Electronic Documentation for I/DD Service Providers
As leading developmental disabilities software for human services agencies, the scope of AWARDS is deep and wide, with the ability to track and manage data related to virtually all services supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Software Features for I/DD Service Providers
- Tracks basic demographics, emergency contacts, guardianship info, service providers, entitlements, consents
- Documents all aspects of Residential, Day Hab, Community Hab, Service Coordination programs
- Directly link daily services documentation with related goals in the service plan
- Medical module equipped with E-Prescribing, medication administration, e-MAR, immunizations, diet, hospitalizations, vital signs, and more
- Employment module tracks schools, training, jobs, employers, earnings history
- Built-in billing manages Medicaid, State Waiver, Third-Party, Direct Contract billing
- Proprietary FormBuilder tool helps create program-specific assessment tools and reports
Our software has been developed to meet the complex needs of any human services organisation.
- Standardization of agency data collection & charting procedures
- More staff accountability through reporting, audit trails & reminders
- Easier access to your data, accessible from any location at the agency
- Increased efficiency allowing staff more time to provide supports & services
- Easy audits available through AWARDS’ robust reporting functionality
- Real-time collaboration across multi-site organizations
- Standard workflow for all agency employees
- Safe, secure & HIPAA compliant data storage
- An EHR package certified for Meaningful Use
- Seamless integration between clinical data and electronic billing
- Web-based cloud technology, eliminating hardware & infrastructure maintenance costs
For all agencies looking to bill directly for the services they provide, we offer BillingBuilder™, our Build-Your-Own Billing module that allows users to configure billing files for dozens of payers in addition to the direct link to Medicaid and Medicare already built into the software. Your agency’s clinical and programmatic data will flow seamlessly from the AWARDS electronic chart into the proper structure in the billing module. From there, you can use the module to create claims to be paid.
With BillingBuilder™, AWARDS establishes a more direct relationship between program services and billing activities. Because both fiscal and program service staff rely on a single system for billing-related information, there are fewer opportunities for errors in communication, and less time and energy is expended on reporting of this information.
Furthermore, your Foothold support team will work with you to address the inevitable changes in regulations, ensuring your agency’s continued compliance. Results for your agency include more internal control and greater transparency in the billing process as well as increased success with audits.
You could have the greatest software in the world, but if you don’t have people to train you and answer your questions, you won’t get what you need from it. With origins and roots in human services, no software vendor is better prepared to support you than Foothold Technology. When you choose AWARDS, you get more than software–you get a whole system of help that is always just a call or a click away.
Your Senior Project Manager (SPM)
From Day 1, you get a team of seasoned experts led by a Senior Project Manager (SPM) dedicated to you for the life of our work together. Your SPM will serve as your single point of contact to:
- Coordinate all your implementation and training activities.
- Offer expertise from a combined 60+ years of experience working with agencies like yours.
- Work with you to think through your agency’s growth and challenges.
Your Implementation Consultant (IC)
The average length of an AWARDS implementation is four months. To get your team up and running, you’ll work with an Implementation Consultant (IC) as well as your SPM. Your IC will:
- Learn, evaluate, and understand the programs, policies, and goals of your agency.
- Walk you through all the functionality of AWARDS.
- Configure the software to reflect your agency’s unique needs.
- Assist you in developing a training and roll-out plan.
- Prepare you to meet your desired milestones.
Your Training and Support
Our “Train-the-Trainer” model will give you onsite expertise of AWARDS and help minimize the problems caused by staff turnover.
- Classroom-style training in Foothold’s training facility or at a site of your choosing.
- Extensive online Help library with step-by-step instructions and video tutorials.
- FootholdConnect series of free, ongoing trainings offered via web conference.
- A Quality Assurance team (also known as Help Desk) to provide technical support.
AWARDS is interoperable with any Health Information Exchange (HIE). If your organization is using AWARDS to manage the data related to the services you provide, you have the tools to participate in any Health Information Exchange without duplicate data entry.AWARDS will serve as a single portal to send data in any format required, safely and securely.
