As the Affordable Care Act, mental health parity, and Medicaid expansion are implemented across the nation, organizations such as the Henrietta Weill Memorial Child Guidance Clinic are faced with the challenge of serving an increased population and maintaining high standards of care. The National Council for Behavioral Health estimates that an additional 15 million Americans will qualify for Medicaid by 2019. To prepare for this growing population, the Clinic began rolling out programs to ensure that clients would continue receiving high-quality services and without long wait-list. This included the introduction of same-day services for new and returning clients.
Same-day services, or walk-in services, allow families to begin the treatment process immediately or at their own convenience. Prior to providing same-day services, wait-time for non-emergency clients could range between 10 and 14 days. During that waiting period, a family could become disengaged from treatment, feel frustrated that their case was going untreated, or see a temporary improvement in behavioral problems–all of which contributed to clients failing to return for scheduled appointments. By offering same-day services, the Clinic is able to increase client engagement and convey that their treatment is our top priority.
The Clinic now offers same-day access at all three of our Kern County locations. Since the successful implementation of same-day services, the average wait-time for new clients has dropped from 14 days to 0 days. By improving the first experience for our clients, the Clinic hopes to see improved mental health outcomes, a reduction in no-show rates, and increased client satisfaction.