SafetyNet Solutions Tests Two New Models of Technical Assistance

SafetyNet Solutions Tests Two New Models of Technical Assistance

In November of last year the DentaQuest Institute’s Safety Net Solutions (SNS) program launched a project in partnership with the National Network for Oral Health Access to test two new models of technical assistance (TA) and compare the results of the models against the results of SNS’ traditional TA process. Fourteen health centers from across the country were selected to participate and separated into two groups.

Each group contains different elements in order to evaluate the impact of changing different key components of the SNS traditional TA models, and determine if outcomes will be equally favorable. The four key components of the traditional SNS technical assistance model that are being tested include:

  1. Level of face-to-face interaction
  2. Level of group interaction
  3. Importance of a baseline data analysis
  4. Necessity of customized, consultant-led enhancement plans

Over the last 12 months participants have participated in various activities, including several group calls and virtual learning sessions. The following topics have been covered during these learning opportunities:

  • Understanding Capacity & Setting Financial/Productivity Goals
  • Managing Broken Appointments & Emergencies
  • Scheduling & Staffing by Design
  • Fee Schedules, Sliding Fee Discount Schedules & Management of the Self-Pay Patient
  • Billing & Collections
  • Quality Management/Tracking Completed Phase 1 Treatment Plans
  • Using Data to Monitor Performance & Improve Staff Morale
  • Medical-Dental Integration to Improve Oral Health

Regular Enhancement Plan progress updates and evaluation data have also been collected to gauge each program’s level of improvement. A recent review of Group B’s first two quarters of evaluation data revealed the following:

  • Average increase of $15,000 in gross charges per site
  • Average increase of $8,000 in net revenue per site
  • Average decrease in broken appointment rate – 4 percentage points per site
  • Average increase in sealants provided – 281 per site
  • Average increase in treatment plan completion rate – 13%

While these are preliminary results, it is clear to the SNS team that the new models are proving to be effective in several areas. SNS looks forward to continuing on with the rest of the project, which will wrap up around March/April of 2016, and reporting the results of the effectiveness of each new model in achieving improvements in finance, access to care and quality.