Access Redesign Quality Improvement Initiative
Community Behavioral Health Organization
2010 Participation Application
Please complete the information requested on page 5 of this Participation Application and return it by
Friday, May 7th, 5:00 pm eastern, to RebeccaF@thenationalcouncil.org.
Multiple years of state budget cuts, along with increased demand for services due to the recession,
are putting a strain on the public behavioral health safety net in this country. Since 2009, states have
been forced to make $1.6 billion in cuts to mental health funding and cuts to addiction services reflect
a similar pattern. In this financial climate, community behavioral health organizations (CBHOs) are
making every effort to provide high quality services to children and adults with mental health and
substance use problems and seek clear strategies to streamline client access and other
At the same time, the implementation of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act and
coverage expansions that will occur as a result of healthcare reform will increase the number of
persons seeking treatment from community-behavioral healthcare organizations.
In response to these dynamics, the National Council has developed and managed multiple year-
long projects aimed at reducing wait times and costs associated with treatment initiation. By utilizing
real-time client data, participating CBHOs are empowered to critically analyze their access processes
to create efficiencies and better serve clients.
It is the National Council’s pleasure to announce the availability of funding to support a
focused Access Redesign Quality Improvement Initiative to be conducted with up to 40
organizations in two states.
Access Redesign Project Objectives
The objectives of the initiative are to identify up to 40 community behavioral healthcare organizations
in two states that will agree to design and implement strategies that will:
• Assess current intake and assessment process and engage in a re-design effort to reduce client
• Develop cost effective intake and assessment processes that are compliant with federal, state
and regulatory requirements and that are financially viable.
• Better engage clients and thus reduce no-show and cancel rates.
The National Council has selected MTM Services to manage and implement this project. The
Consultants from MTM Services will work with the selected organizations to accomplish the identified
• Assessing each organizations access to care process and offering suggestions for improvement
• Providing successful models used by other CBHOs to make access to care more timely
• Identifying a standardized access to care process flow which includes costing awareness and
recommendations for implementation.
• Identifying ability to replicate in other states the positive access to care models implemented
Access Redesign Project Scope of Work
The scope of work for the Access Redesign Quality Improvement Initiative is:
1. Develop application process for statewide community provider trade associations and/or
CBHO member organizations to complete to confirm their interest in participating in this
2. Based on grant participation request applications received, identify two different state
behavioral health trade association and/or up to twenty CBHOs within each selected state
that meet the selection criteria identified in item four below (total of up to fourty CBHOs will
be funded by the grant funds available).
3. Sponsor a 3 hour Internet learning conference with each state to provide a specific
orientation and access to care solution tool development for management team
representatives from each participating CBHO. The curriculum focus for the learning
conference will be:
a. Provide an overview of the initiative
b. Identify specific measurement processes/costing tools that will be used to identify
current access to care challenges within each CBHO
c. Identify the process that will be used for each CBHO to design a more timely and cost
effective standardized access to care process flow
d. Identify case study access to care solution models developed and implemented by
other CBHOs to prevent each CBHO from having to “start over”
4. Provide additional Internet based meetings for participating CBHOs with MTM Services
consultation team members to:
a. Identify/design current process flows (based on current access and intake processes)
being used within each CBHO including costing for the flows identified
b. Address the system issues that keep staff from being able to focus on the
organization’s clients. The main strategies identified during the other initiatives that will
be utilized to achieve these changes include:
i. Concurrent Documentation: Eradicating post session documentation time while
increasing client buy-in for their care by involving them more and creating
documentation that is much more compliant to assist with auditing concerns.
ii. Walk-In Models: Offering more expedient access to care which helps increase
engagement by reducing wait times and works to eradicate/greatly reduces no
iii. No Show Management: Work through policy changes and counseling clients to
increase show rates/client engagement.
iv. Maximizing Staff Productivity / Employee Engagement: Helping direct service staff
maximize their time with clients by reducing the amount of time they spend
performing non-billable activities.
c. Develop a standardized process flow for each center that will minimize the staff and
client time required and a costing summary to support newly developed process flow.
5. Provide an onsite closing learning conference within each state and all CBHOs participating
in the initiative to summarize the findings and recommendations for the participating state
trade association(s) and/or the respective CBHOs.
