Behavioral health and addiction treatment providers have not adapted to value-based payment (VBP) models as rapidly as other specialties. One major reason is because value-based care focuses on patient outcomes, which are difficult to define and measure in behavioral health.
However, as regulators and payers emphasize VBP, behavioral health providers eventually will be expected to make the transition, as well.
What Behavioral Health Providers Should Focus on When Moving to Value-Based Care
While it is challenging to define value and outcomes in behavioral health, behavioral health and addiction treatment providers who attempt it can benefit from potentially higher reimbursement and improved patient outcomes.
Here are some areas to focus on as you seek to make the shift to value-based care in your practice.
Use of data analytics
Value-based care focuses more on patient outcomes than the amount of services provided, encouraging providers to do more with less. Entering, tracking, and analyzing patient data is vital for transitioning to a VBP model. Without the proper data and tools to use it, however, behavioral health providers may find few benefits from VBP.
Because behavioral health conditions and goals are more subjective than other health specialties, clinicians and therapists may not be sure about the kind of patient data to track. This data may include:
DSM-V and ICD-10 criteria
Admissions and discharges, including emergency departments
As value-based care expands, healthcare decision-makers are increasingly concerned about population health. This requires clinicians to focus on three main goals:
Maintaining patient health
Reducing patient health risks
Providing or coordinating appropriate patient care
Successful population health management combines patient data with health IT solutions. Behavioral health practices should have an electronic health record (EHR) system that lets them collect and analyze data so they can note and correct any care gaps within the patient population. This leads to better outcomes and cost savings.
Interoperability is the ability of different systems or software to communicate and exchange information. This way, behavioral health and addiction treatment providers can more easily share data with a patient’s other providers. This could lead to better coordination of care, more efficient treatment, and thus improved patient outcomes.
All of the previously mentioned factors doubtless will involve changes to a practice’s workflow, potentially impacting all staff members. Behavioral health and addiction treatment practices may adopt a new EHR system, change the way they follow up with patients, or train staff to collect additional patient information.
As your practice shifts to value-based care, all clinicians and managers should make sure your employees understand the purposes behind any changes you implement. This will improve staff buy-in and make transitions easier.
The right EHR solution for your behavioral health data needs
A 2018 Quest Diagnostics survey found that 57 percent of health plan executives agreed that clinicians do not have all the tools they need to succeed under VBP. The right EHR system is vital for behavioral health and addiction treatment providers looking to record and track patient data.
Enter and track patient information accurately with BestNotes, a behavioral health EHR solution built specifically for your practice’s needs. Contact us today to ask questions, learn more, or schedule a live demo.