The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (otherwise known as MACRA) was signed into law in April 2015. A few months ago, the CMS released its proposed rule for what MACRA entails. What does that mean for behavioral health providers who care for Medicare beneficiaries? Let’s break it down.
Posts Tagged ‘EverythingEHR’
- The research and demo process can tell you almost everything you need to know about an EHR vendor. Do you have the time and the staff to traverse this rocky road on your own?
- If this isn’t your first rodeo with an EHR, work with vendors that have nothing to hide
- Avoid vendors that shout out in their marketing material how honest they are, would never hold your data hostage, etc. – professionals don’t need to make these claims in their material
- There’s a diagnosis code for this kind of behavior
Tools for tomorrow’s workplace today
Academic institutions that offer programs for psychiatry and psychology students need to invest in behavioral health EHR software. They want to offer their students the best software tools as well as the opportunity to step into the workforce ahead of their peers. With training in sophisticated software applications these future leaders in behavioral health are better equipped to focus on patient care because they can capitalize on the growing trend to incorporate electronic health records (EHR) into clinical operations.
Many private practices in both the mental health and medical fields have made the transition from paper filing to EHR technology in recent years. According to the American Psychological Association (APA) health care providers are able to tap into long-term cost savings that enhance office efficiency and make it easier to collect more accurate patient information. But more importantly, EHRs enable communication across practice settings and facilitate interaction among healthcare professionals.
Work: An Intimate Act
Intimacy, the workplace, and EHR adoption…it reads like a joke. The kind that uses the bizarre coupling of concepts and leads to the punchline, “…so the duck says, “Put it on my bill.””
Yet, as a caregiver committed to organizational fitness I believe that a broader view of population health is where we are headed. And now that the ACA is actively defining ‘workplace wellness’, there has never been a more perfect time to explore the relational overlap of work, intimacy, and EHR adoption.
Talking about personal interactions at work implies a relatively new demand being placed on the work environment; one for sustainability that refers to personal as well as professional systems. Not that ‘relations’ haven’t always been a part of management concerns. But with the continued lengthening of work hours and decline in job security – stressors not softened by social supports like paid family leave and universal child care – interpersonal dynamics often associated with private life are making the scary leap into the workplace. And as leaders promoting the bandwidth for this conversation, it may feel risky at times – but probably not as much as we fear.
Kristin Walker has been working within the health care field for more than two decades. She started out in medical billing for an Urgent Care center in Southern California. Then she worked as the Financial Manager for a dental practice in Oklahoma. She quickly became the go-to person on staff for any software issues. During her time working in the dental industry she was hired by a practice management firm to help private practices with the business side of their organizations. This experience launched her career as an industry consultant. Kristin also deepened her skills in the database software world and began working with many different organizations—from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies, to set up in-house software to organize and run their corporate communications, sales, and marketing.
I was recently asked to describe the moment when I stopped selling electronic health record (EHR) software and truly became an advocate for providers in the world of behavioral health and record cycle management. How had this happened? Why?
Doing research for my organization, something important had become apparent: The behavioral healthcare market is not the most profitable of healthcare markets, and nor is it likely to become so. As a matter of fact many EHR vendors avoid serving this community entirely. And, although there may be many reasons for this, one obvious factor is that public mental and behavioral health patients are among the poorest of patient communities. Behavioral health providers receive some of the lowest in insurance reimbursements. In addition to these facts, mental health advocates find that the rules and regulations they must follow are stringent and highly-regulated.
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When looking for innovative solutions to challenges associated with managing a mental or behavioral healthcare practice, we know that asking the ‘right’ questions often leads to solutions unthought-of before. These not only address immediate concerns, but propel our practices into the future we want for ourselves and our clients.
Finding the best Mental Health EHR for your practice is a journey that can begin as simply as What? Why? and, most importantly, How?
- What challenges does our practice face that can be addressed by an EHR?
- What needs aren’t being met within our practice that could be met with an EHR?
- What haven’t I thought of when considering what I want an EHR to do for our practice that might make a difference?
- Why have we continued to use our current information and record keeping systems as long as we have?
- Why have we hesitated from adopting an EHR up until now?
- Why haven’t we stepped up to these challenges and incorporated new policies that will address some of the needs of our organization?
- How can we graduate from our current EHR that may have done an okay job of getting us off of paper, but is now crippling productivity and staff moral?
- How can we make a case for moving to a better behavioral health EHR?
Care of the Caregiver: Juggling Care, Self-Care, Paperwork. Can a Behavioral Health EHR Help or Hurt?
Juggling…with One Hand Behind Our Back!
Providers are constantly building upon their understanding of the struggles that their clients face. New developments lead the way as practices consider and reconsider the effectiveness of their programs. Often they are working with hands tied by bureaucracy and by the limited availability of resources, and the limited time they have with their clients.