The Future Leaders Awards program is brought to you in partnership with PointClickCare. The program is designed to recognize up-and-coming industry members who are shaping the next decade of behavioral health, senior housing, skilled nursing, home health, and hospice care. To see this year’s Future Leaders, visit https://futureleaders.agingmedia.com/.
Erin Burke, founder and CEO of Hansei Solutions, has been named a 2023 Future Leader by Behavioral Health Business.
To become a Future Leader, an individual is nominated by their peers. The candidate must be a high-performing employee who is 40-years-old or younger, a passionate worker who knows how to put vision into action, and an advocate for behavioral health patients, and the committed professionals who ensure their well-being.
Burke sat down with Behavioral Health Business to talk about her career trajectory and the ways the industry is evolving.
BHB: What drew you to this industry?
I had always been attracted to health care since I was a child. I thought I wanted to be a doctor. And as I became a little bit older, I realized medicine wasn’t the direction I wanted to go. But I was still really interested in the infrastructure of health care and working behind the scenes. I pursued my education as a systems engineer, but always worked in a health care environment.
That was sort of like the foundational work. And then I don’t think you can find an American that doesn’t have a family member or friend or themselves who’s been afflicted by mental health or substance use diagnoses, especially in today’s climate.
I actually had a friend from high school who opened up a treatment center in Southern California. And he asked me to take a look at his revenue cycle. I looked at it, and I was blown away. This was about 10 years ago, and their infrastructure was so much more archaic than what we would see in a hospital space. It was the passion, the background and the opportunity all fell together in one.
What’s your biggest lesson learned since starting to work in this industry?
Hansei means to reflect on what you’ve done, learn from your mistakes, and to foster a culture of continuous improvement and going forward to make each day better than the last.
I think that ties very well with the behavioral health industry as a whole because that’s also in some way attune to the mission of the providers that we service. We are a vendor servicing providers – and advocacy is core to our culture.
We also want to embrace some of those same philosophies – that philosophy of, “It’s okay to make mistakes.” Learn from them – and do better going forward. I think it is something that I’ve learned.
For us as a revenue cycle management company, sitting really at the top for behavioral health RCM, we’ve had to make some mistakes along the way in order to create successes. I would say, just being in acceptance that mistakes are going to happen. The most important thing is you learn from them, and just keep moving forward.
If you could change one thing with an eye toward the future of behavioral health, what would it be?
I would look for more cooperation. I would look for more brainstorming and more solution-oriented dialogue between payers, providers and municipalities. I think in our role at Hansei, we are the intermediary between the insurance companies and the providers. And there are a lot of treatment modalities that we see that are still not even covered by insurance.
There is a lack of sophistication and being able to measure outcomes in our business. I would like to see some standardization for outcomes measures, and then utilizing that data to help move the needle in terms of delivering better care. And then having that better care reimbursed fairly by the payers.
In general I would like to see more conversation, more cooperation, more pilots or different types of wraparound services. For example, wraparound services are something that we see widely covered with Medicaid. We don’t see it in the commercial space, but there’s a lot of data to suggest that wraparound services can be really effective.
Overall, I would like to see the payers, the providers, government entities working hand in hand to ensure that people with behavioral health diagnoses have access to care, that the care is being fairly reimbursed and that we’re delivering really good outcomes.
What do you foresee as being different about the behavioral health industry looking ahead to 2024?
I think we’re going to see a lot more inpatient treatment being rendered near home. Historically, we’ve seen for inpatient care – for both psychiatric and for substance use with adults and adolescents – a lot of traveling for care.
We’re beginning to see more restrictions from the insurance companies. So they want to see treatment happening in the state where services are where the patient resides. I think we’re going to start to see a lot more access to care. So that treatment can be delivered locally.
In a word, how would you describe the future of behavioral health?
I think that it’s an area where we’re constantly learning. We’re only just scratching the surface of the types of treatments that work well, that are effective for behavioral populations.
If you could give advice to yourself looking back to your first day in the industry, what would it be and why?
To maintain an expectation of adaptation. It’s not a narrow road; it’s a winding path, and to set things up in such a way to have that expectation of change.
The other thing we have embraced in our journey at Hansei is provider education, and to arm ourselves with the resources to be the thought leader for educating providers around payer behavior, educating providers about clinical documentation, and leveraging the use of knowledge to help providers grow and learn.
To learn more about the Future Leaders program, visit: https://futureleaders.agingmedia.com/.