DASH efforts to improve the efficiency of information delivery include education and training opportunities for DASH staff, area providers, and Bangor Coalition members. As noted in interviews with ADRC/DASH leaders, the DASH is continuing to work on simplifying and clarifying roles/expectations of the intake and referral, and reception staff who work with consumers and providers through the DASH.
DASH leadership point out efficiencies in the delivery of information to consumers that are attributed to improved communication and referral protocols developed by the DASH with the statewide long term care eligibility assessment agency (the Assessing Services Agency, Goold Health Systems). Specifically, the DASH and Goold have clarified referral protocols based on client asset information. The DASH now uses consumer asset information to screen for appropriateness of referrals to the Assessing Services Agency. If a consumer is over the assets eligibility threshold for all publicly funded services, the DASH specialist suggests private pay options. DASH specialists only explain the assessment process and assist with referral to the Assessing Services Agency (Goold Health Systems) when clients have assets at or below eligibility asset thresholds. DASH information products (described above) also serve to improve efficiency by providing consumers with informational tip sheets that help them understand more about MaineCare (Maine Medicaid) eligibility, where to get help, and things you might be asked for as part of the application process.
In response to consumer frustrations with the complexity of information and access to long term supports, streamlining the process of obtaining information is an important objective of the DASH/ADRC. Call handling is one indicator of DASH impact on streamlining access to information and services and improved efficiency. Being given needed information directly, without referrals to others, is viewed as the most desirable/most efficient response for clients. An operational response to reducing the number of calls and contacts required of consumers is the availability of "warm" call transfers. With "warm" call transfers, callers are not required to make a second call or directly dial others. The DASH installed a new telephone system that has the capacity to provide "warm" transfer of callers both internally and externally. The new system also
16Muskie School of Public Service