RE: Update to Current Attendance Policy
Publish Date: 9/1/2023
From the Desk of the Founder & CEO
Dear Whole Kids Co. Families,
I want to personally thank you for including us in your family’s journey. It has been, and will continue to be, a pleasure to serve you through all the therapies your child receives! One of my personal goals is to increase our communication with our clients like you! We now have a good texting and email tool to do so! So here we go! ….
I learned very quickly, from the moment our doors opened, we were providing a service that was significantly needed in our community! Still to this day since launching 4 years ago, we have approximately 75-100 new leads a week come to us online, via the phone, word of mouth, from school admin, or pediatricians’ offices. All of these referral sources have the same goal in mind, -- they are looking for services for kids in need of therapy.
As the founder of Whole Kids Co., I have worked hard to “not grow too fast” and not let the demands of our community dictate our organizational health. The growth has come with incredible joys, but also many learning opportunities along the way. One of those is, staff health and retention. Our staff includes over 50 professionals with higher-level degrees that are eager to serve & care for your child! They sincerely love the work they do, but many find it very unfulfilling both professionally and financially when they have missed appointments. As a courtesy to them, I have a request of you. This request involves an update to our current attendance policy. I would ask that you please read it, respect it, and understand it, … and please realize you & me together both personally play a part in the long-term health of our team. It is my deepest desire to retain qualified, healthy, fun, & committed staff for your kids!
In short, I am updating our attendance policy to improve & achieve the following:
- Reduce cancellations, no-shows, & “hold” requests
- Increase clinical outcomes & congruency of care, &
- Protect our therapist’s time and schedule stability
Our PRESENT POLICY (signed before an Intake) states:
Attendance: Although we all experience emergencies due to weather, illness, or other circumstances, it is imperative that clients make every effort to attend all scheduled appointments and call us at the earliest possible moment if they need to reschedule an appointment. We reserve the right to suspend services if these terms are not met, especially if you fail to show up without advanced notification. If you NO-SHOW (meaning you do not call within 2 hours of your scheduled appointment, to cancel the appointment) twice within a 3-month period, you will be taken off the schedule.
As an inclusion to that policy…
Beginning September 1, 2023, our UPDATED POLICY will state: Further, all clients must maintain no less than 85% attendance on a rolling 90 day lookback period. This includes any and all unattended appointments, with or without a phone-call, & for any reason. Whole Kids Co. will not hold appointments for long absences or seasons or extra-extended vacations (vacations lasting more than two weeks).
Although our families are in essence starting with a clean slate (where the 85% attendance is concerned); WKC’s leadership team will be doing an audit of attendance for every family. If attendance has been an issue, please expect a conversation with your therapist or supervisor to help get your family back on track, immediately. Perhaps a different time, day, frequency, or even season would be better for your family? Moving forward, please understand, we will suspend services &/or discharge the client from therapy or move the client to the back of the waitlist, if these terms listed above are not met. Each therapist has access to attendance reports, and their decision and discretion will be backed by the company if the policy is not honored.
For those that appreciate context, or would value a tip or two, please continue with these important notes to consider:
Therapy relies on the repeated presentation of target skills and experiences to achieve lasting behavioral change. Studies have shown that up to 300 presentations may be required to teach just one skill! Thus, this is why we value the therapist/client connection, consistency & congruency of care at the highest level.
- A Telehealth session is often times a viable option for families, instead of cancelling. This is especially true on bad weather days, a sibling or parent being ill, or transportation issues.
- Nationwide, it is an industry standard to pay hourly therapists only when they have a billable appointment. Although we are still a small, community-based clinic, I hope to someday change this trend at our place of business, and be able to compensate my team even when a client does not attend their scheduled appointment. Presently, our hourly staff are able to come and go as they please when they are not billing, but these inconsistencies on their schedule hit them particularly hard financially. At times, these cancellations and no-shows have occurred so often, they have had to make the difficult decision to leave pursing more “consistency in weekly pay”, even if they took a cut in gross income. This is incredibly sad to me, & I know it impacts you and your family as well.
- I think it is important to know as a consumer, Whole Kids Co. takes over 88% Medicaid, 5% Tricare, 5% other insurances, & 2% cash pay, as its total base of clients. We are very proud of this fact, but it’s critical to understand that the insurance companies dictate our reimbursement rates. This affects every decision we make as an organization (such as offering pay to staff for non-attendance). As we remain faithful in serving our community, I truly believe it will benefit our staff in the long-run as we keep moving forward with wholeness, compassion, integrity, passion, & fun!! (Our WKC core values!).
With your help, understanding, and assistance, we can continue to grow as an organization, alleviate some of these issues, and provide steady, amazing services for our kids! Please reach out to your therapist, or myself if you have any questions or concerns related to this policy. We understand that this may not be an easy change for your family, and we are here to help troubleshoot schedules.
As always, here to journey with you!,
Christie Casimiro, LPC, BCBA, TBRI Practitioner, Founder, CEO
(719) 344 - 9342