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Results of Implementing EHR Software for Behavioral Health Organizations

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An increasing number of behavioral health organizations are making advances by implementing EHR software solutions, and they’re sharing their success stories with others on how working with an EHR has proved beneficial to client care.

In an interesting study, Behavioral Healthcare Executive surveyed their readers who use EHR software, who reported the following advantages:

  • 23.6% said it improves client care
  • 18.1% said it helps get rid of paper storage
  • 16.3% said it helps staff be more efficient
  • 14.2% said it helps ensure reimbursement
  • 11.1% said it helps track outcomes
  • 9% said it saves time

Only 5.6% reported they saw no advantages.

When Qualitative Improvements Become Quantitative

One caveat to consider is that qualitative improvements provide numerous benefits over time, which can save money. For instance, implementing EHR software can reduce errors, save time, and help prevent dangerous contraindications between medications.

With the shifting federal government focus on a reimbursement model based on quality, these qualitative improvements make for better quality client care and happier clients, which helps organizations meet quality of care mandates.

What You Should Consider Before Implementation

Still, some behavioral health clinicians and staff remain skeptical about the value of implementing an EHR solution. As more and more invest in EHR systems, though, they’re sharing that it seems to be money well spent.

The key to a successful EHR software implementation that generates an ROI depends on the behavioral health facility. If you get organizational buy-in, especially from clinicians, and evaluate your workflows and how they’re going to change to adapt to the EHR system, you’ll be in a better position to choose a solution with the functionality you need.

Where to Get More Information

Remarkable Health created an interesting infographic that highlights useful statistics on what you can expect in terms of ROI when you implement behavioral health EHR software.

In addition to the Behavioral Healthcare Executive study mentioned above, the infographic reports statistics from the Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) and Behavioral Healthcare Executives.

For more information, download Remarkable Health’s infographic here today.

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What to Consider When Thinking About Investing in a New Behavioral Health EHR System

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You may be tempted to focus solely on the expense of investing in a new behavioral health EHR system, but that would cover only half of the equation—you need to consider the potential ROI that a fully integrated EHR platform can provide.

Preparing a budget is only one step in planning for the switch to a new EHR system. While there are a few things to take into consideration for budgeting appropriately, you should also estimate your potential ROI as part of the financial analysis.

Specifically, look at efficiencies gained in the following areas:

Clinician caseload management.

Automating some of the notation work necessary to complete a case file allows clinicians more time to take on new clients.

Operational efficiencies.

Automating administrative processes through effective technology allows your staff to focus on strategic initiatives rather than menial tasks.

Billing reimbursements.

Automatically generating bills submitted to payers decreases the likelihood of clerical error and results in quicker payment.

Where to Go For More Information

Remarkable Health put together an interesting resource titled Switching EHR Systems? How to Choose the Right EHR Provider you can download for free. In this comprehensive, step-by-step guide, it touches on estimating your potential ROI as you prepare your budget.

Download your copy here.

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Top 5 Features You Need in a Behavioral Health EHR System

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Do you know what to look for in a behavioral health EHR solution that will ensure the fullness of your needs are met for optimal organization success? With the proliferation of behavioral health software vendors offering solutions, it’s hard to determine what’s most important.

Here are the top 5 features you need to ensure a behavioral health EHR solution provides before you commit to a vendor.

  1. Full integration. Some vendors claim their systems are “all-in-one” solutions, but use third-party software to complete their solution. For example, billing and scheduling may be managed on different internal systems or by a third-party vendor instead of fully integrated into a complete EHR solution. A fully integrated EHR solution offers the full spectrum of care functionality on one platform. Centralized data is accessible between functional teams with everything you need to manage your business from a single dashboard. Without the full cache of features integrated into one cohesive system, you run the risk of having information in separate software programs that don’t communicate with each other.
  2. Meaningful Use (MU) and ONC-certified. The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health IT identifies Authorized Testing and Certification Bodies (ATCB) that ensure an EHR solution meets the definition of “certified EHR technology.” To be compliant with standards, implementation specifications, and certification criteria adopted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, you should choose an EHR solution vendor who is “ONC certified”.
  3. Flexible and Scalable. Look for a solution that is flexible by providing a wide range of content serving many different types of behavioral health programs and populations and is scalable to meet your agency’s needs today and as you grow into the future. This will help you mitigate the risk that your solution will become outdated as your business grows and changes with the ever-changing healthcare environment.
  4. Reporting and Analytics Capable. To easily and effectively meet compliance and auditing requirements, a system and vendor partner offering reporting and analytics capabilities will allow you to generate comprehensive reports as needed. Not only will this help you manage the business end of your practice, but it also lets you mine the data in your system to make better client care decisions.
  5. Paperless solution. This is the goal of a successful EHR solution and one that will have a positive impact on productivity and efficiency. It creates one centralized location for all client information providing your cliincal staff access to real-time data for better care decisions, assist your administrators in making sound business decisions, support seamless billing efforts and improved reimbursements, reduce your paper footprint and free up time to focus on client care and growing your organization.

