EHR

The 21st Century Cures Act was enacted in 2016 to help take healthcare IT to the next level of interoperability and data sharing. The resulting proposed rules from CMS and ONC are tied closely with technology frameworks that have been in the works for decades....

The COVID-19 pandemic has created an opportunity to grow behavioral health services in communities across the United States. Now, the behavioral health community must rise to the occasion. It is make or break time, and the world is watching. It's up to behavioral health providers...

Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States, and the numbers have been increasing over the past few decades. Historically, attempts to predict and prevent suicide were based on self-reporting, which can be problematic because people may hide their suicidal thoughts....

In the behavioral healthcare field, a divide exists between research outcomes and clinical outcomes. A significant factor in this disparity is data-driven treatment. Measures such as symptom rating scales are core components of research trials, but they are less common in clinical settings. Only about...

Widespread shutdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic have put Americans with substance use disorder (SUD) at high risk for relapse. Alcohol misuse and drug overdose are on the rise. People with SUD are often vulnerable and marginalized, and many rely on in-person behavioral healthcare for...

Rural, isolated regions have historically lacked resources and infrastructure to adequately address the behavioral healthcare needs of its population. People living in remote areas have limited access to specialty services for mental health and substance use disorders, creating a rural-urban divide. Fortunately, technological innovation and...

Value based payments are here to stay. Figuring out how to measure your outcomes to get paid for your work is just one of the challenges behavioral health organizations face as they plan for the future. Not all that long ago, start up mental health programs...

Depression is prevalent among patients with chronic physical conditions. Because a client’s physical well-being significantly impacts behavioral health outcomes and vice-versa, it's important that they receive treatment with an integrated care approach. For clients with chronic illnesses, physical health goals can be an integral part...

COVID-19 upended life as we know it. Although some states have eased initial lockdown restrictions, indoor gatherings of unrelated people remain risky, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Some communities continue to prohibit them, and nearly all continue to recommend working...

All behavior is learned and displayed within the contexts of society. Each individual’s culture is a unique blend of ethnicity, demographics, socioeconomic status, language, and affiliations. If practitioners assess and evaluate behavior through a client’s frame of reference, human behavior becomes more evident in light...

Outpatient behavioral healthcare programs put immeasurable effort into addressing the needs of their clients. Unfortunately, workforce shortages, reimbursement delays, and detailed reporting for accreditation requirements create barriers to providing the best care possible. Innovative strategies that streamline operations can make your program more efficient and...

Treating Substance Use Disorder (SUD) is much like managing any other chronic illness--the goal is to reduce problematic symptoms and improve the overall health and well-being of the patient. SUD is a treatable condition, and recovery is attainable with continuous, comprehensive care. Early intervention for...

For quite some time, insurers and healthcare providers have been moving towards a value-based healthcare model, and away from the traditional fee-for-service payment system. In value-based care, providers are incentivized based on the quality of care they provide and the meaningful treatment outcomes used to...

There are numerous challenges that come with running a residential behavioral healthcare program. The tangled web of paperwork, accreditation, and compliance standards can be a real headache for those running the facilities. In addition, many administrators see high turnover as unavoidable, and accept claims denials...

During the COVID-19 outbreak, residential behavioral healthcare facilities continue to provide vital around-the-clock services to their communities. Unfortunately, residents and staff are particularly vulnerable to the physical and mental difficulties associated with the coronavirus pandemic. Residential services need to adapt in order to cope with...

The field of behavioral healthcare has changed. 60-65% of human service agencies bound to a fee-for-service model fail. Medicaid margins are razor thin when you consider the exceedingly low payments mental health counselors receive versus the escalating costs of delivering quality care, forcing many direct...

For patients battling substance use disorder, each day brings new challenges as they manage their addiction and take small steps towards recovery. Coping with sobriety during a pandemic, with social distancing orders in place, adds a whole new set of obstacles individuals must overcome to...

Too often, society treats substance misuse as a criminal or social problem rather than a health condition. Treatment and prevention services are traditionally separated from general healthcare. Such separation leaves limited options for addiction treatment. Failure to adequately address addiction has led to a crisis,...

Behavioral healthcare is changing. Focus is shifting away from traditional fee-for-service (FFS) systems to value-based payments (VBP). These new payment methods link reimbursements with improved performance and outcomes. They are designed to hold providers accountable for the quality of care they provide to their clients....

Our country faces a substance abuse epidemic. Over 20 million Americans have some form of Substance Use Disorder. Wide-spread addiction problems irreparably harm individuals and families. According to the CDC, 130 Americans die each day from an opioid overdose. Moreover, drug and alcohol use disorders...

With the outbreak of Coronavirus, everyday life has become difficult for millions of people across the globe. The disease, also known as COVID-19, is highly infectious and can have varying effects on different people. According to the World Health Organization, the virus primarily spreads through...

The healthcare space is in the process of a challenging transition to value-based care. The expectation that most organizations can make the transition in a year or two is overly optimistic. Complete transformation may take a long journey and will require careful consideration. So far,...

Our country faces a crisis. Communities across the nation are stricken with substance abuse and mental illness. Data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association (SAMHSA) reveal nearly 58 million Americans have mental illnesses or substance use disorders, with 9 million adults having...

Mental healthcare is a booming business. It is also unique because discussions about profit, using the word "sales", and the downsides of this industry are rarely, if ever, spoken about. It's time to start! Sit back, relax, and listen as co-hosts Dave Ballenberger, MSW, and Kristin...

Gone are the days when keeping patient records and maintaining appointment schedules is done on paper. The advancements in software technology have transformed the way programs maintain their clinical records, scheduling, and billing. Substance abuse clinical management systems offer services that are innovative and widely used....

David Ballenberger, Director of Business Development for NextStep Solutions, discusses the changes that are on the horizon for behavioral health EHRs. The need to offer documented value to your practice is increasing, and the ability to prove that your treatments are working with your clients,...

 A lot of discussion that takes place around electronic health records is rarely about the system’s ability to provide marketing tools. Often, the discussion centers on the clinical abilities of the software, billing, and ease of use. Any system that is gathering data should be...

When choosing an EHR, much of the discussion surrounds how it will benefit the organization.  But what does a Behavioral Health EHR provide for the patient? Improved behavioral health care.  EHRs help staff make the best clinical decisions about how to treat patients.  For example, treatment plans will...

Can your Electronic Health Record add, subtract, multiply and divide? I can remember standing at the back of the room waiting for Sister Theresa to give me a math problem that I would have to figure it out before I got to the front of the...