Posts Tagged ‘Behavioral Health’

3 CM Qualities That Engage Populations in Telephonic Case Management

February 12th, 2014 by Jessica Fornarotto

Beyond scripts and data, there are three qualities that a case manager should possess to successfully engage populations in telephonic case management, says Jay Hale, director of quality improvement and clinical operations at Carolina Behavioral Health Alliance (CBHA).

We have found that if case managers are more comfortable with a certain illness or population, they tend to engage members better. We are still trying to figure out the nuances within each population. People who have done more child/adolescent work engage parents better than substance abuse recovery individuals do. People that do a significant amount of substance abuse recovery do a better job with that population than with the adult mental health population. There is an X factor or a subdivision with this.

Second, case managers need to be extroverted people who do not mind making the outgoing phone calls. While we need scripts and data to drive our program, the people who make it most successful are the clinicians who are most comfortable engaging those individuals. However, they are the least comfortable with paperwork, which is why we make our paperwork as simple as possible. We want to be sure that they can point and click, and go straight through it. It is one flowing process for them.

Finally, management also supports engagement. It is important to talk to the staff about success stories and what happened that made them successful. They should use it as a learning opportunity for everyone, but also as a celebration opportunity. As long as we can keep case managers enthused about the program they are doing, that enthusiasm comes through in their voice when they are talking to individuals on the phone and it helps them go the extra mile. It helps them with the process of relating to members at the other end.

“At CBHA, we developed our telephonic case management program to find a way to support and improve the care of some of our most vulnerable members. We want to be good stewards of the monies that are given to us by our client companies to pay for their behavioral health claims,” said Jay Hale.

Excerpted from: Telephonic Case Management Protocols to Engage Vulnerable Populations

Engaging Members in Health Management Post-Discharge with Case Managers, Outreach Calls

December 17th, 2013 by Jessica Fornarotto

“Member engagement is always the challenge, and it is no different for telephonic engagement,” states Jay Hale, director of quality improvement and clinical operations at Carolina Behavioral Health Alliance (CBHA), as he discusses how CBHA engages members in their telephonic case management program post-discharge. “We’ve found multiple venues to attract attention and begin the engagement process, including letters, outreach calls to members, and partnering with the discharging hospital. We want to be part of the discharge process, so telephonic case management is as much a part of the discharge plan as their visit with the doctor or therapist, medication regime, etc.

In HIN’s special report, Telephonic Case Management Protocols to Engage Vulnerable Populations, Jay Hale further describes the engagement process for CBHA’s telephonic case management program.

We are a small regional managed behavioral healthcare organization (MBHO), so our case managers also do utilization management. They identify the cases early and are able to talk to the utilization review (UR) people at the hospital and say, “This is someone that we have identified,” which helps with that discharge process. The earlier we can talk to members, the better. We want to talk to members as quickly after discharge as possible. Having the support of that hospital adds weight to what we do, so it is key that they do not receive a random call. We want it to be something that is related to their treatment process. That is why we want to be part of that discharging.

The next step is to call the member once they have been discharged. We obtain contact information from our records or from the hospital. Our records are based on what the person gave to human resources at some point along the line, so they may not always be updated. The hospital frequently has the most recent phone contact information.

We obtain the discharge recommendation, which is part of our UR process, including appointment times. I contact the member and engage them in the process to assure that they attend their appointments. We also call their providers to say that we want to make sure that the individual attends their appointment. We are the people who are authorizing the care, and these are in-network providers for us. Therefore, that is a relatively easy process. I feel comfortable with that because it is part of the treatment payment healthcare operations process. It also lets our providers know that we are doing this, so they should support us. It also lets them know we are not there just to plan, but also support what they do.

Once we get in contact with someone, we are going to describe this service in the way of how it can help him or her. “This is a service that helps you see how well you are doing.” Other phrases we use include, “We are here to support you in your recovery,” or “We are here to help you and your son/daughter.” We speak in a positive way, and we let them know that there is no cost to them for the program. This is part of their health plan, and we provide this service to help them see how well they are doing. That phrase works for them because it has a positive tone to it.

We also want to match case managers to the members as much as possible. As we manage care, we can see that individuals are more comfortable with a male or a female based on our UR information. They may be more comfortable with someone based on their issues, so we want to try to have the appropriate person do an outreach call to them. Because of that, we may learn about varying times of day to call.

