Considerations for HIPAA and EHR Implementation

Top 5 Considerations for HIPAA and EHR Implementation

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EHR systems are software or an electronic program that keeps client charts safer and more secure than traditional paper charts.

Since mental health EHRs contain protected health information (PHI) in a secure hosting environment, whether cloud-based or on-site, they are accountable to HIPAA compliance.

Here are the top 5 considerations for HIPAA and EHR implementation.

#1—Enhance your agency’s administrative controls

Your first action step should be to update policies and procedures for employees to follow the HIPAA safeguards. A well planned policy and procedure manual distributed to staff will help you make sure everyone knows what privacy and security of PHI entails.

Next, provide stringent training to employees so they are aware of and on the lookout for security risks and malicious attacks. Make sure you document employee training for verification.

Finally, make sure you run background checks on all employees.

#2—Monitor physical and system access

Create physically inaccessible safeguards to prevent against unauthorized individuals. This could be as simple as locking office doors and ensuring your EHR system has an automatic logoff feature for idle workstations.

You also need contingency plans in place in case of emergencies. Cover who has access to PHI and how PHI is accessed.

Thirdly, each employee should have unique passwords and PINs a central position monitors. It is also good to change passwords periodically.

Lastly, make sure you can password protect certain windows or screens in your EHR to restrict access to only those who need it.

#3—Audit system users

A system audit is a log that captures all attempts to access EHRs and PHI and documents the access results.

Identify weaknesses in how users access your behavioral health EHR system that could leave a hole for unauthorized users. Make each employee aware of proper procedures to tighten up any holes.

Next, you should educate users on how to detect possible security breaches or attempts. This is an ongoing practice requiring awareness training and refresher courses to keep everyone diligent.

Finally, publish the consequences to employees for not complying with HIPAA guidelines and your policies and procedures.

#4—Data encryption

Data encryption is one of the most important aspects of HIPAA and EHR implementation. Make sure your EHR platform encrypts data during transmission and decrypts received data.

To make the most out of your encryption procedures, use data encryption best practices and expert methods.

#5—Destruction controls

When it is time to dispose of PHI, make sure you do it properly. Create policies and procedures for PHI destruction and disposal and make sure staff adhere. This is applicable for both electronic and paper PHI.

Remove any data from hardware you are repurposing, and keep track of where hardware moves and the loaded information on each machine.

Conclusion

These 5 considerations will help streamline your EHR implementation and keep you compliant with HIPAA safeguards and regulations. There is truth in the saying “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Use the above to proactively safeguard your PHI before, during, and after implementation.

The Remarkable Health difference

Remarkable Health’s CT|One is a fully integrated behavioral health EHR platform that lets you easily record, track, and manage client progress and administrative efforts like scheduling, billing, and reporting.

Our easy-to-use behavioral health EHR platform ties all aspects of your agency into one comprehensive system. Improve your workflows and create efficiencies that result in better client outcomes. CT|One removes the administrative barriers so you can spend more time with clients, helping them become better versions of themselves.

EHR and revenue cycle management

Trends in EHR and Revenue Cycle Management

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The behavioral health sector is rapidly evolving into client-centric experiences. The key for agencies is to understand how behavioral health revenue cycle management software can help them focus more on clients and client outcomes, which can indirectly improve their financial standing.

Billing and workflow efficiencies achieved with revenue cycle management software mean clinicians spend less time on administrative work like coding and more time with clients. In fact, the overall efficiencies achieved in a fully integrated behavioral health EHR system that incorporates a revenue management solution means everyone can spend more time on client-focused tasks, which can help to increase revenue.

A fully integrated system and interoperability is critical

A fully integrated EHR system that encompasses revenue cycle management allows more efficient communication and data sharing between all stakeholders and users. This results not only in coordinated client care, but a more streamlined revenue cycle management process.

Billing and revenue cycle management aren’t a stand-alone system

A comprehensive EHR platform integrates billing and revenue cycle management functionality to help improve your revenue stream. You have a variety of metrics and key performance measures to rely on, all stemming from the initial client referral to client treatment.

Clinicians can focus on the client experience

A fully integrated behavioral health EHR solution that incorporates billing and revenue cycle management offers more efficient workflows. This results in a better client experience. When clinicians can spend more time with clients and less time in administrative tasks, you have the opportunity to offer new revenue-generating services to clients that help them with their needs.

There’s one way to experience the power of a fully integrated behavioral health EHR platform.

The Remarkable Health difference

Remarkable Health’s CT|One is a fully integrated behavioral health EHR platform designed to improve client care, create efficiencies that increase cash flow and improve revenue cycle management.

