Projects & Impact

AHP has built its business on applying best practices, many of which we have helped to shape, and real-world, hands-on knowledge to improving systems and business practices for our clients.

In all of the work that we do, we are guided by our mission to improve health and human services systems of care and business operations to help organizations and individuals reach their full potential.

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Select items in one or more of four categories to find relevant project types:

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Benchmarks for an Optimal Compensation Strategy

A state department of mental health has engaged AHP to deliver research and consulting services to improve business operations and impact systems of care through recruiting and retaining a high performance professional services workforce. AHP will provide guidelines for an optimal compensation and workforce development strategy to enable contracted provider agencies to effectively recruit and retain highly qualified behavioral health professionals to provide psychiatric services at inpatient and outpatient facilities statewide. Services include those provided to patients and clients by psychiatrists, other physicians, psychologists, and additional professional staff including “doctors on call” to ensure that a psychiatrist is onsite 24 hours per day, seven days per week, 365 days per year at every inpatient site.

AHP will deliver compensation guidelines to include salary ranges, benefit packages, brief job descriptions, and workload estimates for contracted staff. AHP will utilize proprietary salary, benchmarking, and workforce planning data spanning 100 health care organizations in 38 states to develop selected data to benchmark salaries, benefits, brief job descriptions, and patient workload for psychiatrists and psychologists in a number of peer states.

Colorado Office of Behavioral Health Needs Assessment

The Colorado Office of Behavioral Health (OBH) selected a team led by Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) Mental Health Program to conduct a needs analysis and scan of existing and promising behavioral health models. AHP worked with the WICHE team, which included NASMHPD Research Institute (NRI), to complete 17 tasks. AHP assessed:
 
  • Olmstead v. L.C. legal decision considerations in the provision of state psychiatric beds;
  • integration of behavioral health and physical health care;
  • impact of marijuana legalization and prescription drug misuse on CO OBH service needs;
  • impact of state drug sentencing reform on CO OBH service needs; and
  • state approaches to support employment and housing for mental health consumers.
 
The work on tasks included a literature review, environmental scan, key informant interviews, focus groups, and analysis of existing state-level data. A report was prepared for each task and combined into a comprehensive report that included recommendations for Colorado’s OBH. 
 
Related resources and publication:
 

Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority [DWMHA] (formerly Detroit-Wayne County Community Mental Health Agency [D-WCCMHA])

Detroit Wayne County Community Mental Health Agency (D-WCCMHA) engaged AHP in 2006 to provide and coordinate technical assistance and evaluation services for eight community mental health centers that received new funding to develop and operate supportive housing and supported employment initiatives. AHP helped implement these Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) evidence-based practices (EBPs) to fidelity, together with ensuring the client and its stakeholders had access to timely and ongoing information on program performance.
 
Work occurred over many years (from 2006 through 2015) and involved many tasks and elements. Following are highlights of some of this work:
 

  • 2006–2011: AHP defined and developed a sustainable strategy to implement supported employment and housing initiatives. It also developed guidelines to assist providers in implementing these practices. AHP senior staff facilitated numerous onsite strategic planning and operations management sessions for executive leadership of the nine agencies in the initiative. Other work during this time included:
    • Development of bi-annual fidelity assessments of supported employment and supportive housing models implemented by provider agencies;
    • Provision of extensive on- and off-site technical assistance, training, and mentoring;
    • Development and design of e-learning courses on 1) Permanent Supportive Housing; 2) Planning for Housing; and 3) Role of Housing in Recovery; and
    • Performance of process/outcome evaluations of supported employment and supportive housing initiatives by conducting key informant focus groups and individual-level data collection
       
  • 2011-2015: AHP’s work focused on supported housing initiatives during this period. Key accomplishments include:
    • Redesign of outcomes evaluation to facilitate performance monitoring along with providing technical assistance in the form of training development and implementation;
    • Performance of an overhaul of existing quantitative consumer-level evaluation data, working closely with a local evaluator and project stakeholders. The new system led to a marked increase in provider program engagement that allowed delivery of monthly performance data for eight providers serving 200 active consumers; and
    • Planning and implementation of nine site visits to evaluate provider agencies on an annual basis.
       
