Aspire’s High Performance with the Joint Commission
Aspire had a fantastic triennial survey by the Joint Commission (JC) in late June. We would like to say a huge Thank You to all who made the visit by JC surveyors Mary Owen and Lisa Roe as enjoyable as possible!
Whether the 3-day visit by the Joint Commission was your first at Aspire or your 10th, we thought you might like to know more about why our great report is important and what it means for us as an organization moving forward.
First, a bit about the Joint Commission: Founded in 1951, the JC is a non-profit organization that accredits 21,000 health care organizations and programs in the U.S. Being accredited by the Joint Commission in Behavioral Health means an organization or program has met over 250 behavioral health standards, ranging from patient rights, infection control, medication management, and environment of care to how staff are verified as qualified and competent, emergency preparedness, and the collection and use of data. Aspire is subject to an accreditation cycle that involves unannounced full on-site surveys every three years.
This year’s survey began on June 28 with an opening conference attended by members of the executive staff, members of the Aspire Indiana Board of Directors, and senior leadership staff. The surveyors then set off with their Aspire staff guides to five of our group homes: Hartung, Hudson, May House, Questend, and Willowbrook. At the group homes, the surveyors conducted “care tracers,” which is the JC term for following, or tracing, the care experiences that individual clients had while at Aspire. Special thanks to staff at the group homes for making the surveyors feel welcome and contributing to the success of their visits!
On Day 2, Mary and Lisa conducted “system tracers,” in which they met staff who demonstrated how specific systems and procedures are conducted at Aspire. The surveyors also visited Brown Street, Noblesville Outpatient, Sunshine House and Carmel RST, and then met again with executive and management staff as well as a member of our Board of Directors.
The final day opened with a briefing and included more systems tracers and a tracer with Human Resources on Competence Assessment. At the end of the final day, we got mostly great news at our Organization Exit Conference.
So what were the surveyors’ findings? As our CEO and President Barbara Scott said in her recent video on the Joint Commission visit, “WE NAILED IT!” Among the many many great comments, the surveyors noted that Aspire has some of the strongest clinical services in the industry, including evidence-based practices, impressive data management, and quality improvement. We were described as a “very strong organization with an excellent survey report.”
One thing that was new in this year’s survey was the use of the JC SAFER matrix, a scoring methodology introduced just this year. This matrix uses a color gradation, ascending from yellow to orange to red, to indicate how likely a finding requiring improvement will harm a patient, staff, or visitor and the prevalence in which it was cited. We had nothing in the red, meaning Aspire did not receive any high risk findings! There were a few areas for improvement cited such as treatment plans (more individualized and measurable objectives), timeliness of documentation of medication administration, medication storage for self-administered medications in group homes and some environmental improvements needed in a couple of group home restroom facilities. The time frame for follow-up with the JC to submit corrective actions for all survey findings is 60 days.
So many members of staff were named by the surveyors as being exceptional, courteous, informative, and entertaining during their interactions. From Peggy Brill’s achievement of attaining“one of the best flu shot rates in the nation,” to Silvia Lopez’s dedication to accuracy, Aspire is very proud of this most excellent Joint Commission survey.
May Day 2017!
Accounts Receivable is Making it Happen at Aspire Indiana and Aspire Indiana Health!
One common theme revealed in our survey taken after this year’s May Day was that staff members don’t have many opportunities to get to know their co-workers in other locations and departments. Indeed, we are a diverse company with staff working at many different sites, including healthcare centers, branch offices, administrative locations, group homes, and in the homes of those we serve.
We are going to start addressing this issue right here in the Aspire Indiana newsletter by bringing you news from departments across the organization. Who are they? What do they do? How do they contribute to our overall mission and values?
