Leveraging Data to Drive Transformational Change


As payers, employers, and policy makers continue to experiment with new payment and delivery models, healthcare providers can be overwhelmed by the scope and pace of change. Transforming the way providers operate requires informed and committed leadership willing to embrace real change.  When they do, the results can be dramatic.    

Strengthening teams, serving more clients

St. Joseph Orphanage provides behavioral health services to children and adolescents in the Cincinnati area.  In 2014, Eric Cummins, its new CEO, recognized that if the organization maintained the status quo, it would be out of business in three years.  Cummins had worked with MTM Services in the past and knew that St. Joseph’s needed their help to survive.

Embracing the Rapid Cycle Transformational Change Process, St. Joseph implemented MTM’s Same Day Access, Collaborative Documentation, DLA-20 Assessments, and set productivity standards for all clinicians – all over the course of 15 months.  “Because I had been through the Rapid Cycle Process before with MTM, I was able to be a cheerleader for change. There was a lot of resistance, as this was so different than our old way of doing things. But we pushed through it because I knew it would work,” said Cummins. 

The future arrived on January 1, 2018 when Ohio implemented major payment reform.  St. Joseph had seen this day coming and had worked with MTM to make sure all the systems were in place to ensure its eligibility for payment from the beginning.  Unlike many other agencies in Ohio, today St. Joseph is serving more clients than before and through effective documentation and billing practices, the organization is generating more revenue. 

“After getting through all the changes, I had a clinician tell me it was the first time in her career that she was not going home stressed. Our team is stronger and our ability to make a difference in the lives of those we serve is enhanced because of the comprehensive changes that MTM helped us implement,” said Cummins.


Reducing costs, stabilizing staff turnover and expanding service

LifeWays Community Mental Health in Michigan faced similar challenges as it prepared to shift from being a partial risk Managed Care Organization to an integrated healthcare provider in the Mid-State Health Network, a regional entity that provides mental health and substance use services to 21 counties and offers a comprehensive suite of services, similar to a CCBHC, but with greater financial exposure.  LifeWays’ CEO, Maribeth Leonard, knew that the organization was not ready for the change, and that to get there, she would have to create some serious efficiencies.  At the same time, her team was constantly asking for more staff as services expanded, programs grew, and staff turnover rates soared.

“I went to NatCon and as I listened to David Lloyd and Michael Flora of MTM talk about integrated health reform and their readiness assessment tool, the bells went off,” said Leonard.  “I knew they could help us get where we needed to be.”  MTM got to work with the team at LifeWays, implementing Collaborative Documentation, Centralized Scheduling, Open Access, and KPIs for employees with productivity thresholds.

LifeWays dramatically reduced its costs, FTEs, and stabilized staff turnover while expanding service

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“With Medicaid capitation, there was no incentive to examine the status quo. But with privatization, we knew we had to change. The survival of the community-based system required it,” said Leonard. “Managing the staff transformational change was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. But with MTM’s help, the team has embraced change. Today, everyone knows what is expected. We have the data to know what’s working and we know how to support each other if things start to slip.”


At MTM, we help providers understand true costs and maximize efficiencies while fostering a culture of excellence aimed at achieving the ultimate goal – making life better for the people you serve.

Daisy Berbeco