  • 2012-2013: AHP worked together with a planning team to design curriculum and develop priority messaging. AHP gathered feedback on draft materials that resulted in development and implementation of a two-day onsite GOI training session, as well as two new online training courses, including:
    1. Critical Time Intervention (CTI) and Permanent Supportive Housing; and
    2. General Organizational Index (GOI) and Permanent Supportive Housing.
 
In addition, AHP implemented a plan to gather service use data for both supportive housing and employment consumers that expanded descriptive information on consumers served. This data demonstrated a reduction in costly inpatient and crisis-related service use following supported employment and supportive housing program enrollment.
 
Related resources and publications:

Evaluation of the Moms Do Care Project, Expanding Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) for Pregnant Women with Opioid Use Disorder

AHP is the evaluator for a Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Bureau of Substance Abuse Services (BSAS) grant to expand medical and behavioral health service systems capacity to engage and retain pregnant and postpartum women in integrated medication assisted treatment (MAT) and health care, and addiction and recovery support services. Funded through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) targeted capacity expansion portfolio, The Moms Do Care Project is being implemented in two communities (one rural and one urban) and focuses on the specific needs of pregnant women with opioid use disorders. Its overarching objective is to provide recovering mothers with increased access to MAT and with individualized services that support sustained recovery, choices about continuing medication, and efforts to maintain custody or contact with their children.

Expected outcomes include increased access and engagement in MAT concurrent with pre-and post-natal care; reduced illicit drug use; and improved health, recovery, and functioning status at the individual level. Systems level outcomes include an increased number of waivered buprenorphine prescribers; increased workforce understanding of opioid dependency in women specific to the needs of pregnant women; reduced negative attitudes of this population among medical providers; and improved integration of primary care and behavioral health services. AHP will assess outcomes through client interviews at three points in time, administrative treatment data, surveys of medical providers, and onsite visits with a range of key informants.

MA-Access to Recovery (MA-ATR) [Commonwealth of Massachusetts, DPH/BSAS]

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts subcontracted AHP to run the federally-funded MA-Access to Recovery (MA-ATR), which is a program designed to give people with substance use disorders wider access to community services that help them recover. Clients choose recovery support services they think will help them most in their recovery by using vouchers they are given to secure these services. MA-ATR’s goal is to enroll over 6,000 individuals within a three-year period.
 
This project is being implemented in the Greater Springfield and Greater Boston areas where there are high incidences of substance use. AHP’s accomplishments in this contract are summarized below.
 
  • Through MA-ATR, AHP created an innovative, nationally acclaimed program called the Career Building Initiative (CBI), designed to address the importance of employment to recovery. Providers were recruited that could provide different kinds of job training and job readiness programs. In addition, in order to eliminate the financial hardships of entering training instead of receiving income from a job, ATR gives every client a work-study benefit of $8 per hour for attendance.
  • AHP developed a provider network integrating traditional substance use providers with non-traditional recovery support supports and faith-based and community agencies.
  • Through MA-ATR, AHP created a client-centered system of care by providing clients with choice of services and providers.
  • AHP customized a curriculum to train eight ATR coordinators on effective engagement techniques, which is a critical skill needed to enroll the target number of clients within the three-year period. ATR coordinators learned follow up techniques such as finding individuals who are experiencing homelessness or are transient.
 
Related resources and publications:
 

Redesigning the Substance Use Disorder Treatment Continuum of Care in Los Angeles County

AHP is working with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Substance Abuse Prevention and Control (SAPC) to support the county in developing a state-required plan to opt into the Drug Medi-Cal Organized Delivery System (DMC-ODS) Waiver for adult and adolescent populations. The waiver expands treatment and recovery services and creates a continuum of care for individuals diagnosed with a substance use disorder (SUD).

In partnership with the SAPC leadership and other key stakeholders, AHP is developing the financing formula and the organizational and staffing infrastructure that will support the DMC-ODS. To fully develop the architecture and financing recommendations, AHP is analyzing similar systems, studying rate setting methodologies, providing comprehensive data analysis, evaluating financial formulas, cross-walking ASAM levels of care with standardized code sets, and gathering information on managed care financial operations. AHP will also provide recommendations for a cost-effective training plan to develop the staffing capabilities and readiness for implementation of the new system.