[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern"][vc_column][vc_column_text]If your behavioral health practice is like most, you have been busier than ever this year. Today’s challenges are manifold: applying and enforcing safety measures, navigating the new world of virtual therapy, and facing a new need for...

In the early morning of August 30th, the last plane carrying U.S forces left Kabul International Airport in Afghanistan, bringing an official end to America’s longest war.  For 20 years, American troops fought in the desert of Afghanistan, first searching for 9/11 mastermind Osama Bin Laden,...

Part Five in a Series  Within the United States, many mental health and criminal justice experts believe that jails and prisons have become our nation’s largest psychiatric facilities. This may be surprising to someone who does not have frequent contact with the American criminal justice system,...

Every child gets scared or anxious sometimes. It’s normal for kids to be afraid of the dark, shy around new people, or nervous before a big test. It becomes an issue when fear and anxiety cause distress or interfere with everyday activities. Anxiety disorders in...

Part Four in a Series An interesting aspect of living in the United States is the incredible variety of religious and cultural traditions practiced by our 328.2 million neighbors. As our country has evolved, distinct customs have developed alongside it, creating new cultural traditions and religious...

As a behavioral healthcare provider, you know all too well that running a successful organization involves much more than providing quality care for your clients. The reality is, you cannot provide effective care if you neglect the operational elements of your business which also require your time...

An unfortunate reality is that many children experience devastating ordeals in their young lives. A close family member commits suicide. Parents get divorced. The child experiences abuse or neglect. These traumatic events are referred to as adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). They are closely linked to...

Children in America face an unprecedented rise in chronic childhood illness, from allergies to autism. The current healthcare system is set up to treat acute diseases, but lacks the capacity for complex cases. In contrast, the whole child approach uses collaborative care, including physical, behavioral,...

First in a  Series Since the beginning of 2020, we’ve seen the unemployment rate reach a staggering 14.8%. The resulting economic strain hasn’t just affected unemployment – it’s crept across almost every facet of our lives, including our access to healthcare. Many of the individuals experiencing...

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth services have increased significantly. For mental health practitioners, teletherapy has become an essential method for treating patients while keeping all parties safe and healthy. Although the technology was ready and available to easily deliver individual and group...

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) involves using specific medications to help substance use patients better manage their withdrawal symptoms during recovery. This technique is often used to treat substance use disorder--and specifically opioid addiction. According to a 2016 study published in The New England Journal of Medicine,...

If you want your organization to thrive in the behavioral healthcare market, you must start thinking about value-based care now. As the focus shifts away from traditional fee-for-service (FFS) systems that pay for the amount of treatment, value-based payments (VBP) are becoming increasingly important to...

COVID restrictions and proximity to care are two reasons why more children with behavioral health needs are seeking telemedicine options for their care. But a virtual visit is very different from an in-person visit, especially for those with autism and ADHD. There are a number...

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....

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...

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...

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....

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,...

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,...

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...