Partnership with Wellmed
In 2012, the Administration for Community Living gave APS a grant to test, measure, and put in place new approaches to prevent elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation, as well as to study risk factors to improve prevention efforts. WellMed Charitable Foundation is APS' primary partner in this effort.
APS and WellMed developed a screening tool for physicians consisting of six questions endorsed by the World Health Organization. WellMed uses this tool in its clinics in San Antonio, Austin, the Lower Rio Grande Valley, and El Paso to help identify those at-risk for abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation. It also helps identify caregivers suffering from burnout. APS embedded two APS specialists with WellMed in San Antonio to provide training, technical assistance, and case consultation at WellMed clinics.
By the end of FY 2016, physicians used the new tool in over 12,000 screenings, surpassing the target of 10,000. The partnership increased communication and collaboration between APS and WellMed when providing services to the same person.
In 2016, APS restructured the organization of its two programs to streamline the structure and improve efficiencies by consolidating regional boundaries. This equalized the management to worker ratio across the state, increased accountability, and enhanced consistency. The In-Home program changed from a regional format to a district format so that nine regions became five districts. APS centralized the Provider Investigations program under a single director.