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Video Post - What do I do if my program is already full?

Posted by daveg on Friday, June 04, 2010 at 12:41 PM

First, find out if you really are full.

Ask yourself and your staff:

* How much individual counseling are we doing?
* Can we make better use of groups to get and keep more clients?
* Do clinicians have caseloads full of people that aren’t showing up?

Being full doesn’t mean having 40 people on a waiting list. It means having a program with lots of people actively engaged in their recovery work every day. Make sure that you are really using all of your existing capacity. Are people moving smoothly through your treatment system? In residential treatment, some programs still define completion of treatment as staying a specific number of days. Tailoring length of stay to individual client needs can free up slots for people on a waiting list.

If you keep working on improving access, you will reach a point where you are truly using all of your existing capacity. Then the next step is to figure out how to expand capacity. Many providers have found that better use of existing capacity leads to increased revenue, which can be used to hire new staff to grow capacity. Some programs start with per diem or part time staff. If you work in an environment where making better use of your capacity doesn’t lead to increased revenue, then you may need to make the case to funders. By demonstrating increased efficiency and effectiveness and growing demand to state or county payers, several agencies have been able to increase their grant funds.

View the NIATx Promising Practices related to Creating Capacity using Existing Resources or search the Story Database for more ideas.

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