The ClaimTrak Difference

ClaimTrak’s hosted solution provides all 5 of these important features and much more. For example, our EHR platform integrates with the Health Information Exchange, allows scanning and faxing, and offers auto export functionality so you can send electronic documents to partners.

We put together a valuable resource entitled The Complete Guide to a Fully Integrated EHR for Behavioral Health that offers more in-depth detail on what to look for and how to select an EHR solution.

Download your copy here and learn how to mitigate the risk of choosing the wrong solution.

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How an EHR Software Platform Improves Revenue Cycle Management

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If you’re considering implementing an EHR software solution to improve the quality of client care, a fully integrated EHR system can also help you improve revenue cycle management (RCM) by streamlining the collection process, beginning at the point of care.

The goal of an EHR software platform is to improve your level of client care by sharing patient data among clinical staff. Another advantage is sharing that information captured at the point of care with administrative and billing staff. This creates efficiencies that have a direct impact on your revenue cycle.

Covered Procedures

When your EHR software integrates the clinical data with an RCM system as provided by a fully integrated solution, clinicians can check to ensure procedures and tests are covered by the insurer before ordering them. This reduces the risk of denial and accelerates the time to reimbursement.

In addition, alternative treatments can be explored when a clinician is able to determine what will be rejected by an insurer or if the client can pay for his or her share of the treatment. This not only improves the likelihood of claims being approved on first submission, but also allows clinicians to offer improved client care alternatives that affect the quality of care.

Increased Accuracy

A fully integrated EHR solution that includes revenue cycle management functionality allows data to be captured at the point of care and linked to claims submission. This decreases the likelihood errors are made that result in payment being denied or delayed. Billings can be issued quicker and with fewer clerical errors, increasing efficiency and accuracy.

Revenue Projections

When a clinician makes a diagnosis and determines a course of treatment, an integrated EHR solution allows administrative and financial staff to analyze the data captured in real time. This will increase the accuracy of your practice’s revenue projections, making it easier to plan for the long-term based on actual data involved instead of estimates.

When you add in data analytics, financial projections become more targeted and easier to measure. Instead of making projections based on what is expected to occur in the future, you can use the intelligence gained from the data in your system to extrapolate on actual information.

Revenue Cycle Gaps

By integrating all of your systems in one solution, you’ll be able to analyze the entire workflow from intake to claim submission. This will help you identify gaps where inaccuracies and inefficiencies exist so that you can improve your processes and close these gaps. This will impact not only productivity in a positive way, but will help you strengthen your denial prevention efforts. These gaps in your process can be identified quickly and easily in a fully integrated EHR software platform to tighten up your entire revenue cycle management from beginning to end.

Get More Information

ClaimTrak has developed an e-Book that goes in depth into what constitutes a fully integrated EHR software platform and how to determine if a vendor’s solution meets those requirements.

The Complete Guide to a Fully Integrated EHR for Behavioral Health pulls from ClaimTrak’s vast experience and expertise in servicing behavioral health providers with an industry-leading comprehensive solution.

The guide details what to look for in a vendor and the 12 specific questions you should ask before making your selection. If you’re considering an EHR solution, you need to read this resource first before beginning your search to find the right system.

You can download a copy here.

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Why You Shouldn’t Add an EHR Solution to Your Current Billing System

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If you currently use a billing system in your behavioral health organization and are considering adding an EHR, there are a few reasons you should reconsider this step.

Different systems wont integrate seamlessly.

You’ll create more problems than solutions by trying to integrate two systems from different vendors. Not only will you have the immense headache of trying to manage multiple vendor relationships, but you’ll spend more time trying to mesh these two systems together than it’s worth.

The end result wont be what you anticipate.

