Addiction does not happen in a vacuum. Every client you see who is dealing with addiction has people in his or her life who are also being impacted by that addiction. The American Society of Addiction Medicine defines addiction as a ‘treatable, chronic medical disease involving complex interactions...

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...

The global coronavirus pandemic has had world-wide mental health repercussions. Long-term stress has exacerbated existing behavioral health conditions, and social isolation has increased feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and depression. Chronic stress and economic instability has created a breeding ground for psychological distress. When it comes...

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...

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...

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...

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....

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,...

Psychiatric nurse practitioners are instrumental in providing treatment and helping patients cope with psychiatric disorders including ADHD, PTSD, mood disorders, and anxiety, as well as a whole host of other conditions. They work with individuals, families, groups, and communities, assessing their mental health needs before...

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...

Smartphones were first introduced to the mass market in 2007. While there are both positives and negatives that have come from using this innovative technology, the change in culture and society--as it relates to physical and mental health--has been dramatic. Studies have shown the pattern of...

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...

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,...

Evidence-based collaborative care programs are patient-centered and provide integrated care for medical and mental health needs in primary care and other mental health settings. Over 30 studies have found such programs to be more effective than usual care of for mental disorders such as depression and anxiety.  Offering mental...

 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...