A Netsmart Blog

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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Throwing Out the Cookie Cutter: Understanding and Embracing Person-Centered Care

A curious term is increasingly being used in the intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) community. It’s person-centered care. I say it’s curious because it naturally prompts the question, “hasn’t care always been centered on the person?” The answer to that question is “well, not exactly.” Allow me to explain.

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People are the Key to True Care Integration

The word integration is so prevalent in healthcare it has become a cliché. Google the term “healthcare integration” and you’ll get more than 76 million results! But integration is typically discussed solely within the context of technology. True integration is a coordination of processes or “a bringing together.” I don’t know about you, but when I think of togetherness I think of people. It’s through togetherness that people create and optimize processes and – at that point – use technology…

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Bringing Home the Value of Health IT

Begin a conversation with, “I’d like to talk to you about machinery and equipment developed from the application of scientific knowledge” and you can expect the listener to act like they’ve just been given the cure for insomnia. Let’s begin the conversation about National Health IT Week with concepts such as equal access to care, treatment of the whole person, research support and reduced documentation time. That’s the value of health IT. This value is being realized by organizations like…

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Impossible – Amazing Stories of Recovery

It’s been rejuvenating to read all the stories being shared as part of Recovery Month, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) annual effort to increase awareness and understanding of mental and substance use disorders and celebrate the people who recover. Being reminded of others successes is integral to creating an authentic atmosphere of hope for clinicians and their patients alike. We all feed off each other. That’s what community is about. In my 15-plus years as a licensed,…

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The Value of Becoming 1 in a Million – The Mental Health First Aid Movement

It only took eight hours, but it’s changed my perspective on how I see people I interact with in my work and personal life. Recently my co-workers and I used one of our two volunteer days (what Netsmart calls EveryDayMatters Days) to take the Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) course and learn more about mental illness and how to help people going through difficult times.  Netsmart is among only a handful of companies nationwide offering this training directly to their associates…

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Has the Disease Definition of Addiction Prevailed?

It’s been eight years since the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) became law. At its core, the law was intended to ensure that insurance providers who offer mental health or substance use disorder benefits don’t impose any limitations on those benefits that differ from what is offered for primary care.

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Clarity through Consoles

I recently received a pleasantly surprising e-mail from a clinician and colleague here at Child Guidance Center which read, “I feel like a six year old girl getting her Christmas gift early!” When you help manage an organization’s internal IT, the emails you receive typically contain more problems than praise.

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Close but no Cigar: Functional Measurement versus Level of Care Placement

Measurement is a good thing. Maybe there are a few naysayers out there who believe you can’t measure this psychotherapy stuff but the fact is whether you believe it or not, measuring whether what you do is effective is the future. We are moving rapidly into a pay for performance (PFP) reimbursement model where improvement will have to be monitored. Even if you aren’t in a PFP model, you will likely be seeing more capitation reimbursement coming your way. In…

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