If you’re imagining a comprehensive solution that helps you and your staff manage everything from scheduling to intake, documentation and treatment, claims submission, and analytical reporting, you’ll be disappointed with the inconsistent results or lack of efficiency created with mismatched systems. This hybrid answer won’t function the way you need to help you manage your clinical, billing and administrative workflows. This is another headache you should avoid at all costs.

The ClaimTrak Difference

Save yourself time, wasted effort, and money by upgrading to a fully integrated EHR solution that provides everything you need to manage your clinical, billing, and administrative tasks in one simple platform.

Not all vendors are created equal and not all vendors will be able to provide you everything you need on one platform. ClaimTrak put together an informative e-Book titled The Complete Guide to a Fully Integrated EHR for Behavioral Health to help you navigate your way through researching and selecting the right vendor. Inside you’ll find the 12 most important questions you should ask any vendor before making your decision.

Download your copy today for practical advice from ClaimTrak’s years of successfully supporting behavioral health organizations.

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EMR, EHR, RCM, Practice Management…Confused?

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If you’ve been researching EHR solutions, you’ve more than likely come across terminology that leave you a little bewildered. What’s even trickier is figuring out how to select the best solution from the various software offerings out there today.

Here are some basic terms used to describe behavioral health software. This will help you decide what to search for when researching technology for your behavioral health organization.

  • EMR: Electronic Medical Record.
  • EHR: Electronic Health Record.
  • An EMR and EHR are used interchangeably to simply refer to a digital version of the traditional paper-based healthcare records created, managed and stored in a healthcare provider setting. This is the most basic meaning of these acronyms. In the case of healthcare technology adoption, both these terms have taken on a wider implication referring to electronic software solutions that provide a wider spectrum of features to manage a continuum of care beyond the basic record.
  • RCM: Revenue Cycle Management. The cycle refers to all the revenue-side steps that take place from the time a client makes an appointment to when the services they receive are billed for and there is no longer a balance on their account. The more efficient the cycle, the more likely revenues are received.
  • Practice Management: This refers to the day-to-day financial and administrative functions of a healthcare practice including client data capturing, billing tasks, scheduling appointments and report generation.
  • Integrated EHR Solution: When an EMR/EHR are combined with practice management and revenue cycle management functions to create a complete care solution operating on one platform providing a greater level of business efficiency and interoperability.

If you’re interested in an even more in-depth look at what constitutes a successful EHR solution, you need to download the new e-Book The Complete Guide to a Fully Integrated EHR for Behavioral Health.

This information-dense resource will help you navigate the muddy waters and make a selection that benefits your practice, your staff, and your clients.

Download the e-Book today for free.

woman looking at paperwork

Why You Need to Upgrade Your Behavioral Health EHR Solution

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If you’re still dealing with paper records or trying to wrangle together a hybrid mixture of disparate systems, you need to consider upgrading to a fully integrated EHR solution. The cost of upgrading is offset by increased productivity, better revenue cycle management, and more importantly, improved client care.

Here are the top 3 reasons why you shouldn’t put off upgrading any longer.

All systems should “talk.”

Does this describe your current situation:

Your billing system doesn’t talk to your client care records, making it time-consuming and error-prone to submit claims for reimbursement. Or you don’t have a scheduling and documentation system that can help you proactively and consistently manage your client’s treatment.

A fully integrated system has all you need on one comprehensive platform. Billing, scheduling, intake, progress notes, treatment information, e-prescribing, and more —it all comes together in a single system to let you easily manage every aspect of client and administrative functions together. No longer is information sequestered in separate silos that aren’t accessible to everyone.

Take advantage of cutting-edge technology.

There’s a reason why technology is so important in today’s business environment. It creates new and improved processes that lead to real-time efficiencies in almost all aspects of clinical and administrative tasks.

An excellent case in point is voice transcription capabilities. Busy clinicians trying to communicate with their clients during office visits while typing notes into a system can create distractions and frustration. Cutting-edge technology allows clinicians to dictate their notes into a system and have it transcribed into text that’s readily available at a moment’s notice.

Streamline upgrades and new features.

If you’re using a hodgepodge of systems to track your administrative,billing and clinical processes, you understand the difficulty in working with multiple vendors when it’s time to add new features or push an upgrade.

Imagine the convenience of a single system that handles your workflows on both the clinical and practice management side of the house. The vendor pushes upgrades and new features through on their end, eliminating downtime and lost productivity on your end.

Final thoughts

Now imagine dealing with one vendor who provides timely responses and resolution to support your practice. This is perhaps the most important reason why it’s time to upgrade your EHR solution.

