Time spent billing reduced by 98.9%
For Karen Bryant, Director of Waiver Services for Children at Play, overseeing all waiver-run programs, self-hired staff, policies and procedures, and billing was a time-consuming task. Before adopting Dignyfi from Annkissam, everything was done manually and on paper. Karen first learned about Annkissam at the NY Alliance for Inclusion and Innovation, the FI and Self-Direction Summit in 2019.
Moving from Paper to a Digital Environment
It wasn’t until a year later, after getting a demo from multiple different software providers that they reconnected. Karen needed a solution that supported both their operational processes as well as billing rolled into one, which Annkissam offers. Of her experience with Annkissam, Karen shared, “Part of the reason I appreciate Annkissam is that we learned together.” Rather than feeling like Annkissam was there to tell Children at Play what they needed to do, they have become a true partner investing in growing the business across Staten Island becoming more efficient in order to serve more families.
Children at Play implemented the Annkissam self-direction solution designed for New York called Dignyfi. Their core platform supports over 350K people across 40 states and has processed over $21B in self-direction payments. Dignyfi was created specifically for Fiscal Intermediaries who work under the New York Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) self-direction program. Individuals, self-hired staff, vendors, and brokers are reviewed by OPWDD for regulatory requirements. Dignify allows agencies to compare invoices, timesheets, and reimbursements requests automatically with budget and program rules in order to maintain compliance.
“Part of the reason I appreciate Annkissam is that we learned together.”
Since August 2020, Children at Play has been using Dignyfi with nearly everything tracked digitally. The company will also be launching EVV in May 2021, anticipating that it will be fully up and running by June. Since Children at Play has implemented Dignyfi, Annkissam has been incredibly flexible, adding all features they’ve requested.
Prior to Annkissam, Children at Play operated in a totally manually environment. Families were also spending a lot of time doing paperwork. Karen and the families supported by Children at Play needed a more efficient solution. Now Children at Play uses timesheet data to submit claims in batch format using electronic files uploaded directly to the eMedNY eXchange.
Growth through Automation
Since the implementation of the Dignyfi software, Children at Play has grown 37% in one year. Rather than spending over 3 days billing, Karen is now able to bill Community Habilitation and Respite completing the tasks in just 15 minutes. Less paperwork and less time spent billing make it possible for Children at Play to be more involved with the people they support.
In addition, Dignyfi has been intuitive and incredibly easy to use for Children at Play. When exploring options, Karen felt that some were too complex. However, Dignyfi struck the right balance between having enough information and being incredibly functional. Having been involved in self-direction for a long time, Karen feels comfortable using the platform and feels that it is something their families appreciate. Children at Play has worked with three teams at Annkissam: billing, EVV, and the core software support. Karen said, “Regardless of how slow we are moving or issues, everyone is so helpful and cheers us on!” With Annkissam, the partnership has been nothing but smooth.
"That’s the biggest thing, it is important that the individuals do not feel like transactions but that they are seen as a family and their family dynamic is understood."
Through tremendous growth, from just 75 individuals to more than 200 today, uploading that amount of detail requires a lot of effort---but Karen is grateful to have Annkissam help every step of the way. “That’s the biggest thing,” Karen said. “It is important that the individuals do not feel like transactions but that they are seen as a family and their family dynamic is understood. Instead of spending hours on paperwork, Dignyfi allows Children at Play to focus on the needs of the families they serve.”
EVV, Taking Automation to the Next Level
Moving forward, Karen anticipates that the biggest hurdle will be pushback on EVV from the families. Without understanding why data is being collected, families worry about having staff tracked because they feel like they too are being tracked. However, that data is only being used to record the start and stop times of visits to resolve the issues they have had with timesheets. They are excited to see how EVV will work for their organization streamlining timekeeping and eliminating extra work for staff. Unlike choosing an EVV product built for traditional home care and retrofitting the software to meet their needs, the Annkissam solution was designed to promote the choice and control inherently needed to support self-direction.
The Annkissam software gives staff, brokers, individuals and families efficient tools for up-to-the-minute information so they can plan and manage together. Karen says, “You’re a teacher, a friend, and advisor. I’m a big advocate for self-direction.” The Annkissam software gives staff, brokers, individuals, and families efficient tools for up-to-the-minute information so they can plan and manage together.