Telehealth: Bringing Quality Care to You

Patients, providers and caregivers can all benefit from the vast functionality telehealth offers. Its mobile, web-based platform expands access to care, reduces healthcare spending, implements seamless data exchange and transitions across care settings. Additionally, the program helps combat nationwide provider shortages and gaps in care with the elimination of geographical boundaries. If your organization is considering incorporating telehealth services, be sure to review Netsmart Vice President AJ Peterson’s four points to acknowledge on HIMSS. Click here to read it now.

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Part 1: What you need to know about the 21st Century Cures Act: Interoperability, Integration, Mental Health

Almost two years ago, the 21st Century Cures Act (Cures Act) was signed into law. The intent of the Cures Act was to promote and fund the acceleration of research into preventing and curing serious illnesses, advance drug and medical device development, bring focus to the opioid epidemic and improve mental health service delivery. There are a number of provisions that push for greater interoperability, support for human services programs and the adoption of electronic health records (EHRs). The Cures…

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The Need for Electronic Healthcare Records in Psychiatric Care Settings

A recent New England Journal of Medicine report cited the lack of electronic health records (EHRs) in psychiatric care settings, showing that only 15 percent of psychiatric hospitals and offices had an EHR system compared to 84 percent of hospitals and 58 percent of primary care physicians. Why is this and how can we accelerate adoption? One of the primary reasons is the Meaningful Use program that incentivized hospitals and physicians to digitize left out some very important communities within…

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The High Cost of Comorbidities – What Can You Do About It?

There is often a correlation between behavioral health issues and comorbid, or co-occurring, medical conditions. In fact, mental health and substance use disorders are leading factors contributing to the aggravation of co-occurring conditions. It’s common for someone with a behavioral health condition to have one or more physical conditions. Take baby boomers, for example, by 2020 nearly 25 million of them are expected to have multiple chronic conditions. Left unaddressed, an individual’s behavioral health challenges can exacerbate comorbid conditions, leading…

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Embracing Technology and Networks to Connect Care and Reduce Costs

Today’s existing healthcare silos can be costly, both financially and in the quality of the care that is being delivered. The recent shifts in clinical and care coordination models driven by various value-based care initiatives require a more collaborative approach to care across the continuum. Technology makes it easier to adopt practices and workflows that make providing care more unified, effective and efficient. Without it, organizations experience operational inconsistencies and inefficiencies that can come with a paper-based system, such as…

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Creating a Preferred Post-Acute Partner Network

It takes a village to care for an individual with health needs. From primary to acute to post-acute care and beyond, managed care organizations and health systems across the country are looking to create valuable strategic partnerships to achieve the best possible outcomes for all individuals. These systems look to their preferred provider network to improve quality of experience and cost of care and collaborate to make it happen. A critical decision for these organizations to make is to determine…

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#HIMSS18: Interoperability Enables Officer Tim’s Care Team to Deliver Holistic Care

Earlier this year, we participated in the #HIMSS18 Interoperability Showcase where we demonstrated how interconnected systems allow healthcare teams to provide whole person care. Here’s the scenario: Officer Tim Jones is a 54-year-old police officer with diabetes. He visits his primary care provider where he informs the doctor he has gained weight and has trouble sleeping. At the visit, the doctor noted that his A1C levels are higher than normal. Through interoperability, we can see his journey through various health…

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Implementing the Second Electronic Health Record Part II

In Part I of our series, we examined common reasons why some healthcare organizations may decide to make a full replacement of their electronic health record (EHR) by implementing a completely different system. The most common reason is that the existing EHR is insufficient and doesn’t support the organization in the ways and means necessary. This can occur for reasons external to the organization as well as from within the organization. In this post, we’ll consider additional factors as to…

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CCBHC Extension Grant: What’s It All About?

The Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) demonstration program was created in response to section 223 of the Protecting Access to Medicare Act to develop resources that provide accessible, comprehensive services to individuals who are in crisis or who may be experiencing a serious mental illness (SMI) or substance use disorder (SUD), regardless of their ability to pay or where they live. Since 2016, organizations in eight CCBHC demonstration states have been tasked to improve the behavioral health of individuals…

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Implementing the Second Electronic Health Record – Part I

A lot has been written about why organizations should upgrade from a paper-based system to an electronic health record (EHR). External standards and opportunities such as Meaningful Use (now Merit Based incentive Payments System, or MIPS) have been contributing factors. What hasn’t been explored is why organizations make the decision to switch to a new EHR — not simply upgrade to a newer version, but change software and vendors altogether. Data migration, staff retraining and other challenges make such a…

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