Developing your complex care program: New tools and resources in the Startup Toolkit 2.0

Building the complex care field Care management & redesign

By Margaux Bigelow, Program Assistant for Field Building and Resources

Starting a new complex care program can be daunting. Organizations and leaders must consider achievable goals, metrics for success, financial support and viability, cross-sector partnerships, staffing models, methods for sustainability, and much more. Many new complex care programs do not have access to resources developed by other organizations, and end up developing their own from scratch — reinventing the wheel each time. That’s why in June of 2021, we released the Complex Care Startup Toolkit, a compendium of best practices with tools and resources for new and developing complex care programs. 

Since the landscape of complex care is constantly shifting as programs and partnerships innovate new ways to improve care for people with complex needs, the Complex Care Startup Toolkit cannot be static either. We spent the last year reflecting on and researching best practices and new innovations in the field, and we are excited to release the Complex Care Startup Toolkit 2.0

In the revised version of the toolkit, you will find new resources in every section. We are particularly excited about new resources we have added on how to identify and understand people with complex health and social needs, how to build strategic partnerships, and how to create an advocacy campaign.

For resources on identifying and understanding people with complex health and social needs 

The participant identification and triage and intake sections provide guidance on identifying individuals who would benefit from complex care programs. New additions to these sections include templates for The Camden Core Model: Patient selection and triage methodology and the Complex case conferencing script  from the Camden Coalition. These resources supply stepped guidelines on criteria for patient selection, and formulas for identifying participants’ most significant needs and strengths when involving them in a complex care program.  

For resources on building strategic partnerships and demonstrating value 

The strategy and business section now includes information on how to increase the value and financial impact of collaborations between healthcare organizations and community partners. Here, you will find the Partnership assessment tool for health by the Nonprofit Finance Fund. This resource provides an abundance of guidance on forming benchmarks for inter-organizational partnerships in areas including relationship value, service delivery, funding and finance, and data and outcomes. 

In the strategy and business section, you will also find our Building the value case for complex care toolkit, which we released in September of 2021. This resource provides in-depth information on methods and metrics to communicate the value and return on investment (ROI) of a complex care program. 

For resources on building an advocacy campaign 

The Advocacy section is a new toolkit page that provides information on building an advocacy campaign around issues facing your participant population. Here, you will find the In our own words toolkit from the Mental Health Technology Transfer Center Network. This resource provides elevator-pitch language guidelines that peer advocates can employ when championing social and political change. The toolkit includes background on the importance of language and an elevator pitch template. 

Opportunities for resource development 

Above are just a few additions we thought were worth highlighting, but there are many more! Explore the whole toolkit to find new tools and resources for any aspect of complex care program design, operations, evaluation, and growth that you might be struggling with.

However, in searching for resources for the Complex Care Startup Toolkit 2.0, it became apparent there are still many areas that lack comprehensive educational tools and resources. We believe there are important opportunities to create tools for the following areas: 

  • Participant engagement outside of phone calls and letters, which often go unanswered. 
  • Ways managers can communicate data to their staff to improve care quality and promote best practices. 
  • Tools managers and leaders can use to foster creativity and innovation among their staff. 

If you are interested in contributing, we encourage you to submit the resources you are most proud of to be considered for the next updated version, Complex care startup toolkit 3.0. Submit your resources here to help complex care teams around the country build programs to better support people with complex health and social needs. 

Additionally, join us for a webinar on September 29 at 3-4 pm ET to learn more about the Complex Care Startup Toolkit 2.0 and hear from some of its contributors: 

  • Janeen Skinner and Jason Turi from the Camden Coalition team will share important guidance on consumer intake and triage methodologies.  
  • Alexandra Chan from the Nonprofit Finance Fund will introduce two resources to support community-based organizations and healthcare entities building strategic partnerships.