Selection Process and Commitment Criteria
To accomplish the above objectives and scope of work, the National Council and MTM Services will
select two state behavioral health trade associations and/or up to twenty CBHOs within each state
through a competitive application process based on the following minimum participation criteria:
1. Recognition of timely access to care challenges in the state and within the member CBHOs
2. Commitment by the Executive Director of the state behavioral health trade association and/or
the Chief Executive Officer/management team of each member CBHO to participate in the
initiative through support of the following:
a. Agree to implement a local Access Redesign Improvement Team consisting of a
four to six person team that will provide adequate time, energy and enthusiasm to
participate in this CQI process.
b. Agree to work with the consultation team and the National Council to define the access to
care challenges and generate process flow solutions using case studies or uniquely
c. Agree to participate in a half-day learning session during the first week of June 2010 to
provide orientation about the project and develop the final components of the project.
d. Agree to participate in a formal “Intake Process Flow Analysis” and “Access to Care Cost
Finding Process” in June 2010 to identify bottlenecks, time parameters, process cost, etc.
e. Agree to design a standardized access to care process flow and modify intake processes to
accommodate more timely and efficient access to care.
3. Arrange and contribute local state level matching funds for the access redesign initiative on a
local contribution of five hundred dollars for each of the 20 organizations that will take part in
this initiative. Therefore, the total local state match contribution requirement will be $10,000 per
state ($20,000 collective match for both states). Additionally, each state can increase the
number of participating CBHOs from a total of up to twenty-five per state upon payment of
$2,500 per additional CBHO that desires to participate which will be paid in addition to the state
match indicated above.
4. Consent to and support publishing the findings of the initiative.
5. CBHOs must have the capacity to participate in Internet based meetings including an adequate
high speed Internet connection, conference phone equipment and an LCD Projector.
Benefits to Participating Organizations
• Participating organizations will receive the benefit of intense consultation by expert national
consultants to assist in the achievement of project objectives. All consultant fees and expenses
will be covered. (See Appendix A on Page 6 for examples of the outcomes from the previous
• Participating organizations will have access to specialized tools and strategies that they can
use beyond the duration of the project.
• Participating organizations will receive consultation support to enhance access to care
timelines/cost effectiveness and costing of access to care processes.
• Statewide access to care timeliness should improve
Please complete the information requested below on page 5 and return it by May 7th, 2010, 5:00 pm
eastern, to RebeccaF@thenationalcouncil.org. By signing and submitting the application that follows,
the organization is indicating that it has read and agrees to the project commitments outlined above.
Overview of Access To Care Needs Summary
Participation Application Percentage
What was the average CBHO’s no show / cancellation percentage rate in the
previous fiscal year for:
Organization Type Statewide Trade Association
Group of Appointments?
Mailing Address: On Going Appointments?
City, State and Zip: wait time across the state (in days) from an client’s first
City: State: Zip Code:
What is the average adult
call for services to Intake/ Assessment?
Contact Person/Title: Title:
Phone Number: Fax Number: Email: Days
What is the average wait time across the state (in days) from a child/adolescent
client’s first call for services to Intake/ Assessment?
Access Redesign Initiative CBHO Participant List
Please attach a list of the CBHOs, the primary contact person, his/her phone number and email address that have
Please tell us why the CBHOs in your state would like to participate in this improvement project and/or
been identified to participate in this initiative
provide any other supportive comments:
Verification of Commitment: The attached list of CBHOs commit that they will individually and collectively support
the Organizational Commitments as outlined in numbers 1 – 5 above.
Please answer the following questions:
1) Has your state/organization undergone clinical process improvement in the past? Please describe your
Signed By: and/or health outcomes.
experiences with this, including organizationalTitle: Date:
2) What do you currently see as organizational factors that are influencing your no-show rate and/or wait
time for appointments?
3) What policy or advocacy action do you anticipate being able to take as a result of participation in this
• Total Annual Savings: The team’s efforts produced an average annual savings of
$199,989.43 per agency annually based upon the changes that are being or have already
been implemented in their access models. The changes created a 34% reduction in staff
time and an 18% reduction in the client time required to complete the average Access
process. This savings is based upon the comparison reports submitted by 28 grant
Organizations from Florida (7), Ohio (12), & Wyoming (9); the total annual savings for
these organizations is $5,599,703.99. Extrapolating that average annual savings across
all 48 organizations would generate a total annual savings of $9,599,492.64.
