Open Minds Remarkable Health Bells Partnership

OPEN MINDS & Remarkable Health partner on yearlong educational collaborative focused on clinical productivity and staff retention

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Open Minds Remarkable Health Bells Partnership

Educational resources and events will demonstrate how adopting next generation technology and new clinical and staff-focused models can save one day a week on documentation.

GETTYSBURG, Pa. (June 20, 2021) — OPEN MINDS has announced Remarkable Health as a platinum-level partner for the 2021/2022 OPEN MINDS Executive Institute Series. Remarkable Health had two featured exhibits and a productivity showcase during the Strategy & Innovation Institute on Wednesday June 16, 2021, at 3:00 PM where they demonstrated how EHR+ Bells Documentation Assistant can shorten the time staff spends on clinical documentation. Remarkable Health will also have knowledge partner breakout sessions and featured exhibits at the 2021 OPEN MINDS Management Best Practices Institute, the 2021 Executive Leadership Retreat, the 2021 Technology and Analytics Institute, and the 2022 Performance Management Institute.

Peter Flick is the CEO of Remarkable Health and says this about the new partnership, “Remarkable Health is thrilled to launch our partnership with OPEN MINDS in 2021. We share a mission to support the health and human service providers who are caring for vulnerable populations. Electronic record keeping has done a lot of good, but the acronym ‘EHR’ is synonymous with two decades of staff frustration. At Remarkable, we believe clinical documentation can be better and easier, and a pathway to improved staff morale and better productivity. We value the executive education OPEN MINDS is bringing to provider organizations, and this partnership allows Remarkable to have a greater impact on something our team is so passionate about – improving job quality.”

Monica E. Oss, CEO of OPEN MINDS, states, “We are looking forward to this new partnership with Remarkable Health because they are thinking differently about the role of technology in the health and human service industry. The ‘new normal’ for health care organizations means new challenges, new competition, new requirements, and greater emphasis on direct service provider retention and morale. In an increasingly competitive market where success is measured in value and outcomes, staff retention will be critical to survival, sustainability, and success. OPEN MINDS is pleased to partner with Remarkable Health as we highlight these needs as part of our Executive Institute series.”

In addition to participation in Executive Institutes, Remarkable Health and OPEN MINDS will collaborate on three webinars, a survey and a white paper focused on clinical documentation and the impact on productivity, staff retention and morale, and promotion of Remarkable Health video resources. The tentative release schedule is as follows:

  • July 20, 2021 – Web Briefing – Learn How C-Suite Leaders Transformed Revenue, Productivity & Staff Morale Through Innovations In Clinical Documentation: The Journey of the Mental Health Association of South Central Kansas & Community Health and Counseling Services
  • August 4, 2021 – Web Briefing – Best Practices in Clinical Documentation: Improving Workflow for Strategic Advantage
  • October 2021 Release Date – White Paper – Productivity and Clinical Documentation: Results of OPEN MINDS’ Benchmark Clinical Documentation Study, sponsored by Remarkable Health
  • Release Date TBD – Bells Assisted Documentation video series

As part of the platinum-level collaboration, Remarkable Health is also an underwriting sponsor for these OPEN MINDS Executive Institutes:

About Remarkable Health

Remarkable Health is a leading software company focused on providing behavioral health, substance abuse and human service organizations the tools they need to provide remarkable staff to client experiences and drive positive outcomes. We offer EHR+, which includes a CT|One (FKA ClaimTrak), a purpose built fully integrated EHR platform, and Bells, the first virtual clinical documentation assistant that works as a companion to the EHR experience. Learn more at Remarkable Health.

Bells is the first virtual clinical documentation assistant for the behavioral health and human services industry. Bells provides a suite of tools that deliver immediate and ongoing improvements in the clinical documentation process that save time, reduce errors, eliminate redundancy, improve quality, decrease rejected claims and increase employee satisfaction through both rules-based capabilities, as well as AI learning and recommendation capabilities. Learn more at Bells AI.

About OPEN MINDS

OPEN MINDS is a national market intelligence, management consulting, and marketing services firm specializing exclusively in the markets of the health and human service field that serve consumers with chronic conditions and complex support needs. OPEN MINDS’ mission is to provide payers, service provider organizations, and technology and scientific firms that serve these consumers with the market and management knowledge needed to improve their organizational efficiency and effectiveness. Learn more at www.openminds.com.

Clinical Documentation – When It’s Good, It’s OK. When It’s Bad, It’s Very Bad.

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Written by Monica E. Oss.

Effective clinical documentation has been a challenge for decades. But how does it matter and what can be done about it? A panel of provider organization and health plan experts did a deeper dive during the session, Improving The Quality & Timeliness Of Clinical Documentation: A Best Practices Discussion, at our OPEN MINDS Technology & Analytics Institute last month. We heard from the Mental Health Association of South Central Kansas’ Chief Executive Officer, Mary Jones, and Clinical Liaison, Bailey Blair. The panel included expert perspectives from three OPEN MINDS Senior Associates—Cathy Gilbert (formerly Vice President II, Network Development at Magellan Healthcare and Assistant Vice President of Network Operations at Beacon Health Options); Carol Clayton, Ph.D. (formerly Executive Director for the North Carolina Council of Community Programs and Executive Director for Magellan Behavioral Health); and Lisa Strazzante (formerly Director of Client Engagement and Advocacy for Optum).