We also found it is important for the case managers to know the therapeutic language that the member has learned. Specifically in substance abuse, we want people who are familiar with that language so that they can talk about supporting recovery, working a program, avoiding old playmates and playgrounds, working the steps, the big book and sponsors. There are certain words that are very specific to that language and to that program. If we can use that language comfortably, then that increases member engagement.

Risk Assessment, Case Management Help to Improve Dual Eligibles’ Health

April 30th, 2013 by Jessica Fornarotto

“When you look at some of the characteristics of the dual eligibles, in the under 65 population, 66 percent have only a chronic condition and have no functional impairments. But as you move up to the older ages, there’s fewer frailty and a bit more of the chronic conditions,” according to Dr. Timothy Schwab, chief medical officer of SCAN Health Plan. SCAN has a strategic approach to serving the dual eligible market, and Dr. Schwab recently discussed how they get this population to complete health assessments as well as the role of case managers in deciding who needs nursing home services. He also discusses how case managers work with the most extreme health condition cases.

Question: SCAN-risk stratifies individuals to determine those at highest risk, using HRAs, claims data and other assessment tools. How does SCAN encourage or incent completion of HRAs and other assessments in what can sometimes be a transient or hard-to-reach population?

Response: Getting completion of the HRA instrument is a challenge in any population, but more so in a very diverse population like the dually eligible. We initially mail our HRA to all new members. Then we follow up with reminder postcards. If we still don’t receive a response, we have a shortened risk assessment form that we ask them to complete through telephonic interactive voice response (IVR). Even with that, we still probably have a 30 percent failure rate to get the HRA done in a timely fashion.

We try to supplement that with information from our physicians. On the first visit to the physician, we can gather information and ultimately supplement it with our claims data on both the medical side and importantly the pharmacy side. We get a lot of valuable information, which makes up for people who don’t complete the HRA.

There are two groups that usually don’t complete it. The first is the group in long term institutions, like nursing homes. There’s a low response rate there. We also have a lower response rate in populations with mild dementia who are living on their own. But we also have a fairly low response rate from very healthy individuals. It’s important to recognize in the dual population that there are a group of duals that are relatively healthy. The only reason they’re a dual is because of financial conditions qualifying them for that. They could be out and about and just not concerned about completing the HRA.

We do not currently provide incentives for the general population to complete the HRA. We have tried some minor incentives with subsets of the population; for example, years ago with our diabetic population we offered a small gift of a foot care program if they completed a mini risk assessment. But in general, we haven’t found it effective.

Question: What percentage of your dual eligibles require disability support and what particular challenges would a case manager working with this subset of beneficiaries encounter?

Response: For our over 65 dual population, about 40 percent are what we classify as nursing facility level of care, or individuals who live in the community but have deficiencies in usually three or more activities of daily living (ADLs). They are frequently getting services for some of those deficiencies and are at high risk of ending up in a nursing home for long-term care, unless interventions are placed.

Of that 40 percent, probably about half are getting some sort of home-based services that are non-Medicare covered; things like personal care, homemaking, bathing assistance, and transportation assistance. For our case managers to make these assessments, do the in-home visits, and develop a care plan, we focus on hiring social workers, geriatric social workers and geriatric nurse practitioners. We spend a lot of time training them, both in how to identify the needs in the home, and how to identify the needs when talking with the caregiver, who is frequently an important part of this conversation.

We also offer on the job training for working with the rest of the team when they present these cases at our team meetings and the interdisciplinary care team meetings.

Question: How can care managers work with the most extreme cases that have multiple physical health and behavioral health, chronic and acute conditions?

Response: Those are the tough ones to work with. The first step is to find the right care manager for that individual. For example, if the primary issue is behavioral health, choose a care manager that excels in behavioral healthcare. That care manager then works with others to resolve the other issues. These people will require more time. You may also need to engage the help of the personal care workers or those in the home, so that they become both the physician and the care manager’s eyes and ears there. Teach them ways to pick up very subtle changes or differences in that person so that you can quickly provide new interventions if the person starts to show signs of deterioration. It’s a classic example of ‘one size doesn’t fit all;’ if your model says we will contact an individual monthly, some may need weekly and some may need daily contact. You may need to figure out ways to get that contact in an easy, efficient way for that individual.