Five Reasons to Add a Self-Direction Program to Your Agency

Why Should Our Agency Offer Self-Direction?

Is your agency considering adding a Self-Direction program? According to the 2019 National Inventory of Self-Direction programs, there are 260 Self-Direction programs in the United States with over 1.2 million individuals using Self-Direction services.

There are many benefits to both your agency and the individuals to consider a Self-Direction program. Below are five reasons to consider adding a Self-Direction program to your agency:

  1. Increased satisfaction: Self-Direction can lead to increased satisfaction for individuals and their families as the individual feels empowered to make their own choices. This can, in turn, lead to increased satisfaction for your agency as well as the provider of services and supports. Typically, direct support teams stay longer within the Self-Direction program.  
  2. Better outcomes: When individuals have more control over their services and support, they are more likely to achieve the outcomes they desire, which can lead to better outcomes overall.
  3. Reduced costs: Self-Direction can eliminate unnecessary services and supports by allowing individuals to choose services that are most effective for them, hire the staff they want to work with, and stay within the community through individual goods and services.
  4. Increased flexibility: Self-Direction provides greater flexibility than traditional services because individuals can adjust their plans and services as their needs change, on a timetable that works for them.
  5. Additional Roles: To successfully run a Self-Direction program at your agency, new roles such as the broker and fiscal intermediary (FI) are a necessary addition to the staff. Self-Direction programs provide agencies with a new revenue stream and the ability to grow the staff with a new opportunity and career path.

Tips for agencies considering adding a Self-Direction program

After working with many of our client agencies to stand up and support their Self-Direction programs, we can provide these tips for an agency considering a Self-Direction program:

  1. Educate your staff: Educating your staff about Self-Direction and its benefits will help them understand how to support individuals who are self-directing their services and supports.
  2. Develop policies and procedures: Develop policies and procedures that outline how Self-Direction will be implemented in your agency. This should include guidance on how to support individuals in making informed decisions about their services and supports as well as the roles of the FI, broker, Human Resources, and Direct Support Professional (DSP) will play within the program.
  3. Build relationships with individuals and their families: As most agencies are already aware, building relationships with individuals and their families can help you better understand their needs and preferences, which can help you provide more effective services and supports.
  4. Offer training: Offering training to individuals and their families on Self-Direction and how to manage their services and supports  will help them feel more confident in their ability to manage their own care with the agency as a resource.
  5. Monitor and evaluate: Monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of Self-Direction in your agency  will help you identify areas for improvement and ensure that individuals are achieving their desired outcomes.

MediSked’s Professional Services team can provide consulting, project management, training, and configuration assistance for a Self-Direction program, including Individual Goods and Services, Fiscal Intermediary and Broker services, and implementation of the MediSked Portal. MediSked Connect with the Self-Direction package offers tools for each point of contact to enable the successful management of Self-Direction Services.

When you combine MediSked Connect with the MediSked Portal, provider agencies integrate a platform known for optimizing person-centered technologies with a person-facing web portal, making an effective solution to manage Self-Direction services from every perspective in the process.

MediSked Connect offers the ability to link Self-Direction budgets with Electronic Visit Verification (EVV), submit HIPAA Compliant electronic billing, retrieve electronic remittances with Medicaid, and make real-time transactions in a single system with reports available at intervals you select. 

MediSked Portal is designed for people to view and approve their service notes, review the real-time status of their budget, and communicate with their Direct Support Staff and providers, all in one convenient place. The Portal communicates directly with an agency’s Connect platform to update instantaneously, keeping all parties up to date.

In conclusion, Self-Direction can be an effective way for home and community-based provider agencies to support individuals with developmental disabilities to live the lives they want. By educating your staff, developing policies and procedures, building relationships, offering training, and monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of Self-Direction, you can provide more effective services and supports that lead to better outcomes and increased satisfaction for everyone involved.

If you’re interested in learning more about MediSked Connect’s Self-Direction solutions, email sales@medisked.com today!

Alyssa Galiney

Alyssa Galiney is a member of MediSked's Client Success team and a Self-Direction subject matter expert. She joined MediSked at the beginning of 2019 with nearly 10 years of project management and customer success experience. Alyssa’s primary focus at MediSked is providing our partners with 1:1 interaction to assist in illustrating the values and efficiencies experienced from the use of MediSked solutions and support the development of the project scopes of works.

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