Request a demo today to discover the power of an EHR solution designed specifically for behavioral health providers.

EMR HIPAA Compliance Checklist

EMR HIPAA Compliance Checklist

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Behavioral health agencies handle clients’ sensitive, protected health information (PHI). Therefore, EMR compliance is a primary concern for both your agency and your clients.

The HIPAA Security Rule contains the standards to safeguard and protect PHI while in transit. The Security Rule as three parts, and the following checklist addresses each one.

Each action item will help you achieve EMR HIPAA compliance, mitigating the risk of substantial fines and criminal or civil charges for failure to comply.

Technical safeguards

  • Access control. Access control includes centrally-controlled, unique usernames and passwords for each user. Also included are your procedures on how you’ll release PHI during an emergency.
  • Encryption and decryption. Your EMR system should encrypt data during transmission, decrypting the data when received.
  • Audit controls. Audit controls are logs of attempted access to PHI. They record what users do with the data once they access it.
  • Automatic logoff. Your system should automatically log off users after a period of idle time to prevent unauthorized access to unattended devices.

Physical safeguards

  • Physical access. Create procedures to control and record any person who has physical access to stored PHI, including safeguards to prevent unauthorized access. This includes every staff member from management to the janitorial staff.
  • Workstation use. Implement policies restricting use of workstation with access to PHI and how users can perform functions on those workstations.
  • Hardware inventory. Inventory all hardware and keep a record of where each item moves.

Administrative safeguards

  • Risk assessment. Conduct risk assessments to identify potential weaknesses where breaches of PHI could occur.
  • Risk management policy. Create and test a risk management policy at regular intervals that includes sanctions for employees who fail to comply with HIPAA regulations.
  • Employee training. Train employees to be secure, raise awareness, and identify malicious software or attacks. Document all training.
  • Contingency plan. Develop a contingency plan detailing how you will continue critical business processes and protect the integrity of your PHI during an emergency. Test your plan periodically.
  • Third-parties. Restrict third-party access. Make sure all business associates sign Business Associate Agreements.
  • Breach policies. Develop policies and procedures on when and how to report an incident, and take daily action to prevent a breach.

Conclusion

Keep this EMR HIPAA compliance checklist handy to help you cover the Security Rule’s important technical, administrative, and physical safeguards. By proactively learning and acting upon this EMR HIPAA compliance checklist, you’ll mitigate the risk of a breach—which no one wants.

The Remarkable Health difference

Remarkable Health’s CT|One is a fully integrated behavioral health EMR system designed to improve client care and achieve efficiencies. You get practical and accessible functionality to help you achieve compliance. From automatic logoff to passwords restricting screens from unauthorized users, CT|One can help you with the everyday concerns of EMR HIPAA compliance.

Contact us today to request a demo today to discover the power of an EMR solution designed specifically for behavioral health providers.

behavioral health revenue management software

What is Behavioral Health Revenue Management Software?

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Behavioral health revenue management software goes beyond mere billing software to encompass reporting and analytical features that help you manage the revenue cycle better. It integrates all workflows in the full client lifecycle, from intake to scheduling and clinician appointments, treatment options and e-prescribing to billing, collections, and analytics for reporting and tracking purposes.

Benefits of behavioral health revenue management software

There are many benefits like the reduced waste of time spent on repetitive administrative tasks and the increase in efficiencies in every area of a behavioral health agency. Many of the benefits result in improved cash flow, and having cash on hand gives executives the peace of mind knowing the agency can stay operational.

Here are a few of the more pertinent benefits that makes an investment in behavioral health revenue management software a good choice.

  • Reduce bad debt through optimized revenue cycle management When you automate your revenue cycle management, you can identify issues earlier and make changes to reduce your bad debt and increase your cash flow.
  • Reduce outstanding accounts receivable days to under 90 days, which helps to eliminate spikes in your cash flow.
  • Improve billing efficiencies, resulting in less administrative time spent, sometimes from hours a day to minutes a day.
  • Increase claims reimbursement on first-time billings for improved revenue and cash flow, again eliminating the spikes that cause so many problems for behavioral health agencies.

Why revenue management should be part of a fully integrated EHR solution

A fully integrated behavioral health EHR system is a single reservoir of centrally located data that everyone in your agency can access. It covers all data created and managed during a client’s lifecycle. The integrated solution eliminates hand-offs and missing information and allows for a full view of a client’s care and treatment.

