Advances in behavioral health technology have brought about significant developments in behavioral health practice efficiency, quality of care, and overall convenience for patients and clinicians alike. Technological innovations have greatly improved the experiences and outcomes of individuals providing and receiving care in this space. Improved healthcare documentation, streamlined administrative tasks, and increased access to actionable data for patients and clinicians are just a few of the benefits. While these are significant improvements, an often overlooked advantage of this technology is the potential to increase profits and return on investment in several ways.
The majority of practices and providers recognize the benefits of measurement-based care but fall short of consistently utilizing it. In addition to missing out on the care-related benefits, they also lose the opportunity for reimbursement in this area. Assessments like the generalized anxiety disorder scale (GAD-7), Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), and the Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS) are the industry standards for providing measurement-based care. They offer specific measures to assess symptom severity from one session to the next and have their own billable CPT codes. Recognizing the positive impact on client outcomes, insurance companies have begun to financially reward the use of these measures.
Behavioral health technology offers the ability to consistently send these assessments to patients, automatically score them, and submit claims for reimbursement. Streamlining measurement-based care makes collecting, charting, and sharing data easier. Practices can ultimately improve the quality of care and their return on investment when they take advantage of this technology.
Behavioral health technology offers opportunities for remote therapeutic monitoring, which focuses on medication adherence and monitoring of side effects. This gives clinicians valuable insight into their patients’ experiences between sessions. In hybrid practices where therapists work closely with prescribers and nurse practitioners, RTM offers a unique opportunity to effectively track medication compliance and monitor side effects, leading to more timely medication adjustments when necessary. It’s a reimbursable service that simultaneously boosts revenue while improving the quality of care.
Automated and streamlined processes can significantly reduce the time spent on administrative tasks. For example, EHRs can manage billing, scheduling, messaging, and video sessions seamlessly within a single platform. This means less administrative burden and potential reductions in the managerial positions needed for a practice to run smoothly. These changes can reduce overhead costs, thereby increasing ROI.
By increasing overall practice efficiency and reducing the time that clinicians normally spend on redundant tasks, behavioral health technology increases the available time that clinicians have to engage in patient care. This enables practices to serve more clients and generate more revenue.
Practices using these technologies have a greater ability to obtain and show clear data on patient experiences and outcomes. Some insurance companies will negotiate higher rates when practices can demonstrate their value with consistent and objective measures to improve patient outcomes.
The rise of technology in behavioral healthcare has expanded the range of potential clients who can be seen. Telehealth sessions have made behavioral healthcare more accessible to patients who live in remote areas or can’t attend visits in person due to transportation, disability, or family limitations. Prior to the advent of teletherapy, these patients would have had limited (or no) access to behavioral health treatment. Additionally, those who might’ve otherwise had to miss a session unexpectedly due to illness or other circumstances can now easily engage with their providers from any mobile device. This unprecedented ability to provide care without patients even leaving their homes naturally offers opportunities for practices to generate more income.
Advances in technology for behavioral healthcare have begun combining multiple processes into single platforms. Comprehensive behavioral health EHRs can encompass billing, documentation, scheduling, and virtual sessions. Previously, these tasks were accomplished manually and then by separate systems. When a practice uses separate systems for each of these needs, they incur greater costs. However, investing in a platform that has all these features offers a significant reduction of costs and an easier experience for patients, clinicians, and support staff.
Advances in the technology used for behavioral healthcare have significantly optimized the overall functioning of behavioral health practices. The benefits of these technologies include improved quality of care, better documentation, greater flexibility, and convenience for providers and patients. Additionally, with the automation of many functions and the recognition of these benefits by many payers, practices that take advantage of these technologies have an excellent opportunity to improve their overall return on investment.
Maximize the potential of your practice by investing in behavioral health technology. As you consider your needs, choose a platform that encompasses most of your practice’s functions.
Here at CarePaths, we empower therapists to work more efficiently and improve patient outcomes with our innovative EHR system. Start your free trial today to find out more about how we can help you!
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