
  3. Weekly Challenges: We have two challenges taking place this month in order to inject positivity and healthy habits into our team. The first is a weekly challenge to Create WOW Moments in the lives of others. Click here [upload image] to check out ideas we have come up with to Create Wow Moments. The second is a weekly challenge to engage in a new and different physical activity challenge (provided by our Health & Wellness Committee). Prizes are included for participation in both challenges!
  4. Virtual Coffee Shop Drop In & Happy Hour: Each week we have two optional companywide events to interact with one another personally. This is an opportunity to replace those hallway or breakroom interactions and ensure social interaction has found its place through a new virtual platform. 

Other Resources to Keep Your Staff Healthy

  • Forbes has put together a comprehensive survival guide to caring for staff, ranging from how to communicate about the virus and state of your company, to building team morale and addressing employment and financial needs of your team. 
  • NAMI has created a wonderful resource primarily providing resources for you and your family’s self-care and wellness. Check it out and send to your team as a reminder to take care of themselves as providers!
  • “You’re here for them, we’re here for you!” Headspace is a tool that provides guided meditations, animations, articles, and videos to improve your health and happiness. Due to COVID-19, Headspace is offering free access for healthcare professionals for the remainder of 2020.
  • Hilton & Marriott Hotels are offering special rates and deep discounts for healthcare professionals in need of a comfortable place to rest and stay. For Hilton’s offer, click here. For Marriott’s offer, email CVHelp@marriott.com.

Employee Legislative Resources 

Please reach out to anyone on our team at Remarkable Health if there are creative ways we can support you and your agency during this time. We are continuously looking for ways to remove the obstacles you face as providers – even the obstacles we can’t plan for or expect. 

Want to take it with you?  Grab our takeaway guide to share with your team!



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10 Mistakes I/DD Providers Should Avoid When Implementing a New EHR

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Medicaid managed care for the I/DD population is sweeping across the country, along with other funding changes from grants and fee-for-service, to Medicaid waivers and value-based payments. These new oversight and funding models are putting pressure on I/DD providers, forcing executives to think outside the box in terms of financing, managing performance, and technology. Oftentimes, many providers may be focused more on the features of the software than how they are going to implement it into their workflow. The result is while the software works, it might not be used or used to its fullest because the implementation was lacking.

A lot of what goes into effectively using new technology happens before you make your purchase. So be sure you don’t make these mistakes when selecting and implementing your EHR for your I/DD organization.

No Buy-In

You need the buy-in of clinicians and staff in your organization to be successful at choosing and implementing new EHR software. One of the most common mistakes that organizations make is letting one person choose the software without buy-in from everyone else. The result is often resistance to the final choice and providers or staff who fight making the change. We recommend you gather feedback and requirements from you staff through surveys and focus groups before looking for partners and communicate progress to your staff at key milestones in the project. This will help keep staff involved and informed but allow the decision makers to determine best product fit and scope of implementation at a much quicker pace.

Undefined Expectations

Before you select a partner, you have to set clear expectations around what you want in an EHR, what your agency needs, and what resources are available. Because an EHR will sync your entire organization around the client story, this will need to be tailored to each department. This requires input from everyone so that it will work for the whole business and not just the clinicians or agency director.

Not Assessing Workflows

It’s important to realize implementing a new EHR may mean you need to change intake, assessment, billing or documentation workflows – just to name a few. It’s important to evaluate your current workflows across the entire client lifecycle before you make a change. The fact is that the workflow will change and those changes will vary depending on how you do things now. To make the most of the EHR, you have to be open to change. By mapping out your current workflow, you can work with your new technology partner to identify areas that will need adjustment. Then, you can prepare for and manage those changes successfully.

Lack of Objectives

Objectives are not the same as expectations. Objectives are specific goals. Setting goals allows you to make sure that the solution you choose and processes you put in place are designed to help you reach certain objectives. You need to ask some basic questions. Do you want to make more money? Provide better client care? Improve documentation costs? Expand your services? For each service, these essential goals are unique. It’s important to make your goals S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-tracked).

Inadequate Infrastructure

Be sure you have the right infrastructure in place for your EHR. A lack of necessary bandwidth can slow down every process in your agency when you launch. Make sure you have the connectivity and speed to complete all your tasks and choose the right hardware for your needs.

Missing Milestones

Once you are ready to start your implementation, don’t forget to set some clear milestones for success with your technology partner. Set realistic dates for achieving specific items like training, billing, etc. Then, don’t get derailed by implementation challenges. Stick to your schedule!

Inadequate Training

If people are not trained adequately it will slow down your transition to an EHR. So don’t skimp on the training! Get as much training as you need for everyone on your staff, and select staff to train as super users to support the rest of the staff after your training is over.

Unprepared Clients

No matter how well trained and prepared your staff are, the change to EHR will slow things down initially. Tell your clients what is going on and ask for their patience and understanding.

Bad Customer Experience

Many providers don’t think about how the EHR will impact their interaction with clients. The fact is that using technology to document while you are with a client does affect that experience. Awareness is the first step to addressing this. Think about what type of device will work best and how you can use it to engage the client instead of letting it come between the provider and the client. Always be thinking of the client – and make sure your workflow and system configuration ensures the interaction provides a positive experience.

Thinking You’re Done

When it comes to managing your agency and improving your business, you are never done. Whether it’s EHR or billing, there is always something new. And you should expect your partner to have a robust plan for ongoing product development. These new tools and features will help you continue to improve the quality of your client care and the management of your business.