• Total Wait-time (Days): The team’s efforts also produced a significant 40% reduction in
the total amount of wait-time incurred by the average client going through their access
models. During this project, we were able to establish a direct link between a client’s wait
time and their level of engagement in the treatment by reviewing over 17,000 service
events that took place during the timeframe of the grant. The correlation showed us that
for each day that the average client waited for their assessment appointment, they were
1% less likely to show up for that assessment appointment. (Example: A client waiting
60 days is 60% less likely to show up for that assessment appointment.)
Access and Retention Initiative Results
The four CBHOs who took part in the first Access and Retention identified during a two day learning
conference important collaborative team objectives that were determined to be core quality
improvement initiatives that are needed to improve access to care. Additionally, the learning
collaborative developed specific access to care outcome measures, measurement obstacles and
impact strategies (Figure Two below) to provide a support framework to attain improved access to
care within their community programs.
Access and Retention Project
Outcome Measures, Measurement Obstacles, Impact Strategies
Access and Retention Potential Measures Challenges Potential Strategies
Dimension (baseline and change)
ACCESS • Wait Lists • Intake Process
• Days to Service Entry • Definitions Improvement
Points (e.g. first call to • Adequate Scheduling Rate
intake; intake to • Ability to • Priority Based Intake
assessment; assessment Measure Criteria
to therapy and
To support uniform access to care outcome measurement, the learning collaborative agreed on the
need to create performance standard definitions, which provides an ability to develop measurement
tools to support improvements. Figure Three provides the agreed upon six Access Measures that
each collaborative member began to measure effective December 1, 2007.
The MTM Services project management faculty developed a uniform access to care measurement
capacity through the use of a newly designed First Call to First Appointment measurement report
as identified in Figure Four. The purpose of this report is to provide each collaborative member the
ability to track all new clients beginning December 1, 2007 from his/her first call for services to the
first available Intake appointment. The measurement tool also provides the ability to measure the
first offered appointment date and the actual appointment date along with measurement of client no
shows and client cancellations.
Secondly, the measurement tool tracks the access for clients that kept his/her Intake appointment
to the first treatment appointment that would typically be used to develop a treatment plan. Again,
the measurement tool provides the ability to record the first available appointment date and the
actual appointment date along with measurement of whether the client kept, canceled or no
showed for the first treatment appointment.
Thirdly, the measurement tool tracks the access for clients that kept his/her first treatment
appointment to the first appointment with a psychiatrist or advanced nurse specialist along with the
disposition of the scheduled appointment.
The measurement outcomes from collaborative members has been very revealing regarding the
level of no show/cancelation activity in correlation to the wait time in days between each of the face
to face service opportunities.
Access delays can be shortened through identification of excessive and redundant data collection
during the intake process and through identifying access to care process flows that are focused on
serving the system which create timely access barriers rather than serving the clients.
Two measurement techniques are being used with community behavioral healthcare providers to
objectively identify access to care challenges as follows:
• Data Mapping: Typically, CBHOs have determined individual center access to care
documentation needs through decades of adding new documentation data element
requirements on top of the historically collected data elements. This cumulative process has
created significant information collection challenges.
Case Study of Exhaustive Data Collection Model: M.T.M. Services provides project
management and consultation services for the Access and Retention Grant. In their work with
CBHOs they provide data mapping of the number of data elements each center collects from
the first call for services through the completion of the diagnostic assessment/intake. A recent
data mapping effort for a community provider produced the following outcomes:
1. Total number of data elements collected in the process = 1,854
2. Total number of redundant data elements collected in the process = 564
3. Total number of data elements really required for access to treatment planning
processes = 957
4. Total staff time required to administer the original flow process = Four hours ten
5. Total staff time required to administer the revised flow process = One hours
This level of staff time efficiency per admission in the Intake process can significantly reduce the
wait time for clients into treatment. As indicated above, experience indicates that the shorter the
wait time from first call for help to the face-to-face diagnostic assessment/intake the lower the no
show/cancellation rates. Figure Five provides a sample of how data mapping is accomplished
Assessment Data Point Collection/Mapping
• Process Flows: The second phase of the solution plan to decreasing the bottlenecks for
clients to enter services is supported by the development of process flow charts of the current
access/intake procedures. This level of consultation has produced an awareness that the
process flows vary within individual programs/units/clinic locations within one community
provider and vary dramatically from provider agency to provider agency.
The purpose of the process flow effort is to bring an objective reality to a subjective process.
