A Message to Families and Caregivers From CEO Adam Singer, MD 4.7.2020
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To All ABS Families,
These are certainly trying times. First, let me wish good health to all. I can only imagine the stresses many of you are experiencing. I have spent the bulk of my life in or around the healthcare field. My father was a Surgeon and my earliest memories were of rounding in hospitals. After medical school, I trained in Pulmonary/ Critical care medicine. I spent time at one of the Premier Lung Hospitals that treated the scourge of “its” time, Tuberculosis. Later running a company of Hospitalists we managed hundreds of hospitals when a flu epidemic overtook our resources. What I can say from decades of experience in both front line care as well as on the rear guard managing the process of care, that Covid-19 is presenting never seen before challenges.
As is always, our first concern is for the children and their families that we have been entrusted to care for. The service we provide is an essential service. This is particularly true during exactly this kind of crisis. The work we, in partnership with you, have collectively done so far during this pandemic is nothing short of extraordinary. While many in the industry have stopped services, we have found some ways to make it work and prevent the disruption in care and likely regression in behaviors that would result.
Almost as important is our commitment to everyone’s safety. We have published rules based on the CDC recommendations to minimize contagions and doing everything in our power to ensure a safe work environment. While we have maintained services, we also strongly adhere to doing the simple things, like washing our hands before and after any contact, use of hand sanitizers for hands and toys, maintaining physical separation with family members, ensuring nobody is sick in the home and getting checked if we think we may have any illness ourselves. We are working on a workable policy to provide facial coverings for our therapists and instructing everyone to follow the recommended CDC guidelines. We have moved Program modification time of the BCBA’s to telehealth services to reduce the number of people in the home. What may not be as apparent is the incredible job our back-office support team has done. We have moved the vast majority of administrative staff and their processes to their homes, our “Intake” team members have created the largest number of kiddos in our history getting them ready for care, and our “Authorization” team members are doing an amazing job dealing with what seems like daily changes coming from either us in the manner of care we deliver or from changed rules put on us by the health plans. Likewise, our “Health Plan Contracting” team and everyone else is adapting and working overtime to make sure we can care for our kids. We are doing all of that from our individual homes to maintain social distancing.
My responsibility as CEO of ABS is to do everything I can to make sure the company itself is stable and viable, to provide services now in the emergency and then again later when this all is in the rear-view mirror. The management team has been meeting daily to develop a plan to keep ABS operating and in position to thrive when this is all over. I ask each of you to understand that we are doing everything we can think of to minimize the impact on our kiddos and to our staff.
If we all come together during these next few months, this will pass quickly, and we can return to our normal state of innovation and excellence.
My personal commitment to each of you is that I will use all of my experience to lead ABS through this period while maintaining our well-deserved reputation of being one of the best in the industry.
Thank you for your trust in ABS,
Adam Singer, MD
Chief Executive Officer
Alternative Behavior Strategies