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Kaizen Health: Reducing Transportation-Related Barriers to Mental Health Access in Miami-Dade County

Kaizen health brings technology assets, a broad transportation network, and a commitment to improving care for underserved populations.

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Working with medical professionals at selected facilities in Miami-Dade County, we propose partnering to offer residents with mental/behavioral health challenges in underserved areas transportation to medical appointments, therapy, pharmacies, and other destinations as deemed appropriate by care coordination staff.  Our proposed approach seeks to leverage the Kaizen Health platform to connect the county’s most at-risk populations to the services already being provided in Miami-Dade County. Together, we hope to see an increase in the appropriate outpatient mental health services, medication adherence, and patient satisfaction, and an attendant decrease in ER visits, missed appointments, and other adverse results.  In accordance with the Miami-Dade County Department of Transportation and Public Works vision for the county, our proposed solution embraces the concept of mobility management as we work to eliminate the barrier of transportation in your communities.

How it works: A patient comes to your clinic or local emergency department looking for mental health resources. Your clinical staff conducts their initial screening and asks the patient about barriers they face with their access to community healthcare. Once deemed eligible for Kaizen Health’s services, the care coordinator enters the patient’s information into our HIPAA compliant software and sets up rides to/from their future appointments. Patients are transported in a vehicle that best fits their health status – rideshare sedan, wheelchair vehicle, etc.  A three-step verification process confirms patient acceptance of the ride and lets medical staff know if the patient will be at their scheduled appointment. If the patient verifies their pick-up time, our transportation services will ensure their arrival 15 minutes before their appointment starts; if not, medical staff can open this appointment time up to other patients and the original patient is contacted for rescheduling.

Describe who will use your solution (1,000 characters)

Miami-Dade County is home to the largest percentage of people with serious mental health illnesses of any other urban community in the United States, with 9.1% of Miami-Dade County residents suffering from serious mental illness, and only 1% of the county’s population receiving proper treatment. With 50% of the major Miami-Dade County hospitals being only accessible by four or less of the ninety-five bus routes, stable access to mental health resources have become increasingly difficult for Miami-Dade County residents. Our solution starts with these most at-risk citizens at the heart of the conversation regarding transportation and access to quality mental health resources. Kaizen Health provides social workers, care coordinators and other mental health professionals in Miami-Dade County a platform to increase access to mental health care resources for eligible patients (as determined by a health risk assessment or similar tool).

Describe your solution's stage of development

  • Ready to Scale - you have completed and expanded your pilot and are seeing adoption of your solution by your intended user

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

Kaizen Health is an early-stage health technology company working to modernize and streamline access to transportation in partnership with providers, payers, self-insured employers and municipalities. We are passionate about eliminating transportation as a barrier to good medical care, as well as pursuing creative ways to deploy our technology and vehicle network to reduce unnecessary cost in health care and help people live healthier, happier lives. Learn more at: http://kaizenhealth.org/

Size of your team or organization

  • 2-10

Funding Request

  • $100,000

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

Our proposed pilot is modeled on a program we are running for a county mental health board in Illinois. To find the same success for this pilot, we want to engage key stakeholders to understand how circumstances in Miami-Dade may warrant a tailored approach. Currently, we’ve found the most sustainable operation has a developed eligibility assessment mechanism on concert with participating providers. With agreed upon applicable uses as well as geographical boundaries, our model allows for us to determine the appropriate success metrics. Conducting a transportation needs assessment, we ensure patient appropriate vehicles are being used to support the anticipated volume. Finally, with continued testing and deployment, as well as ongoing management and metrics tracking, we firmly believe our pilot is capable of demonstrating not only operational effectiveness, but also to show that investment in access to care leads to significant downstream savings in provider operations and cost of care.

Describe how you would measure the success of your pilot (1000 characters)

We would expect KPI/metric definition to be an important collaborative first step in the process. Typical metrics and measures of success for deployment of our platform include: • Reduction in missed appointments • Reduction in late arrivals • Reduction in ED presentations • Patients engaged • Self-reported patient satisfaction Studies show other benefits to enhanced access to transportation for underserved populations, including reduced overall cost of care and improved patient retention – but these effects are difficult to tease out in the short term. The Kaizen team will work to lay the groundwork for these measurements, while keeping primary focus on more readily available indicators of success. One recent customer survey determined 88% of patients would not have made it to their appointments without the transportation services we provide. This is the type of impact we strive to achieve, and experience shows similar results are entirely attainable inside of six months.

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Photo of Julian Brizuela Trochez
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The city should create bicycle trails on the highway. Example: if they were to take 1 lane from I-95 north and 1 from south, they will be able to make a bicycle trail in the middle of the highway. By building 5 foot tall concrete barrier with plastic glass ontop of the barrier, protecting cyclists from motorists and any flying debris. And at each existing exit, making a stairway to allow cyclists to safely get On and Off under the bridge and back on the highway. The same can be done for all major highways. This will motivate people to cosider cycling as a much faster way of transportation at high peak hours. Especially from Golden Glades to Downtown Miami on I-95.

Building wider roads is clearly not the solution for our traffic congestion, it's only getting worst. Building safe bike trails will encourage people to commute on a bicycles. Having less cars on the road and less pollution. Distance is not the problem, safety is the biggest concern.

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