Legislative/Policy

White House Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis July 2017 Report: Executive Summary

The White House Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis has presented its interim report to President Trump. Among the highlights, the Commission calls for better alignment of patient privacy laws to enable easier sharing of health information for patients with a history of substance use disorders (SUD). Netsmart has been engaged in ongoing legislative and regulatory advocacy on this issue. The current complicated consent processes make it difficult for people with opioid addiction or other SUDs to…

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Home Health Rule Will Bring Big Changes in 2018 and 2019

Recently the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services proposed a new rule that would update payment rates and the wage index for home health agencies that serve Medicare beneficiaries. This proposed rule will apply to those with home health episodes of care on or after January 1, 2018, with a plan to redesign the payment system in 2019. Read more about this new proposed rule and its guidelines here.

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House Bill Proposes Pilot Program with Incentives for Use of EHRs and Care Coordination

For decades, human services providers have received significantly lower levels of funding and reimbursement rates vs. their primary/acute care counterparts. This lack of parity is exacerbated by the substantial increase in demand for services placed on behavioral health and addiction treatment providers, largely driven by the broad-based impact of the nationwide opioid crisis. Netsmart’s mantra, “cause connected, passionate about opportunity and obligation,” extends to advocacy on behalf of our clients for funding at the federal level. We have long advocated…

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It’s a Process…42CFR Part 2 Consent Reform (Video)

  Sarah C. (fictional name) has battled an addiction to opioids for almost five years. She was prescribed medication for severe pain after back surgery, and due to complications the back pain continued and even increased in severity for several months. The pain abated after a second surgery, but by then Sarah had developed an addiction to the pain med. She sought treatment at a county-operated addiction treatment facility, making good progress. Sarah also had several co-occurring disorders – asthma,…

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Netsmart: SAMHSA Makes Progress with 42 CFR Part 2 Final Rule; More Still Needed

As the leading knowledge and technology partner for human services providers nationwide, Netsmart provides expertise, technology, and healthcare connectivity and integration solutions that help addiction treatment, behavioral health and other human services providers deliver effective, outcomes-based services and care to more than 25 million persons nationwide. Netsmart clients include 500,000 users in 24,000 in provider organizations across all 50 states.  Netsmart applauds the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) for its efforts to update and modernize privacy regulations…

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Progress… The Anna Westin Act Passes

I want to pause for a moment, to recognize the historical impact of yesterday’s passing of the 21st Century Cures and Mental Health Reform Act of 2016, including key provisions from the Anna Westin Act of 2015. Those of us at Netsmart are fortunate to know Anna’s family and have had the opportunity to help tell their story over the last few years. Anna’s mother, Kitty Westin, spoke at our 2015 Connections and reminded us of the importance of the mission…

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Leading the Interoperability Charge with Local Health Departments

The public health sector and local health departments (LHDs) across the country are seeing a big swing in the services they provide – moving from a solely traditional population health model to that of a primary care provider for the population that they serve.  As this shift occurs, it’s imperative that LHDs are laser-focused on patient care and not on cumbersome paper shuffling. Family planning annual reports are required by the Office of Population Affairs (OPA) to monitor compliance, show…

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FPAR 2.0 and the Digital Path Forward for Public Health

The mission of public health is to reduce the leading causes of preventable death and disability, with a special emphasis on under-served populations and health disparities. Local and state health departments need to adapt and evolve if governmental public health is to address emerging health demands. Local health departments have long recognized the need to more effectively integrate and exchange data with their community partners and payers. However, given the wide-range of services public health departments deliver (in and outside…

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Five Frequently Asked Questions About ICD-10

On Oct. 1, 2015, the healthcare diagnostic process will undergo a fundamental shift. Starting that day, the ICD-9 (International Classification of Diseases, 9th Edition) code sets used to report medical diagnoses and inpatient procedures will be replaced by the ICD-10 code set.  Any organizations who fail to comply will be unable to bill for any services provided after that date, which could severely impact their cash flow and their ability to deliver care to the country’s most vulnerable populations. Five…

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Safety Enhanced Design Important Part Of MU Stage 2 Certification

A major advantage of a great EHR is it’s potential to increase client safety through preventing and detecting human errors. In Meaningful Use Stage 2 (the ONC 2014 Certified Solution) there is a requirement for Safety Enhanced Design (170.314(g)(3). This requirement focuses on user-centered design processes for eight different areas (listed below). The report is mandatory for a complete EHR certification and is published on the ONC’s website.

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