During the month of June, I was fortunate enough to attend a conference sponsored by a national organization called Open Minds. The focus of the event was Strategy and Innovation in the world of Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities and Behavioral Health. Over three days, various topics were covered and some of the better presentations came from peers located across the country who have implemented new technologies or techniques to serve the individuals they care for.
I enjoy attending sessions like this because it creates a window of time when there is freedom of thought related to the future. I get to think and work on the business as opposed to spending time working in the business solving problems. A couple of things that caught my attention that I hope you find of interest.
First, on the importance of innovation and how it relates to services provided in today’s marketplace, one of the speakers brought up the overall subject of innovation in healthcare. It was said that the healthcare marketplace will change more between the years 2020 and 2030 than the industry itself has seen in the past 100 years. The use of technology continues to advance in so many ways, as telehealth services have had an incredible adoption rate since the onset of COVID. This change, that had been moderately accepted, is now a common means to deliver services for therapies and other meetings with specialists.
I hadn’t seen the information on individuals who are dealing with complex situations and how all of this relates to both positive outcomes and overall costs. The data being captured and analyzed by insurance companies showed the impact of what occurs when an individual is dealing with both a physical issue and how this tends to correlate into behavioral health challenges. Service providers are being asked to figure out how to provide the best support AND outcomes in the most cost-effective manner. Right now, with co-morbid diagnoses involving both physical and behavioral challenges, medical costs tend to be three times what is normally spent on an individual. Given this, none of this is easy depending upon the needs of the individual needing support.
So why share this?
…We are all in the midst of a period when innovation in health and behavioral care is moving quickly. Organizations are being asked to get better at what they do, and in doing so, provide existing and in some instance new services working together with other providers.
Big picture, my takeaway was that to make sure the organization survives, you must accept both the need for innovation and be willing to change to improve outcomes. My commitment on behalf of Little Friends is that we know this, and part of our value statement is that we embrace change to ensure we are here for the communities we serve.