If you have disparate systems currently that don’t talk, you’re leaving silos of information needed by others in your agency. Silos not only waste time as information needs to pass manually between staff and clinicians, but also cause you to leave money on the table in unrealized revenue.

A fully integrated EHR system offers automated claims submissions and posting, helping to level your cash flow spikes. It also reduces duplicative administrative tasks, increasing efficiency and making for more satisfied staff.

Finally, holistic reporting benefits all areas of your business, including financials, client outcomes, staff productivity, and other measures. When you have access to all data created and managed by your agency when performing client care, you can measure and improve your processes in all areas.

Conclusion

Not only is behavioral health revenue management software imperative for agencies today to help track, monitor, and process their revenue cycle management functions, but it offers many benefits that are both qualitative and quantitative.

The key to success with revenue management software is to invest in a fully integrated behavioral health EHR solution that incorporates every step of the client lifecycle into its workflows. It is the only way you’ll have a holistic view of the client lifecycle and client outcomes.

The Remarkable Health difference

Remarkable Health’s CT|One is a fully integrated behavioral health EHR platform designed to improve client care, create efficiencies that increase cashflow and improve revenue cycle management, and automate functions so your clinicians spend more time on client care and less time on the computer.

Request a demo today to discover the power of an EHR solution designed specifically for behavioral health providers.

behavioral health billing solutions

What to Look for in a Behavioral Health Billing Solution

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If you have a billing system that doesn’t integrate with your practice management system or an EHR system that’s not robust enough, you probably don’t have the full functionality you need for revenue cycle management. It may be time to consider a solution that follows the behavioral health client lifecycle from end to end.

Look for the following key behavioral health billing solutions to ensure you maximize cash flow and improve your revenue cycle management.

  • Billing analytics. A fully integrated EHR billing solution will have a variety of standard reports that cover the billing analytics you need to track and measure your key performance indicators. It should also have a customizable option to run ad hoc reports to monitor additional metrics.
  • Automated claims posting. A complete billing solution automates some of the time-consuming billing and revenue cycle management tasks like claims posting. Spend less time on administrative issues and more time on client-focused tasks.
  • Automated claims submission. When you select a fully integrated behavioral health EHR solution, you get automated claims submission that eliminates the back and forth between clinicians and billing clerks. And when you submit claims faster, you get paid faster.
  • Claims status. You should be able to track the status of your claims instantly. It’s vitally important for your agency to know accepted claims and rejected ones on a daily basis to help you manage your cash flow.
  • Error reporting. Look for a billing solution that provides error reporting so you can find claims issues before submission. Finding these claims will drastically reduce your denial rate of claims.
  • Electronic payments. Your EHR system should include a comprehensive revenue cycle management solution that lets you import, process, and reconcile payments from a single system.

A fully integrated behavioral health EHR solution offers the above behavioral health billing features and more to improve your cash flow and optimize your revenue cycle management process. When you can measure and monitor your billing process on a daily basis, you can make the changes necessary to keep your agency operating.

The Remarkable Health difference

Remarkable Health offers a fully integrated behavioral health EHR platform designed to create efficiencies that increase cashflow and improve revenue cycle management and automate functions so your clinicians spend more time on client care and everyone spends less time on the computer.

Call to schedule a demo of CT|One today to discover the power of an EHR solution designed specifically for behavioral health providers.

billing and revenue management

Trends in Revenue Cycle Management Solutions for 2017

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Behavioral health providers are increasingly seeking ways to improve processes and implement technologies to help them better manage their finances and improve both clients’ and their outcomes. Here are 5 revenue cycle management trends to pay attention to in 2017.

  1. Technology investments

While many behavioral health agencies have implemented an EHR system, they may find their current one doesn’t provide everything they need. A fully integrated behavioral health EHR solution has revenue cycle management solutions that are of particular focus because they accelerate the overall revenue cycle by streamlining process.

Existing and new regulations increase the demand for an integrated solution and in doing so limit the choice of technology vendors that have the capability to integrate a variety of functions needed. Behavioral health agencies need solutions that mesh processes like payments, claims submissions, patient documentation, and overall client care.

  1. Waste reduction

A fully integrated behavioral health EHR system will reduce the denial rate of claims, billing staff time spent on reconciliations, and your overall revenue cycle management function from hours—and sometimes days—to minutes. Through automation and operational efficiencies, your revenue cycle management process becomes more efficient, letting you focus on optimizing and strengthening your workflows to provide better cash flow and improved revenues.

Also, more accurate and efficient processes lead to less time wasted on time-consuming administrative work and more time focused on client care, leading to improved client engagement and better outcomes.

