Jonathan's Journal 1-03-16

Jonathan's Journal
Signature Health, Inc. Newsletter
In This Issue
New Years Resolutions
BH Redesign
Thought For The Week
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Issue: # 1

January 3rd, 2016

Happy New Year !

As we flip the calendar over again my thoughts naturally focus on the blank canvas of 2016 and what future we want to create.  With BH Redesign that I talk about more below I know that 2016 will be a pivotal year not just for Signature Health but for mental health in general.

Starting tomorrow morning, we will be back at full speed.  With so many big picture changes, coupled with thousands of day to day details and interruptions it is easy to let time slip by and never get anything meaningful accomplished.  My solution is I have a habit of setting out the 3-4 overarching goals each new year that I would like to accomplish for the year.  I call them my Signature Health New Years Resolutions.  Here they are for 2016 (in no particular order):
1.  Complete Conversion to Non-Profit
2.  Become Recognized as an FQHC
3.  Open our new Child Group Home in Ashtabula
4.  Infuse Six Sigma process improvement into our Quality Improvement

Accomplishing these 4 things will deeply strengthen our services and relationships with our patients and the community and position our agency for long term success.

Lots of people make New Years Resolutions (often to lose the weight we just gained over the holidays), but I find that limiting them to 3-4 goals no matter how big or small AND writing them down makes all the difference. So if you haven't done it yet for 2016 set your goals down on paper.  And then sign it like a contract!

I then start every day thinking "what are the 3 things I need to get done today".  I find that if I can get 3-4 small things done each day I feel a huge sense of accomplishment and I meet my yearly goals every time.

Happy New Year!
BH Redesign is like ICD-10
I don't want to be the Grinch who stole Christmas but this is critical to the future of Signature Health and all Mental Health Agencies in Ohio...

Many of you may not realize that there has been significant work done by the Ohio Department of Medicaid to redesign the Medicaid funding and payment system for community mental health/addiction centers (CMHCs).  I have been honored to be one of 50 stakeholders asked to provide feedback to the State Department on their change efforts. Unfortunately our advocacy has not yielded much change in the Department's approach.  In short they are changing the coding system and the payment structure that we have used for decades to one that is compliant with HIPAA and the National Correct Coding Initiative.  

These changes are not a simple change from one code to the other.  We are changing from time based coding/payment to procedure based coding/payment.  In many respects its like the switch from ICD-9 (International Classification of Diseases) to ICD-10 where one ICD-9 diagnostic code could now have dozens of possible equivalent codes in ICD-10.  Similarly one service code may now have several possible equivalent codes that depend upon complexity of the patient, credentials of the person providing the service, and fidelity to evidence based best practices, and other factors.

Follow The Money... The issues causing significant concern for CMHCs like Signature Health is the proposed payments for the new code set appear to be 20%-30% lower than current payments across the board.  These lower payment rates are to help finance an expansion of covered services such as drug and alcohol residential services, Assertive Community Treatment (ACT), and Intensive Home Based Treatment (IHBT) among others.

Most CMHCs have 70% or more of their business with Medicaid.  So the redesigned system with 20-30% rate cuts, if enacted as proposed, will require SIGNIFICANT business model changes or CMHCs won't survive. 

I feel fortunate that Signature Health has long ago begun to change our business practices in anticipation of these changes so that we are positioned to not only survive but to thrive in these turbulent times!  To further position ourselves, In 2016 we will expand our quality improvement program by integrating a Healthcare 6 Sigma continuous process improvement system.  Stay tuned for more announcements about the Healthcare 6 Sigma Process Improvement System.
Thought For The Week

Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress, and working together is success"
-Henry Ford

Make it a Great Week !  


Comments (1) -

  • Jennifer

    1/6/2016 2:00:50 PM |

    Thank you for your dedication to helping the people of our community (Ashtabula) who are challenged by mental health issues.  Signature Health has helped me and my family a great deal.  Please keep up the good work and know that you and all those employed at SH are making a difference.

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