This is why ClaimTrak put together a comprehensive resource to help you wade through the process of selecting a vendor to partner with upgrading your EHR solution. Titled The Complete Guide to a Fully Integrated EHR for Behavioral Health, this information-packed e-Book gives you the insight from years of experience assisting behavioral health providers achieve marked improvements in client care and business efficiency.

Download your copy today and see how this one decision today can help your practice succeed in the future.

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3 Ways an EHR Solution Can Increase Efficiency

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Switching to a fully integrated EHR solution or investing in a first-time EHR solution, offers a substantial opportunity for increased operational efficiency freeing up valuable time for client care and business improvement.

Here are 3 ways a fully integrated EHR platform can increase efficiency in your behavioral health practice.

Organization

When your data is centralized in one repository, you spend less time tracking down the information you need for administrative and reporting purposes. Your clinicians also have more information at their fingertips to determine diagnoses and treatment options.

Instead of referring to one system to manage claims submissions and using a separate system to help with scheduling, your practice is streamlined and organized on one platform around a single dashboard that lets you manage all aspects of your practice and client care.

Communication

A fully integrated EHR solution allows you to centralize your communication between care and business teams using templates for consistency in both internal and external communications.

When you need to send patient information to another healthcare provider, an EHR offers you a standard way to communicate and transmit the data needed. It also helps internal communication among clinicians and administrative staff by standardizing messages and ways to capture vital information.

Enhanced communication with labs and health plans can help you access real-time information to make better client care and business decisions. You can instantly check with health plans for covered treatment and options before deciding on a treatment plan.

Productivity

A fully integrated EHR links your practice’s workflows into one seamless system that lets you schedule appointments, perform a comprehensive intake, document progress notes, administer treatment plans, and automate billing processes to eliminate clerical error, reduce denials and time to process, and improve your reimbursement rate.

Your clinicians will have more time to spend on client care because they’ll spend less time on chart management. A fully integrated EHR solution can also provide a vehicle for researching condition-specific questions and other shortcuts to minimize the administrative time needed to manage caseloads.

Easy and wider access to client information is perhaps the most important productive feature of a fully integrated EHR solution. When you select a hosted service, you can securely access vital client information from remote locations. And since your solutions are integrated on a single platform, you’ll also be able to complete critical processes and pull data for reports from the dashboard.

Final thoughts

If you’re considering moving to a fully integrated EHR solution, ClaimTrak has an interesting resource that will help you figure out where to start when researching and deciding on an behavioral health EHR provider. This new e-Book is titled The Complete Guide to a Fully Integrated EHR Solution for Behavioral Health.

Compiled from years of successfully supporting behavioral health agencies with their EHR solution, ClaimTrak lays out what you need to look for in a preferred vendor and the 12 most important questions to ask before making your final selection.

You can download this comprehensive resource here. The insight presented in this useful e-Book can prove invaluable as you weed through the various behavioral health EHR software platforms available.

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Are You Ready for a New Behavioral Health EHR Solution?

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Are you considering upgrading your current systems to a fully integrated EHR solution offering complete care functionality on a single platform? Or perhaps you’re still using paper records and spreadsheets to manage your practice and realize there must be a better way.

Here are a few questions you should ask first to see how ready you are to make the switch.

Is your staff ready for a change?

Maybe staff morale is low because everyone spends more time chasing down information and processing paperwork and less time focusing on how to help clients become healthier and more vital.

Is client care truly optimized or is your staff trying to make it through the week?

Providing excellent client care is everyone’s ultimate goal and those on the front lines of behavioral healthcare are struggling to find ways to do more with less. Not being able to fully live your organization’s mission can cause staff burnout and frustration.

How can an EHR platform can help answer those questions?

Upgrading to a fully integrated behavioral health EHR solution results in efficiencies that give clinicians and staff more time to treat clients and eliminates the need to use multiple systems or waste time digging through paper files . And a new EHR solution lets your staff leave the office and still stay connected to the practice.

Imagine the boost to morale if your staff had more time to focus on what really matters—client care. Making the decision to upgrade to a new behavioral health EHR solution is a crucial step towards helping your organization achieve those goals.

A new resource offers more information.

ClaimTrak put together a highly informative resource to help you determine if you’re ready to upgrade your EHR solution. Titled The Complete Guide to a Fully Integrated EHR for Behavioral Health, this information-dense e-Book gives you the advice gained from years assisting behavioral health providers achieve excellence in client care and overall business efficiency.

Download your copy today.