New technology solutions do not necessarily fix old problems. Conversely, not every technology platform keeps up with the operational needs of organizations when policies or programs change. As communities and participants in CalAIM begin to confront the realities of providing, managing, and coordinating Enhanced Case Management (ECM) and Community Supports services they are increasingly asking themselves (and their community partners) questions like:
- Is there a more efficient process (for things like generating claims for non-medical services, or consolidating SDOH information for reporting purposes)?
- Can we get data from other organizations on common clients (especially important for broad coordination services for complex patients by ECM providers)?
- Do we need a new technology solution, do we need multiple solutions?
- How do we pick the solution that is right for us?
- How do we pick a scalable, sustainable solution that isn’t just going to take us to next year or solve a single problem?
Large organizations, such as health plans, hospitals, or community clinics, may have dedicated IT teams or project managers available to discover requirements and manage process change. However, many organizations that provide health and social services are resourced challenged and are burdened with frequent staff turnover and IT resources that may be more attuned to solving clinical workflow problems rather than considering broad community-wide strategic data sharing circumstances; making it difficult to identify organizational needs and manage change internally, let alone in the context of a community-wide CalAIM service delivery system.
Understanding this resource gap, the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) launched the Providing Access and Transforming Health (PATH) Technical Assistance (TA) Marketplace. This hub serves a critical role in CalAIM, providing the ability to navigate and connect CBOs and other CalAIM stakeholders to subject matter experts that can supplement their team and identify sustainable technology solutions–whether a simple integration or the procurement of an ecosystem of solutions.
Intrepid Ascent’s Technology Strategy Group has engineered several solutions that can be delivered in a traditional consulting model or purchased as an ‘off the shelf’ solution, where the organization completes online assessments, and a series of products are customized for the organization to review and submit to vendors.
Our process leverages a vast data lake of user interviews, procurements, and client implementations. In our Technology Gap Assessment, users at every level of the organization can access our on-demand technology tools and answer questions suited for their level of technology familiarity. The conditional based tool allows users to answer questions which then are translated into technical needs. These needs are compared to other organizational respondents to identify likely gaps.
Once a report has been generated, an organization may choose to pursue some of the provided recommendations. These recommendations could be around existing workflow changes, but more likely an integration or procurement.
Intrepid’s Technology Strategy Group has developed follow on technology tools for integrations and procurements meant to be used as a subsequent process following a gap assessment or for organizations that have already identified a need for one of the two products:
Technology Integration Discovery and Specifications Development: Integrations can be particularly challenging because they are usually done between different vendors and require an ability to translate data needs into a common data format used between the two organizations. Furthermore, a very common scenario under CalAIM is the need for integration between a HIPAA covered entity and a non-HIPAA covered Community Based Organization (CBO), which could involve a very secure, complex EHR establishing an exchange with a nonclinical coordination platform or a community repository of information critical to providing core CalAIM services – like a local Housing Information Management System (HMIS). Intrepid has developed an online tool that enables users to identify their business cases and receive an output of technical specifications for vendor guidance.
Technology Procurement: Procurements for new technology solutions, especially when a given technology sector is still emerging, are always tricky; often relying on staff with limited experience in procurements to make decisions that ultimately lock the organization into a solution for years. Furthermore, the question is always asked, “What solutions are out there?” Even with the Internet at our fingertips, it can be hard to find technology solutions that are the right fit for your business operations. Intrepid Ascent has developed an online procurement tool intended to be used through a facilitated procurement management process allowing for everything to happen in our cloud-based portal solution. If an organization doesn’t already have a vendor in mind, Intrepid Ascent can help identify potential vendors and then send a link to these vendor candidates. Vendors will upload documents, answer, and ask questions all in the online portal. Upon vendor proposal submissions, evaluators receive summary reports where they can rank and score the different vendor candidates entirely online. The culmination of this guided procurement process is a decision meeting where evaluators can look at anonymized voting patterns of scoring categories by other members along with analytical breakdowns of vendor product maturity and desired feature availability.
The process is remarkably simple, enabling busy executive teams and/or broad community coalitions to make informed decisions quickly, but it also streamlines the process for vendors – standardizing their responses and making for an easier side-by-side evaluation.
We are excited to be part of the CalAIM PATH TA Marketplace and looking forward to meeting your team and identifying the best solutions for you!