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DODD, LeanOhio Address Provider Certification Experience

The Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD) has prioritized strategic initiatives that support the growth and stability of the workforce. One way to support the workforce is to improve the onboarding experience for new providers. Key performance indicators revealed an opportunity to improve the processing time of initial independent provider applications and to reduce the amount of application rework due to inaccuracies and incompleteness.

DODD collaborated with LeanOhio to ensure that providers have a user-friendly and efficient experience becoming certified providers. The mission of LeanOhio, an office within the Ohio Department of Administrative Services, is to make state government simpler, faster, better, and less costly. LeanOhio works across state governments on process and quality improvement projects. DODD’s provider certification leadership team determined that LeanOhio’s involvement would be beneficial towards helping provider applicants through this process.

To improve this process, an interdisciplinary group of DODD staff and external representatives met three times in the fall of 2021 to assess the current state of the provider certification process and to develop comprehensive recommendations for improvement.

“We greatly appreciated being part of the LeanOhio event regarding the provider certification process. The group was focused on making positive changes and there was a real willingness to view things from the customer perspective,” reported David Lewis, the vice president and chief operating officer of The Arc of Ohio.

The group identified nearly 15 recommendations to make the process simpler, faster, better, and less costly. Recommendations included: Reviewing applications before receiving criminal background checks from the Attorney General’s office, adding resources to the DODD website, training county board provider liaisons to assist with the application process, and using plain language to improve the readability of the application. These recommendations are expected to reduce the average turnaround time from 45 calendar days to 14 calendar days and to reduce application rework from 75 percent to 33 percent.

“In a customer service space, you need to always look at your system and how to improve it for those people who benefit from it,” said DODD’s Medicaid Health Systems Administrator Robert Capaldi, who is working with other leadership through this process.

The fact sheet and the final report-out presentation for this project are published on LeanOhio’s website under the headline “DODD creates a more user-friendly experience for applicants seeking provider certification”. You can also visit DODD’s website to learn more about the role of providers in the developmental disability system.