Consumer Directions, Inc. grows its program reach with FMS Engine
Consumer Directions, Inc. (CDI) is a Financial Management Services (FMS) provider based in Minnesota. FMS in self-direction is an innovative model of Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) that supports individuals to stay in their homes and “self-direct,” or control their own services, instead of living in nursing homes or institutions or depending on an agency.
Self-direction is also called consumer direction and participant direction. Many people who self-direct hire their friends, neighbors or family to help them with their Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs). Self direction programs in every state in the U.S. help over 1 million people self-direct today.
With a big mission to empower the many families who have chosen to self-direct, CDI is women-owned and committed to making a positive impact in their community.
"We provide more than just the fiscal mechanisms for self-direction. We passionately work to empower Minnesotan families who have chosen to self-direct."
Shantel Jaszcak, President, and Lisa Kampfer, CEO, described CDI’s small company culture with a “living bridges”metaphor: one that is rooted in its mission to serve their clients while growing and extending leadership internally and giving back to the community.
“We provide more than just the fiscal mechanisms for self-direction. We passionately work to empower Minnesotan families who have chosen to self-direct. We also strive to make self-direction an option to all,” said Lisa Kampfer, CEO of CDI.
CDI currently serves almost 1,500 individuals, and continues to grow as self-direction expands in Minnesota and nationally. Their participant and family-focused approach is built on nurturing authentic relationships and positive energy into each person’s life, family and community. They highlight what they call “5 plus 1” customer service. Beyond 5 stars, every employee at CDI finds one extra unique thing they can connect with their clients on, making every relationship special.
“Every time you work with a family, it’s unique. It sounds simple, but it’s so important to see how people are able to be a caregiver and help their family. And we get to help make that happen,” said Shantel Jaszcak, President and CFO of CDI.
CDI was looking for software to help them meet requirements for a new Request for Proposal that would help grow their FMS in self-direction business. They provide both Fiscal/Employer Agent and Agency with Choice models of service delivery in self-direction.
The work of FMS can be complex. Some think of it as a type of case management. Others conceive it as payroll or human resources. Still others see it as a neutral bank or an extension of a Medicaid agency within a state. FMS is all of that and more. Providers of FMS in self-direction find that they have to offer social work, accounting, payroll, human resources and sophisticated operations management, all while handling high volume at competitive payment rates.
“The added internal controls the software provides for us means we catch important issues right away. It’s beyond quality assurance. It’s core to our program integrity”
To serve a single program participant, an FMS entity must coordinate many people and significant information, all while making the program easy to access and understand. With state and federal requirements to stay ahead of, coupled with training and support for families, efficiency quickly becomes a barrier to growth.
To increase the number of families they can work with and meet demands of the growing FMS program in a way that met their organizational culture, CDI needed better tools.
That’s where FMS Engine and F/EA Blueprint came in. FMS Engine is the market-leading tool for providers of Fiscal/Employer Agent and Agency with Choice FMS entities. Seven distinct modules allow FMS entities to pick the features they need and integrate them with their unique workflows. With FMS Engine, organizations can focus on what’s important: happy employees, confident caregivers and empowered participants.
Solution and Benefits
Annkissam’s FMS Engine and F/EA Blueprint helped address inefficiencies and improve internal controls across CDI’s entire service workflow.
“The added internal controls the software provides for us means we catch important issues right away. It’s beyond quality assurance. It’s core to our program integrity,” said Jaszcak.
With Annkissam’s FMS Engine, CDI has kept their ideal model of individualized caseloads per CDI staff member. This approach ensures every family has a consistent point of contact at CDI. But the transparency and structure within FMS Engine allows other staff to jump in and access the latest information about an individual or family if a family’s usual point of contact is unavailable.
"Our case coordinators have more time now to mentor families and have meaningful contact with families."
With the added efficiencies provided by FMS Engine, CDI has significantly increased caseloads while maintaining their high quality services because their staff spend less time doing administrative tasks that are automated in FMS Engine and more time providing high value to CDI’s clients.
“Our case coordinators have more time now to mentor families and have meaningful contact with families. Annkissam software is allowing us to hang on to our company culture that we want while we grow,” said Kampfer. “While other FMS agencies have given up on having that one-on-one point of contact for their families, we’re holding on it as a unique part of our customer service.”
FMS Engine has allowed CDI to be more competitive in the FMS market than before. CDI achieved a 100% score on their recent industry-leading readiness review and was awarded the highest score on Minnesota’s FMS RFP. They have also been able to lower the cost they charge their clients because they can serve more people more efficiently. With FMS Engine, the workload and quality of work has improved for case coordinators, and they were able to increase caseloads by 24% so they serve more people than before FMS Engine, even with their signature personalized approach.
“The efficiencies of FMS Engine let us take on more families and lower our monthly rates so we could stay competitive in the Minnesota FMS market”
“We were able to almost double our clients and serve more people with less manpower. The efficiencies of FMS Engine let us take on more families and lower our monthly rates so we could stay competitive in the Minnesota FMS market,” said Jaszcak.
FMS Engine gives organizations like CDI the capacity they need to manage financial services without worry. The system is built with both flexibility and solid checks and balances that allow them to integrate it with their existing accounting system and see every penny accounted for.
“That intentional accuracy we’re able to achieve with FMS Engine is helping us keep our books in perfect shape. We couldn’t do it without this software,” explained Jaszcak. We’re able to get the perfect reconciliation of all of our tax reporting that we’re striving for, without exception.
In addition to the internal wins, CDI says FMS Engine allowed them to respond to many needs that their families have been requesting in annual surveys for years.
“Our participants are also benefiting from FMS Engine,” said Kampfer. “With Participant Dashboard and E-Timesheets, our families are more empowered to have independence in the management of their services.”