Quality Improvement

Vaya Health’s quality management (QM) program works with staff, providers, community stakeholders and individuals to measure how well we’re meeting the needs of our members. We use QM concepts and techniques to continuously improve the quality and appropriateness of behavioral health and intellectual/developmental disability (IDD) services and supports.

The description of our QM program is updated each year and defines goals, objectives, scope and structure. Key elements of our program include:

  • The Quality Improvement Committee (QIC), which oversees the QM program and meets at least once each quarter. Members include Vaya staff, network providers and representatives from Vaya’s Consumer and Family Advisory Committee (CFAC). The group provides guidance on QM priorities and projects.
  • Quality Assurance Activities, which address our performance in providing access to care, the quality and appropriateness of care, over- and under-utilization of services and the performance of network providers.
  • Quality Improvement Activities (QIAs), which may develop from performance reports, surveys, or as a result of issues identified by QIC, Vaya staff and leadership, network providers or CFAC representatives. QIAs are monitored for progress towards specific improvement goals.
  • An Annual Work Plan that identifies ongoing and new QIAs planned for the upcoming fiscal year, estimated dates for completion and staff responsible for each activity.

At the end of each fiscal year, Vaya reviews and evaluates progress made toward performance improvement goals during the previous 12 months. This evaluation reviews QIAs, performance trends and the overall effectiveness of our QM program.

Introduction

Vaya Health maintains an ongoing quality management (QM) program that involves Vaya staff and management, network providers, community stakeholders and individuals working together to improve the quality and appropriateness of behavioral health and intellectual/developmental disability services and supports for our members. The program acts as a formal process to monitor and evaluate our quality, efficiency and effectiveness and conduct quality improvement activities (QIAs) to address areas of need.

QM Program Structure and Operations

The Regulatory Compliance and Quality Committee (RCQC), a subcommittee of the Board of Directors, is responsible for reviewing performance data and other measures of quality to ensure Vaya is meeting or exceeding the requirements of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. The RCQC is also kept aware of QIAs and other activities of the Quality Improvement Committee (QIC) and has the authority to recommend new quality improvement initiatives.

Vaya’s Chief Medical Officer (CMO) oversees all QM initiatives via the Quality Improvement Committee. The CMO and the External Review Director are co-chairs of QIC. This committee meets at least once per quarter and recommends, reviews and approves QIA proposals, updates and final reports.

Program Goals and Objectives

  • To continuously improve the quality and appropriateness of behavioral health and intellectual/developmental disability (IDD) care and services delivered by our network providers.
  • To identify, develop, and/or enhance activities that promote member safety.
  • To ensure that members have adequate access and accessibility to care when and where it’s needed.
  • To ensure that ongoing assessment and improvement work addresses the needs of Vaya’s culturally and linguistically diverse membership.
  • To ensure that over-utilization and under-utilization of services is within acceptable limits by continuously reviewing utilization rates, responding proactively to trends, and making sure that service funds are used responsibly.
  • To support the design of a behavioral health and IDD service delivery system that best represents the needs of our members, promotes member safety and improves outcomes for members.
  • To maintain a network of qualified practitioners and providers that meet or exceed all requirements for network participation and service delivery.
  • To record and report the results of monitoring activities, recommendations for QIAs and other program activities to QIC and to ensure that QIC regularly reviews appropriate documents, data and reports.

Major Accomplishments for Fiscal Year 2019-2020

  • Meeting and Exceeding DHHS “Super Measures” Benchmarks: Through the efforts of staff and network providers, Vaya met and exceeded all Super Measures benchmarks for fiscal year 2019-20 and is on track to do so for fiscal year 2020-21, despite barriers created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Vaya staff worked diligently with members and providers, as well as collaboratively across teams, to continue to provide services to our members that resulted in meeting and exceeding these goals.
  • Continued Progress and Performance on Quality Improvement Activities: Despite challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the cross-functional teams responsible for carrying out quality improvement activities continued to make progress on goals. While there were setbacks for each activity in the early months of the pandemic (March through May 2020), teams developed creative solutions to address these barriers.
  • Collaboration with Network Providers to Exceed Goals for Annual Perceptions of Care Survey: Each year, Vaya works with a sample of provider organizations to administer the Perceptions of Care Survey. Providers are asked to share the survey with members in three categories: adults, youth ages 12-17 and family members or guardians of children under age 12. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, DHHS made several adjustments to typical guidelines for survey delivery, including adding additional methods for survey completion (adding virtual and telephonic options to traditional paper surveys), increasing the survey period by several weeks and reducing goals for completed surveys for each version to 100 each. Vaya collaborated with providers chosen to participate in the survey and was able to exceed goals in all categories, submitting 299 adult surveys, 118 youth surveys and 104 family/caregiver surveys.

Ongoing Improvements

  • Continue to identify the most effective uses for staff and other resources in the QM program.
  • Maintain an ongoing evaluation of the effectiveness of the current structure of QIC meetings and priorities.
  • Work to find more ways and opportunities to include network providers and members in the QM process.

Vaya continually reviews data and other resources that may help identify areas for improvement. This includes surveys of our members and/or providers and performance data:

  • The Consumer Perception of Care Survey assesses member satisfaction and perceptions of the quality and outcomes of mental health and substance use services provided by our provider network.
  • The Experience of Care and Health Outcomes Adult and Child (ECHO) Survey assesses member experiences with the care they receive.
  • The Provider Satisfaction Survey allows our network providers to give feedback on their interactions with Vaya.
  • Performance data is submitted each month by Vaya to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and includes information on the number of individuals receiving services, calls to our 24/7 Access to Care line, claims activity and more.