The “Department Spotlight” feature is kicking off with Accounts Receivable at the Noblesville Administration Office. This is the money team that makes sure our payments for services come in uninterrupted and on time! The department could also be called “Billing” and much of the work has to do with codes for procedures, services, and contractual payers, including Medicaid. These duties apply to services provided by both Aspire Indiana and Aspire Indiana Health. Members of the team also make sure that individual Aspire providers are accredited with specific payers.
Aspire’s Chief Financial Officer Craig Baird says the Accounts Receivable Team has grown into a cohesive, supportive group that works with ever-changing payer sources and programs. Craig says their work is so important because they make certain that Aspire appropriately receives all revenue that it should. On a day to day level, he says, “They are the most enjoyable group of A/R staff that I have had the pleasure to work with. Thanks for keeping us moving forward.”
Heading up the Accounts Receivable Department is Maggie Harvey. Her official title is Director of Revenue Management, but Maggie always calls herself ‘team member” Maggie describes the A/R Department as a “think tank,” where team members brainstorm and problem solve for each other without ever making anyone feel bad. She says the PI, or Predictive Index, is a useful tool for her team because everyone wants to eliminate negativity and really try to understand each other.
In times of stress and crisis with billing matters, as was the case earlier this year when the state changed its Medicaid claims processing software, Maggie says her team is able to work through it by getting creative and finding ways to work around problems so that the company never loses its revenue stream.
Team leader Christy Hernandez says, “With such a small team tasked with supporting both Aspire and AIH, we are always being challenged with constant changes and issues ranging from communication with other departments to the range of payer issues on a daily basis.” She says this can be stressful and is happy that her coworkers are always on the look out for each other and offering their help.
This theme of working together as a team is echoed over and over again by everyone in Accounts Receivable. Tim Hunt is new to the department, having taken on a role as Support Associate just four months ago. He says the best part of his new job is “we are all great TEAM players.”
Sheron Haines, a 38-year Aspire veteran, says the A/R department is made up of all-arounders who all pitch in and help but are also great at their individual jobs. Sheron says, “We know what to do and it is nice to feel trusted.”
Karen Sheward says she enjoys the work in Accounts Receivable because it caters to her detail-oriented mind. Karen says the best part about her job is that she feels like she is helping people who don’t have a lot of resources. And what does she think about her manager Maggie? “She is awesome and she always pays for lunch!” Karen says. Katelynn West, Kayla Cook, and Erika Wooldridge agree that Maggie is great to work with, adding that she is a good friend as well as a “boss.”
We all know Destiny McDermott because hers is the first friendly face that we see when we walk through the doors at Noblesville Admin. In addition to taking care of all calls, mail, visiting staff members and outside visitors, Destiny also oversees all of the deposits that come in through client payments, third party payments, money from vending, and other miscellaneous deposits. Destiny likes helping her coworkers and says the hardest part of her job is being tied to her desk all day because we are so busy here at Aspire!
Karen Bozell works to make sure that our Aspire Indiana care providers have the proper credentials with our range of payers. She says, “Credentialing for Aspire providers is the most interesting job I’ve ever had. It is very satisfying when providers can bill and have insurance pay for their services because of what I have done.”
Karen Simmons, A/R’s Special Projects Coordinator, says she enjoys her job not only because it offers a variety of work and challenges, but also because it gives her the opportunity to work with an amazing team of coworkers.
It’s clear that Accounts Receivable does a lot of work at Aspire for all of us! Thank you to all of the A/R team members who work as individuals and as a team to keep Aspire up and running!
Meet the Aspire Board of Directors
In the last edition, we introduced John Demaree, the Chairman of our Board of Directors. This time, it’s the Vice-Chair’s turn! Attorney Amy Matthews has been a member of the Board for over 6 years and stepped up to the role of Vice Chairman in January. Amy is passionate about the work that we do here at Aspire and knows a lot about the field, as both of her parents were mental health professionals. As a child, Amy was a member of Junior Mental Health America of Indiana and lived on the grounds of Evansville State Hospital, where her father was Superintendent.