We take the responsibility of safeguarding the electronic protected health information (ePHI) data in our care very seriously. In fact, we have recorded one of the highest scores ever seen when our security measures were tested against the standards of HIPAA and the Federal Department of Health and Human Services.
You can be sure that your agency’s data, and the sensitive information on the individuals you serve, is secure with Foothold. Security isn’t just something we care about, it’s woven into every aspect of our operations.
To ensure compliance with federal and local requirements, updates to AWARDS are performed behind the scenes, while our Client Services team communicates with you about how these changes might affect your workflow. Because Foothold grew out of human service agencies, we can be proactive about preparing our clients for upcoming changes in technology and the industry. AWARDS is HIPAA-compliant, is federally certified as an Electronic Health Record (EHR) for Meaningful Use and offers full interoperability with any other federally certified system for participation in Health Information Exchanges (HIE) and RHIOs.
Keystone Community Resources
Year Founded: 1964
Consumers Served: Over 600 annually
Annual Operating Budget: $30 million
Using AWARDS Since: 2013
The Situation: An agency faces the challenge of different regulations for different programs
For over fifty years, Keystone Community Resources has been serving the needs of those with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families throughout Pennsylvania. The agency offers a wide range of services including day and vocation programs, respite care, and over 50 group homes. Keystone also supports residents in New Jersey through a group home and oversees a Supports Coordination Program in eight northern New Jersey counties.
Like many agencies managing multiple programs in different geographic locations and supported by different funders, Keystone faced the challenge of operating efficiently, while maintaining unique reporting and regulatory standards for two separate and distinct jurisdictions. To tackle this challenge, Keystone turned to Foothold Technology’s electronic record, AWARDS.
The Solution: Unique workflow for employees in each state using AWARDS FormBuilder
Keystone staff were originally documenting agency data on paper forms accessed through an online shared drive. Step one toward a better solution was achieved when the agency made its transition from paper forms to AWARDS. Reporting became easier and increased agency efficiency allowing staff more time to provide support to consumers.
Step two required a solution that could address the unique regulatory needs of each state, but still support the overall operational, quality assurance and reporting needs of the agency. For this step, Keystone staff and the Foothold implementation team partnered to use AWARDS’ FormBuilder tool to create state-specific forms for data collection, reporting and analysis. Through FormBuilder, Keystone created a unique workflow for staff in each state.
The Result: Addressing the challenge of multiple regulations is no longer an obstacle
Once the program-specific forms were launched in AWARDS, staff began documenting their work specific to program and location. Because each username and password corresponds to its appropriate program, nurses and clinicians are automatically directed to the forms appropriate for his or her program. This has been especially beneficial when it comes to documenting psychiatric reviews, which carry different requirements for the two different states in which Keystone operates. In Pennsylvania, psychiatric reviews are required every twelve weeks, and in New Jersey, reviews are required every six months, at a minimum.
By integrating AWARDS into its agency operations, Keystone has not only adapted its method of documentation to achieve more efficiency for the entire agency, but because the regulatory requirements for two different sets of programs are captured in one centralized database, reporting is less of a burden and ensures both flexibility and compliance across multiple programs.
Goodwill of Greater New York & Northern New Jersey
Year Founded: 1902
Clients Served: 136,000
Annual Operating Budget: $90 million
Using AWARDS Since: 2010
The Situation: Complex documentation requirements
Goodwill launched a new kind of outpatient Mental Health program and was using AWARDS to manage the program’s cases and generate Medicaid claims for those they serve. The agency had shifted from a less sophisticated electronic record to Foothold’s AWARDS software to ensure compliance with all the specific documentation requirements set by the funder. Shortly after making the transition, the agency also experienced a change in leadership which prompted a review of the agency’s data collection and billing processes.
