Support: 866.543.6646
Sales: 855.489.1792

Blog

How California is Working Against Drug Addiction

Like other states in the nation, California providers and policymakers continue to seek ways to curb the ongoing opioid crisis. Several new developments in the state hope to reduce addiction and protect patients.

Medical Schools Increase Addiction Training

Last year, University of California San Francisco’s School of Medicine launched a one-year fellowship in addiction medicine as an effort to get to the root of the opioid crisis. This is the first such fellowship among the University of California medical schools. Funded by the city and county, San Francisco’s program provides further training to medical students.

Traditionally, addiction training has been reserved for students of psychiatry. As more primary-care patients show symptoms related to drug addiction, however, it is becoming a wider concern among other specialties. The number of people in California who die annually from overdoses of prescription or illegal opioids has hovered at 1,900-2,000 for the last five years. However, the number of deaths from fentanyl, a powerful and illegally produced opioid, tripled between 2013 and 2017.

New Training for Addiction Professionals

The California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals (CCAPP) now offers coursework for addiction professionals looking to become Certified Alcohol and Drug Treatment Executives (CTE). The first training will take place in Sacramento.

Executives in the addiction treatment field will receive education and development related to management, including consumer protection and networking. As more California residents seek treatment for drug addiction, there is a greater need for training and standardization among addiction treatment managers CCAPP CEO Pete Nielsen says.

Protection for Addiction Treatment Consumers

The California State Senate recently approved a bill intended to protect patients receiving treatment for kidney disease and addiction. Passage of the Affordable Care Act prevented consumers from being denied health coverage because of preexisting conditions, but that has also led to an increase in high-cost insurance schemes from for-profit businesses. Some providers have enrolled patients in commercial coverage with high reimbursement rates for services, which brings higher out-of-pocket costs.

The bill, SB 1156, would ensure that provider-funded organizations follow disclosure requirements that inform consumers if better options, such as Medicaid, are available to them. The California State Assembly will now consider the bill for passage.

CDPH Issues Standing Order for Naloxone

Last week, the California Department of Public Health issued a statewide standing order for naloxone, the opioid overdose antidote. This order from agency Director Dr. Karen Smith allows all state organizations focused on managing drug addiction to distribute naloxone to patients without an individual prescription. Such organizations include rehabilitation facilities and needle exchange programs.

California pharmacists are authorized to make naloxone available without a prescription, and many addiction-related nonprofits groups administer naloxone under an individual physician’s standing order. However, many rural areas have shortages of physicians or treatment facilities able to obtain a prescription for naloxone. Under the order, Smith serves as the prescribing physician. The order does not include payment for naloxone, which may be purchased privately by nonprofits or received through public health departments at $20-70 per dose.

date:  Jun 18, 2018
Read More

Five Things to Look for in a Behavioral Health EHR

Each health specialty requires different things from its electronic health record (EHR) software. The particular needs of behavioral and mental health, including addiction treatment, require a unique approach to EHR.

What should behavioral health and addiction treatment professionals look for in their EHR?

  1. Designed for Behavioral Health

The first thing that behavioral health providers should look for in an EHR system is a solution that has been designed for their industry. Although there are many excellent products on the market, professionals can save time, money, and headaches by seeking out solutions that were designed with their particular needs in mind.

Besides being designed for behavioral health in general, professionals should look for EHR that can be customized to their particular practice, and can be adapted to future plans and changes.

  1. Treatment Plan Support

Behavioral health and substance-abuse treatments require more than just a round of antibiotics or a vaccine. Depression, schizophrenia, opioid addiction, and other behavioral health conditions usually require long-term and often lifelong treatment plans. Not only that, but each patient requires a unique approach. Providers often must try a combination of treatment options before finding one best suited for an individual patient.

Because of this, the EHR should also be designed to support these different treatment plans. Behavioral-health EHR should support both the short- and long-term goals of a treatment plan, including interventions and relapse prevention.

  1. Coordinated Billing

Coordinated care is important for behavioral health professionals since their patients often present with comorbidities and multiple diagnoses. For the same reasons, coordinated billing is just as important.

An EHR solution should attempt to reduce these challenges as much as possible. An EHR that allows you to track billing and partner with outside billing contractors can help reduce errors and costs and streamline administration.

  1. Medication Management

Behavioral health and addiction treatment providers usually prescribe multiple medications to each of their patients. Because of this, an EHR for behavioral health providers must include a medication management feature.

Prescribers should be able to use the EHR to create electronic prescriptions. This should include medication-assisted treatment for addiction, as well as other controlled substances. The EHR should also help users monitor their patients’ medications and warn them of any possible interactions.