An important part of the process flow development is to focus on identification of specific
barriers to timely access such as:
1. Access to care dependence on one staff member which results in significant
delays when that specific staff person is not on duty
2. Specific requirements to call the client back because the process is not empowered
to make a decision about access to care when the client initially calls the center for
help. Trying to reconnect with clients can be difficult based on lack of phone
accessibility or transitioning living situations and locations.
3. Redundant work flow processes
Figure Six provides an example of the level of time delay into services that were identified. The
next step is for local staff to develop a more time, effort and cost effective access to care flow
process and use a Rapid Cycle Change model to implement the new process flow.
With the development of identified solutions to access to care timeliness challenges came the need
to ensure that solutions were not just discussion points, but were rather action items that could be
operationalized at the CBHO staff level to ensure implementation in a timely manner. Figure Seven
provides a sample of the actual Rapid Cycle Change Implementation Plan developed by Learning
Collaborative member Carlsbad Mental Health Center. The initial focus of the plan was to enhance
access to care and address the need to manage the schedule rates differently. As a result of the
solution develop efforts that the Rapid Cycle planning efforts provided; Carlsbad Mental Health
Center designed a same day access to care model that supported the client entering care the same
day he/she called the center for help with a masters level clinician intake service being provided.
The access to care standards developed by the Carlsbad Team included the following benchmarks:
1. Same day intake/diagnostic assessment provided by a masters level clinician on the day the
client calls/walks into the center seeking services
2. A face to face therapy session with a masters level clinician within ten days from the initial
call/walk in seeking services
3. A face-to-face medical service with a psychiatrist or an advance practice nurse within ten
days from the initial call/walk in seeking services.
The positive Access to Care outcomes achieved by Carlsbad Mental Health Center are identified in
Figure Eight which indicate that the 10 day to standard from first call/walk in seeking service to a
masters level therapy session and a medical service was achieved in November 2008.
The Access and Retention Grant initiative provided an excellent opportunity to develop and
implement objective measurement tools that have demonstrated the significant challenges CBHOs
are experiences when they focus on the need to enhance access to care timelines. The grant also
provided an awareness of solution options that can be used by CBHOs to provide favorable
Proposal to Enhance the Access to Care Initiative
The Access and Retention Grant Learning Collaborative in 2007 - 2008 provided an excellent
opportunity to objectively assess the barriers to timely access to care and develop solutions to
the identified challenges. The focus in the grant initiative shifted from trying to address access to
care challenges from a retrospective solution model to a more concurrent process/data
measurement and prospective solution development and implementation approach.
Additionally, the level of information gathering, solution development and implementation
achieved has provided a further awareness that the solution processes that have been
developed for CBHOs participating in the Access and Retention Grant can be replicated within
the service delivery systems of a larger number of CBHOs.
Therefore, the funder has agreed to support a two state Access Redesign Quality Improvement
Initiative that further uses and develops the access to care enhancement efforts.
Access Redesign Quality Improvement Initiative Support Team
The National Council staff leadership for the initiative will be provided by Linda Rosenberg, MSW,
President and CEO and Chuck Ingoglia, MSW, Vice President, Public Policy.
Further, the National Council has engaged the MTM Services consultation team as the primary
consultants for the initiative. The MTM consultation team members available for this initiative will
• David Lloyd, Founder and President of MTM Services and Senior Consultant for the
• Scott Lloyd, Vice-President of MTM Services and Consultant for the National Council
• Bill Schmelter, Ph.D., Lead Clinical Consultant for MTM Services and Consultant for the
• Randy Love, Chief Information Officer for SPQM™ Data Reporting Services
• Michael Flora, M.B.A., M.A.Ed., L.P.C.C., L.S.W., Lead Operations Consultant for MTM
Services and CEO of the Ben Gordon Center in DeKalb, IL
• Willa Presmanes, M.Ed., M. A., Medical Necessity/Utilization Management Expert and Co-
Author of the DLA-20 (Daily Living Activities) functionality scale
The level of access to care service delivery process change efforts identified in this proposal are
critically important to positively impact timely access to care for clients. CBHOs nationwide have
attempted to solve access to care challenge for a number of years without achieving a level of
improvement that is needed. This proposal asks for support to provide a statewide quality
improvement initiative using a more concurrent and prospective solution focus which we believe
will have better outcomes than have been experienced in the past. Thank you for your
consideration of this proposal.