Primary Solutions Blog

4 Ways SSA's Can Make Planning Smooth

Posted by Kevin Allender on Aug 9, 2018 11:15:56 AM

 Before becoming the Director of the Customer Success Team, I spent 12 years as a Medicaid Manager for Clark County Board of DD. In my role, I monitored and assisted in the management of the county’s budget.  Throughout my time in the position, it became clear when SSA’s took certain steps service planning processes ran smoothly. When they took those steps, they protected the individuals we served from an interruption in services. I’ve listed four steps SSA’s can take to make service planning smoother.


  1. Clear, concise communication: This first one applies to all kinds of situations, but I’ve seen communication breakdowns too many times. When that happens individuals may not get the services they need or providers may provide services that aren’t authorized. This can ultimately jeopardize the providers' financial standing. Clear, concise communication means SSA’s confirm they’re authorizing the correct services and all team members are on the same page and in agreement. Agreement about the frequency a service is provided is an area SSA’s can have a huge impact. I’ve seen SSA’s review an individual’s weekly schedule and look around the room at each team member to confirm agreement. In that moment, finding small errors like an open thirty minutes in an individual’s schedule helps prevent re-work, family frustration and providers being put in compromising situations.


  1. Advanced Planning: It is no secret that our field has processes that take time. SSA’s who honored these time lines prevented missing deadlines. This meant individuals would continue to get the services they needed. They helped protect the organization from citations by getting individual plans into the providers’ hands within a two week time frame. They reviewed individual utilization prior to team meetings, by pulling the Utilization Detail by Consumer Report or any of the Fiscal Year Cost Reports in Gatekeeper, so they could propose meaningful changes to schedules and prevent an addendum, mid-span year. They also used Gatekeeper’s Plan Status Change Alert on the Dashboard to monitor plan dates.


  1. Funded Services & Community Resources: SSA’s that fully understood all the funded services available helped make individuals’ and families’ lives easier. Our system can be hard to navigate and rules can be difficult to decipher, particularly for individuals and families. SSA’s have such an important role in helping team members fully understand all the services that are available to meet their unique needs. Community resources are a huge asset that can help individuals get their needs met. Particularly with the new Wait List Rule, SSA’s that are equipped with a long list of community resources and ways to help maximize the individual’s support circle will help families and individuals get their needs met.


  1. Collaboration With Other Departments: As with any great team, the departments at a County Board each have their own function. When those departments work collaboratively, they can achieve great things for the individuals they serve. Successful organizations have SSA departments that operate with an understanding of how the Compliance and Medicaid Management Departments can help in their processes. The staff who authorize services, connect with individuals and handle emergencies need to be equipped with the information they need to make informed decisions. In addition, the Compliance and Medicaid Management Teams who monitor rules, recommend process changes and provide oversight, can be especially helpful when they have a practical understanding of how SSA's operate and challenges they face.

Topics: SSAs, Agency Growth

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