Technology Capabilities Behavioral Health Providers Need to Shift Business Practices to Value-Based Reimbursement Models.

By March 19, 2019

Behavioral health is experiencing dramatic changes in service payment models, most prominently the shift from the old fee-for-service model to value-driven reimbursement. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which serves as the primary payer for most behavioral health agencies, has taken a firm stand on value-based payment (VBP) models, replacing the fee-for-service models across acute care, skilled nursing care, behavioral health and therapy.

But how ready are behavioral health agencies for the changes VBP will bring? Remarkable Health conducted a survey in February 2019 to unearth the status of preparation progress, workflow pain points and ongoing needs of clinicians and billing staff.

The need for investing in technology platforms to capture client feedback and field-based data is clear, especially since many clients are already on board with self-reporting (83% of agency respondents say their clients have the ability to self-report outcomes and progress on treatment plans), yet many agencies aren’t able to capture that data electronically or get it into the EHR in an efficient way.

Agencies still using traditional electronic health record technology are seeing the need to upgrade to capabilities that embrace the evolution of how clinicians work with clients and the way behavioral health services are documented and billed.  Below are capabilities providers need to be IT ready for the inevitable changes ahead.

Offline Mobile Technology for Documentation Speed and Accuracy

One of the biggest frustrations is the inability to capture clinical documentation electronically from the field, survey respondents report. When asked to estimate the hours clinicians spend on documentation tasks, almost half of respondents reported spending 11-20 clinician hours per week. For another 22%, clinicians are spending 20-25 hours or more—a devastating impact on their available time.

Remarkable Health’s EHR Mobile App is designed to work with or without an internet connection to enable clinicians to easily document and coordinate care – regardless of their location. Clinicians use the app on smartphones, giving them access to client lists, client demographic information, case management documentation, scheduling tools and other features.

Business intelligence dashboards for deeper data analytics and insights

Many agencies report deep problems in understanding how outcomes and billing data are affecting the agency’s bottom line. The number one financial hurdle: 42% of respondents identified the lack of knowledge of or access to predictive analytics tools—ways to view and analyze current data patterns to learn how an agency can improve its clinical processes and business outcomes. More than 37% of respondents also named the inability to predict acceptable levels of agency risk, while 35% noted the difficulty of tracking actual unit costs for billing. Billing accuracy and efficiency equal revenue, yet 45% of respondents identified the inability to adequately track claims data as a hurdle to revenue.

Remarkable Health helps providers overcome this challenge with Insights, our business intelligence dashboard that equips providers to make impactful business decisions by placing data at their fingertips, such as A/R balance/aging, appointments, authorization, claim status, progress note production, revenue treatment plan, unsigned notes – and more.

Technology designed around the staff roles and workflows to streamline care coordination and improve agency efficiency.

Among the issues involved in moving toward successful VBP reimbursement processes, survey respondents identify serious gaps in IT capabilities and staff data capture capabilities, as well as disconnects in documentation workflow and time-to-bill conversions. The above data points also indicate the relative inability to track performance data and quality improvement initiatives, both of which are crucial to succeeding well under the VBP reimbursement system.

Whether you are upgrading or going 100% digital for the first time, Remarkable Health’s EHR, CT|One, streamlines workflows and drives better outcomes along the entire clinical care, billing and reporting continuum. Inefficiencies are eliminated. Progress notes are a breeze. Claims get paid faster. Reports put data at your fingertips. Our fully integrated EHR solution is the result of over 28 years of supporting behavioral health agencies with technology solutions. Our EHR software is built to support an agency from client intake to claim submission. The entire system works seamlessly together to improve your agency workflows for outcomes management and agency efficiency.

Emerging Technology – Client Engagement  

Reduce dropout rates and improve retention rates with outcome-focused client engagement

The need for investing in technology platforms to capture client feedback and field-based data is clear, especially since many clients are already on board with self-reporting (83% of agency respondents say their clients have the ability to self-report outcomes and progress on treatment plans), yet many agencies aren’t able to capture that data electronically or get it into the EHR in an efficient way. Sooner or later, clients may demand a bidirectional platform to take part in their own health, and client satisfaction ratings will become a very prominent part of how successful agencies do business.

In early development, Remarkable.me is the next generation of client engagement with a mobile app powered by Bells, an intelligent care assistant that leverages the many data points captured by your EHR platform to increase client engagement, enrich the care experience, and keep staff informed of clients’ progress in between sessions.

The time is now to look beyond electronic health records.

In behavioral health, what your agency doesn’t know can impede your clinical success and business revenue under VBP. Agencies need a solid understanding of their own IT capabilities, their billing strategies and their clinician workflow in order to succeed under the new VBP reimbursement models. Now more than ever, behavioral health agencies need to evaluate their ability to perform under the VBP model, before the documentation gaps begin to hit the revenue stream. Above all, agencies must grow beyond EHR technology that merely serves as a “electronic filing cabinet” and join forces with a robust technology partner dedicated to client outcomes management and agency efficiencies.

VBP-ready technology partners should offer these core competencies:

  • A flexible system that can adapt to the policies and procedures of the agency, and compliance standards with state/federal regulations and payer contracts – without the need of vendor support
  • A streamlined implementation process and detailed project plan to keep switching costs low
  • Mobile EHR capabilities that work online and offline
  • Offline mobile processes that don’t require additional applications or manual workarounds to document care when internet service isn’t available
  • Investment in research and development, not just sales and marketing
  • A dedicated support team for custom or future development needs

To view more stats from the research, view our VBP readiness presentation on SlideShare.

About Remarkable Health

For more than 25 years, Remarkable Health has pioneered innovation through technology for behavioral health and DD providers.  Our integrated suite of outcomes management, EHR and mobile technology arms providers with the tools they need to improve client outcomes by spending less time on documentation and inefficient workarounds and more time delivering value-based care and engagement.  To learn more about the CT|One EHR and the CT|One Mobile app, contact us at (480) 550-8077 or visit our website to schedule a free consultation at www.RemarkableHealth.com.