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CentralReach's Acquisition of AI-Based Scheduling Algorithm Expected to Improve Care Coordination

CentralReach, the leading provider of electronic medical record (EMR), practice management, and clinical solutions that enable Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) clinicians to produce superior outcomes for people with autism and related disorders, announced today that it has acquired scheduling algorithm company, Cartocal, to enable ABA organizations to leverage AI algorithms directly within CentralReach’s EMR and practice management platform to optimize and automate complex ABA scheduling needs for better care coordination, increased therapist and Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) capacity, expanded service delivery, and improved client experience.

Given the complexities of ABA care delivery, which is typically provided in a variety of locations -- in-home, in clinic, or in the community -- providers must account for a number of considerations when scheduling clients for services such as changing service locations, drive time, therapist-to-client availability, therapist and RBT credentials, authorized service hours per client, real-time modifications to schedules including cancellations, and more.

With anywhere from hundreds to thousands of RBTs and therapists in the field delivering care at any point in time, it can become nearly impossible to manage an optimized schedule while avoiding service overutilization, which could result in denied reimbursements or underutilization of authorization hours, which could result in a reduction in revenue.

As a result, most providers operate between 50%-70% capacity of their authorized hours, subsequently losing revenue and serving fewer clients in need.

Many providers use manual, disparate, or homegrown tools to create and manage their schedules, which makes scheduling both time consuming and inefficient.

Those that have turned to generic third-party scheduling solutions find little success as many are unable to sync the complex data sets required to navigate the intricacies of effective ABA scheduling - authorized hours, weekly frequency caps, etc. - in real time.

The many challenges that these ABA providers face, along with the exorbitant costs incurred from overhead and third-party software fees, was a major catalyst in CentralReach’s decision to acquire a purpose-built smart scheduling solution that provides a powerful, intuitive workflow fully integrated with its EMR and practice management platform.

The announcement of this exciting acquisition comes months after Cartocal and CentralReach began partnering on a proof of concept with four existing CentralReach customers, including industry leader Caravel Autism Health.

The new smart scheduling solution will provide customers with an integrated way to instantly optimize schedules to maximize authorization hours, therapist and technician capacity, and any unforeseen changes that may occur all within CentralReach, thus eliminating the need for customers to use third-party scheduling tools or manual excel sheets.

The solution will also enable ABA organizations to take on the clients awaiting services by properly tracking and managing canceled appointments and re-routing therapists to those clients.

Before collaborating with CentralReach on a scheduling proof of concept, our teams faced several challenges in optimizing staff and family availability with other factors like drive time and specific clinical needs,” said Bill Drehkoff, Chief Operating Officer of Caravel Autism Health, a provider of diagnostics, Applied Behavior Analysis therapy, and psychological services for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families.

“After restructuring schedules and use of CentralReach’s algorithm, we increased scheduled hours by over 20% for our clients. The clinical benefits of delivering more medically necessary treatment, and the increase in both staff and family satisfaction, are substantial.” Drehkoff noted that the improvements further increased efficiencies in scheduling workflow and allowed schedulers time to identify other opportunities previously overlooked.

“We are thrilled to welcome Cartocal and its founder, Matt Ward, to CentralReach,” said CentralReach CEO Chris Sullens. “The Applied Behavior Analysis industry continues to see an explosion of growth and demand for services offered but remain hindered by legacy, often manual, scheduling processes that limit their ability to accept new clients and grow. Our fully integrated, algorithmic solution is purpose built for the ABA and autism provider use case, making it more effective than generic third-party tools designed for other markets. And our multi-month proof of concept pilot validates the effectiveness of the algorithm to eliminate the inefficiencies our customers experience today, allowing them to focus on what they do best - deliver superior outcomes for the clients they serve. We can’t wait to make this available to all customers soon.”

CentralReach will be making the solution commercially available to all customers during the first half of 2021. To stay up to date on smart scheduling, sign up here.

Source: https://centralreach.com/

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