  1. Achieve efficiencies

Achieving operational efficiencies, coupled with reducing waste, can significantly impact your bottom line. From reducing wasted effort and time, to increasing time and effort spent on optimizing cash flow and revenue, streamlined processes result in a substantial boost.

Automation with a behavioral health EHR platform provides access to instant billing and increased revenue collections, including checks in place for accuracy and compliance. An EHR can automatically identify incorrect coding and signature requirements, cutting down on staff time needed to track and correct claims.

  1. Client satisfaction

Increasing client engagement leads to better client satisfaction. Automated reminders via text, email, and/or phone can help clients easily keep track of their appointments. Offering clients the option to choose their preferred method of communication keeps reminders less intrusive and more relevant.

Many behavioral health agencies are turning to a fully integrated behavioral health EHR system that provides information in one place to track and manage clients’ progress. This helps you gain a full view of client interaction, making for more satisfied clients.

  1. Business intelligence

Data from a fully integrated EHR platform provides insight into every area of your organization. You can track treatment plans and outcomes, staff productivity, and revenue cycle management metrics. Each of these key performance indicators can be used to comply with state requirements, ensuring clients meet their goals and the agency is maximizing cash flow.

Since you can only change what you measure, you can leverage data insights you gain from current revenue cycles into actionable revenue cycle management improvements. This will have a direct effect on your cash flow and revenue.

Conclusion

These five trends are top of list for most behavioral health agencies in 2017 because they can have a significant impact not only on operations, but also on your revenue cycle metrics.

Most importantly, however, is finding the right behavioral health EHR platform that fully integrates the complete life cycle of a client in one single system. All information contained in one place makes for impressive efficiencies, reduced waste, and better client service, satisfaction, and outcomes.

The Remarkable Health difference

Remarkable Health’s CT|One is a fully integrated behavioral health EHR system designed to improve client care, create efficiencies that increase cashflow and improve revenue cycle management, and automate functions so your clinicians spend more time on client care and less time on the computer.

Request a demo today to discover the power of an EHR solution designed specifically for behavioral health providers.

behavioral health EHR adoption

Adopting a Behavioral Health EHR System

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Adopting a behavioral health EHR system is becoming more of a “when” than an “if” question. Behavioral health agencies are finding that viewing the adoption of a fully integrated EHR system that combines management, billing, clinician documentation, and reporting as an investment rather than an expense helps them see the value easier. In fact, in a survey of Behavioral Healthcare readers, most respondents are satisfied with their EHR systems and the improvements they’ve realized in cash flow and workflow efficiencies.

Improved client care

The key advantage of behavioral health EHR adoption is streamlined workflow efficiencies across the entire organization. Behavioral health agencies find the elimination of paper charts and records boosts staff and clinicians’ efficiency, leaving more time for client care and less time spent on administrative tasks. Another top advantage is the reduction in claim denials, helping behavioral health agencies achieve high reimbursements rates and improve their cash flow.

Specifically designed for behavioral health

Behavioral health EHR systems are developed specifically with a multi-disciplinary approach in mind. Clinicians and social workers have easy and instant access to client past treatment plans, possible drug interactions, and a host of other data that used to exist in silos. This comprehensive, on-demand access streamlines workflows, making it easier for clinicians to care for clients, billing clerks to manage the revenue cycle, and executives to use aggregated data to identify key business outcomes.

Most users prefer a hosted platform

Interestingly enough, in the same Behavioral Healthcare survey, 34% use a hosted software-as-a-service EHR platform. This platform allows clinicians to access their EHR system from the virtually, without having to purchase hardware to host the application on-site. And it provides a comprehensive, real-time record of treatment and care that’s readily accessible to all authorized users.

Final thoughts

Finally, adopting a fully integrated behavioral health EHR system allows clinicians, staff, and management to create new workflows to gather client data and analyze it to help improve treatment options and care plans—all information is shared easily with all who need it.

In today’s ever-changing healthcare sector, behavioral health EHR system integration is quickly becoming a requirement rather than an option.

