Using Compliance Data To Drive Revenue: Reducing AMA/ ATA

To many organizations, collecting compliance documentation and data is an afterthought, there are many organizations that successfully use this information to drive revenue. In this series, I’m going to share some suggestions of areas to focus on that will quickly effect your bottom line. What are you doing to track and reduce clients leaving against therapeutic(ATA) or medical(AMA) advice? Clients leaving early is very expensive, as well as extremely disruptive to the day to day operations of your business. While AMA/ ATA is inevitable, if you collect and analyze some key data points, you can pinpoint areas for improvement, and reduce their frequency. This should go without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway, just in case. The more data you have, the better. Encourage every AMA/ ATA or blocked attempt to be documented. This should be reported the same way every time, using an electronic format that collects the same data in every instance and is can be used to generate reports. Some areas you want to evaluate when looking for patterns include:
  • How many attempts they’ve made to leave – You can use this information to see if there are consistent patterns. For example, if the majority of AMA/ ATA at your location come on a client’s first attempt, this can usually be rectified with more staff training on effective blocking techniques.
  • Demographic information – By understanding the demographics of the people who are leaving, or attempting to leave, you may find that certain people are less comfortable at your facility than others.
  • Drug of choice – This information can be used to see if modifications need to be made to treatment planning or techniques used based on the client’s drug of choice.
  • Case manager – Here, you can see whether certain Case Managers are more or less compatible with different clients, based on demographic info, drug of choice and situation.
  • Primary therapist – Here, you can see whether certain Therapists are more or less compatible with different clients, based on demographic info, drug of choice and situation
  • Situational factors around the attempt (ie. Complaints about the therapist, the food admissions, etc…) – This is a good way to understand if there are factors in your facility, staff or operations that are motivating your clients to want to leave earlier than prescribed
  • Proper Root Cause Analysis – By conducting a root cause analysis on all AMA/ ATA and incidents, it will paint a clear picture of areas you’re doing well, and areas to focus on to improve client retention
This information can be collected and managed in a few different ways, but it’s always helpful to collect this information in a system that you use to collect all your compliance information, or at least your incident reports, so you can compare it to other business disruptions. As a best practice, you don’t want to have a system that only collects this information, as it will create a hurdle for staff to adopt. It’s also not a good idea to collect incident report data in your EMR software. t’s not ideal to have one system to only collect AMA/ ATA information, so you . This will lead to issues with staff adoption and follow through. Additionally, as a best practice, incident and AMA/ ATA reporting should NOT be managed and stored with your medical records. I will get into more details on this in another post. If you’re interested in more information on systems to track incidents and AMA/ ATA, you can reach out to us. We will be creating additional resources on ways a good compliance program can produce or save your organization money, or help it run more efficiently. If you have any topics or suggestions, please let us know at

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