The Solution: Service tracking by AWARDS BillingBuilder™
Every Foothold client is supported by a dedicated Senior Project Manager (SPM). Accompanied by a Foothold Implementation Consultant, the SPM sat down with program staff from the agency to provide an overview of the state’s documentation requirements through the lens of the AWARDS BillingBuilder. This feature tracks the agency’s services throughout a client’s history in the program—documenting everything from intake, progress notes, and Wellness Recovery Action Plans through outcomes—and generates claims automatically. Building on the experience of similar agencies in the Foothold community, the SPM helped identify omissions in the agency’s data entry and suggested ways the staff could streamline reporting. BillingBuilder pulls information directly from the service fields, so once those data omissions were corrected, more claims were generated, including those previously overlooked.
The Result: $22,000 in reimbursements
In addition to helping refine the agency’s operations, the exercise resulted in a recouping of $22,000 in Medicaid reimbursements immediately — with a promise of more complete and accurate billing going forward. The agency staff were united by this success with a renewed appreciation of AWARDS and Foothold’s customer support model.
Unity House of Cayuga County
Year Founded: 1977
Location: Central New York
Clients Served: Over 700 annually
Annual Operating Budget: $15 million
Using AWARDS Since: 2003
The Situation: How can staff communicate with leadership and inform decisions outside of regularly scheduled meetings?
For almost 40 years, Unity House of Cayuga County (UH) has been providing support to people with developmental disabilities across six central New York counties. In 2003, UH made the leap from a paper system to an electronic chart through the use of Foothold Technology’s AWARDS database. For well over a decade, AWARDS has been used at UH as an electronic chart, as an internal and external auditing tool, to create reports for funders and for many other uses. Most recently, the executive team at UH was looking for new ways to better communicate with over 350 staff working at multiple locations. Direct care and support staff wanted to ask questions about policies, discuss new initiatives, and gather information that could be used to better support individuals. While regular staff meetings occur, agency leaders were looking for a way to both seek input and provide updates to staff on a more regular basis.
The Solution: Using the AWARDS ResourceTracker to create a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) hub
With a need to enhance staff communication, leadership at UH turned to the ResourceTracker, a tool already at their disposal within AWARDS. Previously, UH had created a form in its ResourceTracker to catalogue and analyze the agency’s IT and technology needs. That form is used today to inform technology-related planning at the agency. With some creative modifications, the agency created a new form that serves as an online FAQ hub for staff. When direct care and support staff enter questions into the FAQ, the entire agency is alerted, the responses back from leadership are documented and the entire process of information exchange is archived within ResourceTracker for future reference.
The Result: A connected, supported staff can lead to improved outcomes for individuals with developmental disabilities
By creatively modifying ResourceTracker, UH created a platform to help the agency communicate in a more transparent way. Now, leadership can hear feedback directly from staff at all levels of the organization and from all locations. This information can be used proactively for planning, for growth and to inform strategy on the best ways to support the individuals the agency serves. The new working environment has led to more open lines of communication, is helping direct care and support staff feel more connected and supported, and as a result, improving staff’s ability to remain focused on serving those seeking support from UH.
Unique People Services
Year Founded: 1991
Location: NYC & Westchester
Clients Served: Over 500 Annually
Annual Operating Budget: $22 million
Using AWARDS Since: 2009
The Situation: A need to streamline operations and improve efficiency
Unique People Services (UPS) operates over 20 programs and provides mental health services, support to those living with HIV/AIDS, individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities (I/DD), and operates several supportive housing initiatives. Before transitioning to AWARDS, this multi-service agency was using paper to track all its services. For its I/DD programs, Medicaid Service Coordinators (MSCs) would fan out in the field, come back to the office to write their Individual Service Plans (ISPs) and then review notes with individuals and providers. Leadership knew the agency needed a more efficient way to operate and an easier way to bill for services, and supervisors needed better ways to support MSCs while maintaining quality assurance.