  1. Thorough Training for Use

The chosen product and vendor should provide ample opportunities to make the learning process go as smoothly as possible and ensure that all users are comfortable with the solution. The right EHR should come with training, tutorials, demos, as well as easily accessible support and troubleshooting. Providers who choose a free demo option should make note of how the vendor responds to their questions, as this gives a good insight into their customer service.

Created With Behavioral Health and Addiction Recovery in Mind

BestNotes is an all-in-one solution that is uniquely designed for behavioral health and substance abuse professionals. Use it to manage admissions, intake, assessments, treatment plans, medications, billing, lab results, and more.

BestNotes also provides straight forward pricing, month-to-month contracts, and user support. Contact us today for a free demo

date:  Jun 11, 2018
Read More

BestNotes is now a proud member of NAATP!

BestNotes is happy to announce our membership to the National Association of Addiction Treatment Services.

Over 23.5 million adults are in recovery from alcohol or drug addictions. NAATP has made it their mission to “provide leadership, advocacy, training and member support services to ensure the availability and highest quality of addiction treatment”.  As we strive to “help the helper” in the addiction treatment world, we have found it crucial to stay at the forefront of the guidelines for law and policy , ethics and professionalism and the industry standards for outcomes and surveys. which a NAATP membership enables.

date:  Jun 07, 2018
Read More

Medication-Assisted Treatment

Amidst a nationwide rise in opiate addictions, some organizations are seeing positive results from medication-assisted treatment (MAT) options. Despite its effectiveness, however, social stigma persists, and MAT options remain few.

 

What is Medication-Assisted Treatment?

 

The ultimate goal of MAT is full recovery from addiction. This type of addiction treatment combines behavioral therapy and counseling with physician-supervised use of the medications methadone, buprenorphine, or naltrexone. The medications used in MAT are FDA-approved, intended to help relieve withdrawal symptoms and cravings from opiates like heroin and oxycodone.

 

Research indicates that MAT drugs, at the correct dosage, do not impair mental or physical functioning. Recent studies also show that MAT can lead to higher quality of life compared to standard treatment options, and help reduce treatment costs.

 

According to the New England Journal of Medicine, one study in Baltimore from 1995-2009 found that increased availability of methadone and buprenorphine was associated with a nearly 50% decline in fatal heroin overdoses.

 

Controversy Surrounding Medication-Assisted Treatment

 

Despite the evidence for its effectiveness, MAT remains controversial. The use of methadone, especially, carries a stigma that prevents wider public acceptance. Currently, only two companies provide methadone for MAT in Idaho: Center for Behavioral Health Idaho and Raise the Bottom Addiction Treatment Center.

 

Because methadone itself is an opioid, there is a misconception that MAT merely trades one addiction for another. Supporters argue, however, that this is not the case. Controlled doses of methadone can help stabilize addiction symptoms and allow users to function normally.

 

The FDA requires MAT to include behavioral therapy and counseling, in part to limit the risks of re-addiction. While a person with an opiate addiction can become dependent on the drugs used in MAT, supporters and providers point out that this is no different from a patient with diabetes being dependent on insulin to function normally.

 

Medication-Assisted Treatment in Idaho

 

Idaho’s geography makes addiction recovery more complicated, especially in remote areas. MAT options are currently confined to urban areas, with fewer options available to rural residents. Patients who must travel several hours for addiction treatment are less likely to recover successfully.

 

In 2014, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare launched Recovery Idaho, a community organization intended to expand recovery support services throughout the state. The state also recently launched Idaho’s Response to the Opioid Crisis. This program includes a number of treatment options, including MAT, for people who meet certain eligibility requirements.

 

The U.S. House of Representatives on May 22, 2018, passed H.R. 5682, also known as the “Formerly Incarcerated Reenter Society Transformed Safely Transitioning Every Person (FIRST STEP) Act.” This bill aims to help reduce risks associated with the release of prison inmates, including drug use. If signed into law, several agency directors would be required to submit assessments of the use of MAT for recently released prisoners who struggle with opiate addiction.

 

MAT continues to be a controversial option for addiction treatment, despite its effectiveness. Increased community support, as well as expanded availability, may help more individuals gain access to MAT and its benefits.

date:  Jun 06, 2018
Read More

Create a list of custom medications and group them into protocol lists!

Custom Medications are now available to BestNotes users!

Custom medications are a collection of “favorite” medications, available company-wide. Add one of our standard medications or a new medication to the “favorites” collection and define items such as dose, frequency, and duration for that medication. Custom Medications will be available in a BestNotes user’s setting panel.

Medication Groups

Medication groups are a group of one or more predefined medications that are applied to a client simultaneously. Medication Groups will also be available to customize!

Please call 855-489-1792 for more information!

date:  May 01, 2018
Read More
Page 1 of 1212345...10...Last »