I frequently get queries about my entrepreneurial scope, especially after being a successful business owner for 18 years. I’ll fess up: this is not my traditional blog article, but serves dual duty as a Doctoral class assignment and my usual bi-weekly post. For those growing their professional identity and brand, it responds to queries I’ve received regarding my company’s fiscal focus, market validation, and ongoing trajectory.
Quality Professionals Render Quality Care, But
Healthcare organizations juggle costly operational priorities from delivery and quality of care, to population target scope, complexity, and case mix, as well as reimbursement and revenue capture. That Quadruple, if not Quintile Aim reigns supreme to render the right patient-centric care, at the right time, cost, by professionals who embrace the work, and informed by wholistic health equity. Yet, any healthcare organization’s quality of care also relies on hiring and retaining knowledge-rich, appropriately credentialed employees. Employers value investing in staff development, but that coveted benefit often falls to the bottom of the priority list from competing fiscal foci or insufficient funds. This is paradoxical amid the value-based healthcare climate where quality drives patient-satisfaction and ultimately, volume. That’s where my marketing validation madness enters the scene.
Value via Alleviating Operational Burden
My blog followers may already know my mission; every contract I accept empowers the interprofessional workforce through knowledge acquisition. My services span CEU-products (webinars, presentations, trainings), professional speaking, authoring books and other publications, licensure supervision (Virginia only) and professional mentoring among other areas. My subject matter expertise is shared with associations, organizations and higher education; I teach at the baccalaureate and masters’ levels of academia.
Organizations contract with me to ease their professional development burdens. I do the heavy lifting via per diem and bundled contracts encompassing their individualized needs. Some request CEU pre-approved content required for licensure or certification renewal of social workers, nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and credentialed case managers (ACMs, CCMs). The high demand for mental health intervention mandates workforce expansion, and quickly; everyone wants to expand their behavioral health workforce but this takes a concerted effort. Social workers in Virginia seeking clinical licensure (LCSW) must receive Board-approved supervision process with an approved supervisor for 100 hours, a minimum of 1 hour of individual (or maximum of 50 hours of group) supervision weekly per 35-40-hr work week; this occurs in no less than 24 months and no more than 4 years from approval. Most healthcare organizations are unable to provide this labor-intensive process due to other staff priorities. It is worth an organization’s effort and time for a contracted provider as myself, to manage the regulatory rigor of application filing, regulatory monitoring of documentation, and service provision. Employers pay me a defined hourly rate for individual and group supervision. When an organization will not cover the (full) rate, individuals pay the same hourly rate. This actions yields a considerable return on investment for organizations: the more benefits provided for employees the better workforce retention, and patient satisfaction.
An Intentional Fiscal Focus
Many presume my company provides therapy; this is unsurprising as a Virginia-licensed clinical social worker, certified clinical trauma professional with EMDR-basic certification, and holding credentialing as a board-certified case manager. Besides, there are a plethora of behavioral health billing codes I could leverage, especially with my integrated care scope. The current Magellan fee scale for Virginia Department of Medicaid Services is a fascinating read, though highlights an important disparity in payment; LCSWs earn 20-35% less than their fellow behavioral health colleagues (e.g., psychologists), per psychotherapy visit ($92 vs. $69 per 45 min, $120 vs. $90 per 60 min). That difference, plus time for billing and revenue capture, makes psychotherapy a tough road for sole proprietary, small business owners to travel, especially when it isn’t where the heart lies. It is also further incentive for me to continue empowering the workforce through my innovative business perspective, which is far more fiscally and professionally rewarding.
Where Will My DBH-Road Lead?
I’ve carved out a unique, yet expansive space, locally, nationally, and globally; my assorted books and articles have a large global following. My gaze is always on market analysis to leverage expansion opportunities. Non-profit agencies or others who worry about affording my rates are never told no. Instead they are asked, “what can you afford?”. If an entity is interested in my unique presentation content, then we partner on pricing to make it accessible to them, as possible.
Expanding my brand happens organically at this point, as my energy drives ongoing inspiration and new dimensions for pursuit. As a Doctor in Behavioral Health Candidate (DBH-C), my lens spans the integrated care, population health, and health equity realms. I am an interprofessional subject matter expert working to mitigate physical, mental, and psychosocial health disparities. I also believe in the power of Trauma-informed care and leadership as vehicles to address workforce retention and manage turnover. These paths will provide further ways to spread those Doctoral wings. The author in me is excited to contribute my brain trust to industry white papers. I plan to advance my EMDR-training path and potentially offer intervention to our worn, interprofessional workforce. The incidence of collective occupational trauma from recent years is massive with EMDR a successful intervention to foster recovery from this unique trauma. Perhaps one day this blog will be monetized. Each of these services stays true to my current billing structure and company mission and vision. Where will my DBH-road go? The short answer is, wherever I want it to! Let this unique entrepreneurial journey continue!