Amy is now a partner at the Education Law Group of Church Church Hittle + Antrim, where she represents schools and other educational entities in matters such as labor relations, human resources, policy analysis, fiscal management, and special education. She also does some work in both civil and family law cases.
Amy says, “There is no more important work that what we do” here at Aspire. She is also a strong advocate for our integrated care approach, saying “you can’t just treat one aspect of a person, and mental health checkups are as important as eye or dental routine exams.” She adds that Aspire’s approach makes perfect sense because we are the only care provider for many that we serve.
Amy lives in New Palestine with her husband and daughter and enjoys swimming, zumba, yoga and spending time exploring the great state of Indiana. She is also an avid reader, considers herself a top notch Indiana history buff, and loves to combine the two by supporting Indiana authors. She passes along a recommendation for “So Cold the River” by Michael Koryta, a supernatural thriller set in southern Indiana.
Thanks for all that you contribute to Aspire Indiana, Amy!
Update About Our New Facility in Lebanon, IN!
Aspire Indiana, Inc. has made a strategic purchase in Lebanon, IN with the acquisition of a 21700 square foot building at 1600 West Main Street. In January 2017 we closed on the purchase of an existing mixed use building that is currently being renovated to provide expanded services for the Boone County community. The building had been previously used in light manufacturing and offered about a third of the floor space as offices with the remaining two-thirds as production areas.
The renovations started on April 13th with demolition of all existing floor coverings, bathroom fixtures, ceiling/light fixtures and some walls. Over the past five weeks, the demo was completed and re-construction is underway. Most recently, the new walls have been framed in and the “rough-in” for the new restroom plumbing and electrical lines have been installed. Progress is on-target for the construction plans laid out at the start of the project.
Over the next month, the drywall will be finished as well as completion of plumbing and the install of the ceiling grid and lights. Although this is an existing building the interior will look and feel like new construction as all wall, floors and ceilings will be updated. New furnishing will be delivered in July and August.
During September, it is planned that the Lebanon team will relocate from the existing office of 3300 square feet. The new office will feature fifteen therapy offices, four group rooms, two conference rooms, plus exam and medical space for Aspire Indiana Health. The building will offer significant room for expansion as well as a home base for half of the Aspire facilities team. This building will offer greater opportunities to serve the growing Boone County community.
Welcome New Employees!
- Uthman Ali, Life Skills Instructor, Willowbrook RST
- Lindsey Austin, Care Coordinator/LSI Comprehensive, Brown Street
- Alexa Bates, Recovery Coach, Willowbrook OP
- Robin Christopherson, Licensed Youth Therapist, Willowbrook OP
- Samantha Disher, Life Skills Coach, MayHouse
- Roseanna Duffie, Life Skills Coach, Hartung Group Home
- Starlonda (Star) Duvall, ASL Support Associate, Willowbrook
- Madison Freeman, Care Coordintor/LSI Comprehensvie, Brown Street
- Richard Goodwin, SSVF Peer Mentor, Bolin
- Alva (Tracy) Hanns, Addictions Therapist, Willowbrook OP
- Hannah Huff, Life Skills Coach, Hudson Group Home
- Jack Mattingly, Life Skills Instructor, Willowbrook RST
- Juliette McDaniel, Staff Therapist, Noblesville OP
- Leaisha Poston, Care Coordinator/LSI Comprehensive-Willowbrook OP
- Shannon Price, Life Skills Coach, Questend Group Home
- Julie Quigley, Staff Therapist, Noblesville OP
- Jason Rayl, Wraparound Facilitator, Carmel OP
- Stephanie Sanchez, School Based Therapist
- Steven (Steve) Sontag, Employment Specialist, OVR
- Kaitlin Stallings, Home Based Therapist, Noblesville OP
- Dalton Stapleton, Life Skills Coach, MayHouse
- Bonnie Stuefen, SPSP Supportive Care Specialist, Richmond
- Shelley Wilburn, Recovery Coach, Brown Street