The Solution: Switch from a paper-based system to an electronic one
In 2009, the agency began using AWARDS and started seeing greater success with its documentation process. “By using the same methods across our programs for data collection, we can easily see if ISPs are done, notes are complete, and if caseloads are manageable. Because we use the same forms, all MSCs have clarity,” said Sonji Phillips, Director of DD Services. “We can also identify any deficiencies within an ISP. Program directors can see what’s missing and use the quality, or lack thereof, as a teaching tool with staff,” added Cheryelle Cruickshank, Associate Executive Director. By using BillingBuilder, AWARDS’ integrated billing feature, the agency also drastically cut down the time and effort spent looking for billing errors. At a glance the agency can now identify any missing information and manage all aspects of billing more efficiently.
The Result: The use of AWARDS leads to increased funding and better data
According to Unique People Services, AWARDS is helping MSCs and program staff provide more coordinated support, and by using AWARDS for billing, the agency has instilled confidence in funders and streamlined operations. “In fact,” says Cheryelle, “because of our partnership with Foothold, we recently received a grant which we are using to purchase iPads for our staff. With this upgrade, we’re continuing to move one step closer to a paperless system — which will save us time, money, not to mention space currently being used for filing — and our staff can work directly with those we serve from anywhere. No more trips back to the office to enter progress notes!”
Those who use AWARDS understand the impact the right developmental disabilities software can have on performance and outcomes. Hear from some of our clients how AWARDS has helped their agency.
SCARC, New Jersey
Martin Noah shares thoughts on how AWARDS, a web-based electronic record for I/DD providers, is transforming agency operations at SCARC.
Keystone Community Resources, Pennsylvania
Stan Chotkowski shares his thoughts on how AWARDS, a web-based electronic record for I/DD providers, is streamlining operations, supporting multiple programs, and providing staff at Keystone Community Resources with an easy-to-use method for documenting services.
Wanda Carrol & Angela Gerding of Advocacy & Protective Services review AWARDS electronic record software from Foothold Technology.
Fidelity House, Massachusetts
Lynn Manning shares thoughts on how AWARDS, a web-based electronic record for I/DD providers, is helping Fidelity House Human Services manage change, transform service delivery and provide the agency with powerful reporting tools.
Our Community of I/DD Service Providers
Here are just some of the agencies we work with that provide services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
We have been working closely with I/DD service providers for almost two decades and are proud to partner with ANCOR (American Network of Community Options and Resources) to further the aims of the I/DD movement.
The Importance of People First Language
As an Electronic Health Record (EHR) vendor, Foothold Technology participates in several national collaboratives convened to examine the challenges individuals and providers face in our changing landscape. Through partnerships and by collaborating with others, we share ideas on how to effectively harness the power of technology to support communities across the country. Through our participation, we strive to ensure the voices of our customers are heard on a national level, and actively generate innovative ways to address, collectively, the needs of the communities we support. This includes our participation with groups like the HIMSS EHRA, which is designed to improve or enhance the ability of interoperability functionality among physical and behavioral health providers and to identify how an EHR can impact healthcare in positive ways.
Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) Legislation
The American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR), the national trade association for disability service providers and a partner of Foothold Technology, was proud to lead the passage of H.R. 6042, the bill delaying the implementation of electronic visit verification. As much as ANCOR embraces technology and innovation in our space, we did not feel that the implementation of new Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) legislation was being done thoughtfully and instead we observed the process being rushed without much if any public input.
Supported Employment | Focus on the Center for Humanistic Change of New Jersey
Staff at Foothold Technology are always hungry to hear stories about how AWARDS, our electronic record for human services agencies, is supporting agencies in meeting their goals. More importantly, and definitely more satisfying, is when we get the opportunity to support agencies creating and managing innovative programs that are changing people’s lives. Located in northern New Jersey and serving adults with developmental disabilities in Sussex, Warren, Morris, and Passaic Counties, one member of the Foothold Technology community, Center for Humanistic Change of New Jersey, Inc. (CHCNJ), is serving up some supported employment programs we find quite delicious.
Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month
Since 1987, providers, individuals, and communities have used the month of March to launch public awareness campaigns in support of Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. It’s an important collaborative effort and one Foothold Technology fully supports.
Be sure to check out our Voices of I/DD series and then connect with us on social media to let us know what you are doing to celebrate Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month!