Schedule a demo

Contact Remarkable Health today to schedule a demonstration of our powerful CT|One, a fully integrated behavioral health EHR platform built specifically for behavioral health agencies like yours. If you’re still using paper and spreadsheets, CT|One can take your business from chaotic to streamlined, letting you focus on client outcomes and helping more clients than before.

advantages of electronic health records

Advantages of Electronic Health Records for Behavioral Health Agencies

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Behavioral health is a multidisciplinary field of clinicians, counselors, social workers, billers, and executives who all collaborate and focus on delivering comprehensive, client-centered care for each client they service. Aligning these functions within your organization is where the value of electronic health records (EHR) comes into play. Whether you’re still using paper charts and records, or you have an existing EHR system that’s outdated or light on functionality, here are a few benefits of a full EHR system integration:

  1. Reduce your lengthy client intake process. If your current intake process takes too much time, using electronic health records will help automate and streamline the process. This streamlined process reduces the manual efforts to keep clients from waiting by processing them quickly and efficiently.
  2. Keep track of client eligibility. Insurance can come with restrictions on the type of care and number of visits. An EHR system helps to automate and track client eligibility daily, so that you provide proper treatment and get reimbursed for authorized care.
  3. Reduce or eliminate problems with no-shows. EHR solutions automate client reminders about appointments by sending text messages, phone calls, or emails that significantly reduce no-shows and reduce the time spent manually calling or emailing clients.
  4. Easily generate reports. Need to gather data for a program funding report? It’s easy with an EHR solution that has a set of readily available report templates. Or customize a report to collect the parameters you need to analyze with data that has already been captured within the system.
  5. Reduce effort and time spent preparing for an audit. Thanks to automated data aggregation and electronic health records, you can quickly and easily prepare for an audit—almost at the click of a button.
  6. Streamline administrative tasks. Automate routine and tedious administrative billing tasks with an EHR system. For example, you can automate your billing to run at your leisure that includes scrubbed claims reducing your denial rates and increases reimbursements.
  7. Gather business intelligence. Paper records don’t lend themselves easily to aggregating data to make outcomes more visible. An EHR solution makes it easy to determine what’s driving your results.
  8. Spend more time with clients. Most importantly, a fully integrated EHR platform allows clinicians to spend more time with clients and less time on cumbersome administration, record keeping, and other busywork.

The Remarkable Health Advantage

At Remarkable Health, we are invested in the behavioral health field. And we understand your struggle. That’s why we created CT|One, a powerful, fully integrated behavioral health EHR system that takes the burden of reporting requirements, continuous regulatory changes, and daunting manual efforts across your organization from your shoulders.

Contact Remarkable Health today to schedule a demo to see how CT|One helps relieve you of the struggles so you can concentrate on achieving remarkable outcomes for clients.

EHR for behavioral health

Using EHR for Behavioral Health

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An electronic health record (EHR) offers a new, more efficient method of client care for behavioral health agencies. In the past, an EHR system primarily centered around the needs of primary care physicians, medical clinics and hospitals. Today, a new breed of EHR is helping behavioral health providers diagnose, treat and affect positive outcomes for their clients. Using an EHR for behavioral health is replacing the traditional paper charts and other records that made sharing information for client care, billing and management reporting a tedious and time-consuming task.

A fully integrated behavioral health EHR solution combines all facets of an agency’s client care in one comprehensive system. Gone are the silos of information that meant awkward hand-offs between clinicians and billing clerks, which sometimes resulted in lost or missing information. Today’s behavioral health EHRs are client-centered digital records that are created, updated, and processed in real time, with easy availability to authorized clinicians, staff and management. They take into consideration the vast difference between medical intake of a patient and intake of a behavioral health client.

Improving Quality of Care

Using EHR for behavioral health clients allows easy access for clinicians, staff, and even clientele without the drawbacks of paper files. Clients can access a portal to check their records, schedule appointments, or request a medication refill. Clinicians have access to a broad range of information including a client’s medical history, diagnoses, treatment plan, medications, lab results, and other notes. When clients see several clinicians and social workers in an agency, a comprehensive, continuous record is immediately available to coordinate treatment and prevent errors like conflicting medications.

Access to Information

Paper charts, records and notes aren’t readily accessible and are prone to billing code errors that result in denial of claims. Using an EHR for behavioral health makes coding more accurate, resulting in fewer claim denials and quicker payment. Billing can auto-generate after progress notes are updated and electronic signatures captured, eliminating the paper hand-off between clinician and billing staff or administration.

Easy, instant access to client records is available to everyone in the agency who needs it: clinicians, front desk clerks who schedule appointments, billing clerks and administrators for revenue cycle management and executives for reporting and data analysis purposes. A behavioral health EHR is designed to share information with the entire staff in the course of client care and management.

The Remarkable Health Difference

Remarkable Health’s CT|One is a fully integrated behavioral health EHR platform designed to improve client care, create efficiencies that increase cash flow and improve revenue cycle management and automate functions, so your clinicians spend more time on client care and less time on the computer.

Contact us today to request a demo today to discover the power of an EHR solution designed specifically for behavioral health providers.