This week’s post is taking a look at the behavioral health and substance misuse issues making headlines in Florida.
Central Florida Students to Receive Mental Health Lessons
Several schools in Central Florida are rolling out a new plan to require five hours of mental-health lessons for students in grades 6-12. This plan was partly inspired by the 2018 shooting at Parkland high school.
Starting in January or February 2020, the lessons will include topics such as substance abuse and suicide prevention. This initiative, which was approved by the State Board of Education in July 2019, could help reduce stigma and provide education to families.
PrimaHealth Credit to Offer Loans for Addiction Treatment
PrimaHealth Credit is expanding its services to include loans used to pay for addiction treatment centers. The company currently provides loans for elective healthcare procedures like plastic surgery and orthodontics. Florida is one of several locations where PrimaHealth is offering these addiction treatment loans.
Many individual borrowers will not be charged interest for addiction treatment loans. In those cases, PrimaHealth will charge a fee to the treatment center. PrimaHealth’s algorithm helps determine a borrower’s creditworthiness and offers treatment centers a payment management solution. PrimaHealth has also said that it intends to help addiction treatment providers meet regulatory requirements for collecting co-pays and deductibles.
Florida Sees Rise in Meth-Related Deaths
According to a 2019 report by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Medical Examiners Commission, the rate of meth-related deaths in the state have increased, based on instances when methamphetamines were found in a person’s system upon their death. Occurrences of methamphetamine increased 9 percent in January-June 2018, compared to the same period in 2017, while deaths caused by meth rose 24 percent.
The report also found that, in the same periods, the rate of opioid-caused fatalities decreased. However, deaths caused by fentanyl increased in the same period.
CDC Underestimates Florida Drug Overdose Fatalities, Study Finds
Study data suggest that the CDC’s Multiple Cause of Death (MCOD) database underestimates drug overdose fatalities in Florida. Troy C. Quast, PhD, of the University of South Florida College of Public Health, compiled the number of overdose deaths listed in the MCOD database for Florida involving amphetamines, benzodiazepines, and opioids in 2003-2017. Compared to the numbers reported by the Florida Medical Examiners Commission, the MCOD undercounted benzodiazepine-related deaths by 45 percent and amphetamines-related deaths by 17 percent.
Florida’s Flagler County Looking to Establish Drop-In Mental Health Clinic
Flagler County, Fla., is considering an effort to address local mental-health concerns by establishing what is being called a “drop-in mental health clinic.” According to Flagler County Administrator Jerry Cameron, the clinic would operate like many other clinics that offer physical health services without requiring an appointment. Cameron noted that such a clinic would come from a private/public partnership between the county and area providers.
Streamline Your Behavioral Health and Addiction Treatment Practice in Florida
The demand for behavioral health and addiction treatment services continues to rise in Florida and across the nation. As you work to meet your clients’ needs and streamline your practice, it’s important to have an EHR solution that helps, not hinders, your efforts. Contact the team at BestNotes today to learn more about how our EHR and CRM solutions can help you operate an effective, profitable behavioral health practice.