Clinical documentation has a ripple effect on services and the bottom line. Documentation (or “paperwork” as some of my clinical friends affectionately call it), is a “necessary evil” of sorts. But good clinical documentation is at the heart of effective quality care, revenue cycle management, risk management, and strong payer relations, according to our panelists.

Documentation that is clear, consistent, complete and reliable enables better clinical decision-making, supports smooth transitions across the continuum of care, and facilitates interoperability and care coordination. In one study, 85% of hospital executives confirmed documented quality improvements within six months of improving clinical documentation (see New Generation CDI Proves Enhanced Patient Care And Reduced Financial Risk, Nuance Leads The End-To-End Coding Performers In The Era Of Big Data, Per Black Book Survey).

In the study noted above, 90% of hospitals that improved clinical documentation said they realized $1.5 million in revenue and claims reimbursement. When notes are completed and reviewed right away, it enables timely billing. But currently, the average time from session to note signing is more than three days, which creates a “revenue cycle vacuum” according to Ms. Jones.

Robust clinical documentation hedges against the risk of recoupment. Post-payment reviews by payers are all too common and documentation has to support what happened. Otherwise provider organizations have to “eat the cost” if the claims are challenged after services have been delivered and employees have been paid, said Ms. Jones.

Building a good track record with quality documentation that clearly establishes medical necessity is key to earning payer trust. Ms. Gilbert explained, “If a provider organization’s documentation is consistently good, payers will pull them off the post-payment review lists, or do fewer reviews.” Documentation is especially critical to justify the level of care provided for higher intensity services, which typically come under scrutiny during the utilization review process.

A problem across all of health care. While a critical function, clinical documentation is considered to be a “problem” across all of the health and human service field. The key challenges? Loss of productivity, not matching payer expectations, and staff turnover.

Clinical professionals are spending inordinate amounts of time on documentation. One study showed that physicians spent 27% of their total time on direct clinical face time with consumers and 49% of their time on EHR and desk work, with many reporting one to two hours of after-hours work on EHR tasks (see Making Your EHR Work For Your Team). And that’s money left on the table. Ms. Blair shared that out of a 40-hour week, most of her clinical professionals are only able to bill 20 hours because they’re spending the other half of their time creating and correcting documentation. She said, “If I was able to get back just eight hours of documentation time for one clinical professional, that’s probably four or more consumers they can add to their caseload. It opens up our program to huge growth.”

Inadequate documentation is also a key reason for challenged claims. Ms. Gilbert observed that she has especially seen issues when payers review higher intensity levels of care. She said, “If the documentation does not support the higher level of care, it impacts revenue for the payer, causes provider organizations to spend more time reprocessing claims, and challenges relationships between the payers and the providers.”

Clinical documentation challenges are often the top reason for staff frustration. As Dr. Clayton noted, “The biggest reason for turnover is dissatisfaction that results from too much time spent on administrivia.” And turnover adds to the burden of training staff and getting them up to speed. Ms. Jones said, “I feel like we’re on a hamster wheel sometimes because of the turnover, which can be as high as 75%—largely due to burnout and not being able to provide services because they are too busy doing the documentation. It’s also devaluing to a staff member when they’re doing great work but can’t write it up in the way that is needed. So it’s that daily effort of train and retrain. And then we’re always bringing in new people and starting the cycle over. And it’s rigorous and very tiring for staff.”

What executives can do to improve the situation. Our panelists suggested some “best practices” to take the pain out of the documentation process—analyze workflows to improve the process, upgrade technology where needed, invest in training and internal reviews, and incentivize staff.

At MHA, notes are reviewed carefully before being sent for billing to ensure that post-payment reviews will not challenge the care provided. They also try to “bill at the lowest level possible” instead of justifying the service levels they are providing, as that results in fewer calls from payers, Ms. Jones explained. It’s also a good idea up front to tie documentation into scorecards and the outcomes data that payers want, especially in value-based reimbursement models, advised Ms. Gilbert.

Technology can play a significant role in improving efficiencies, said Dr. Clayton. Provider organizations can set up their EHR systems to offer appropriate prompts and guide clinical professionals to put in all the requisite information, and help ensure accuracy. “Use the technology to point frontline and clinical staff to what you want them to pay attention to, and that will make it easier for them,” she said. Peter Flick, Chief Executive Officer of Remarkable Health, pointed out the benefits of using artificial intelligence (AI) to drive clinical documentation during a session at the OPEN MINDS Technology & Analytics Institute last month. He said AI can speed data entry with natural language processing, clean up and improve accuracy of the data entered with contextually appropriate tools, and even make recommendations to accurately describe and evaluate service levels. A well-structured, tech-enabled documentation system can also mentor clinical professionals in real time, improving accuracy and streamlining claims submissions.

Ms. Gilbert advised that clinical professionals must be well trained to document for medical necessity and create notes that are “concise, factual, and still tell the story.” Especially for higher levels of care, robust records and notes are critical to making sure that continuing care gets authorized. She said, “Payers reviewing notes must know what’s happening with a consumer and what is the goal is for helping that consumer on the road to recovery or keeping them in the community or getting them back to a functional baseline.” And Ms. Jones said that in addition to training, clinical professionals at MHA have their notes intensively reviewed for the first 90 days on the job and then they are “graduated” to less review, which saves supervisory time. But if anyone is “struggling,” they get back on intensive note review.

Show clinical professionals what’s in it for them, suggested Dr. Clayton. Tell them what will make their work easier and help them get it done in less time. Offer incentives to staff based on their rate of efficiency with their documentation. Tell them how they are doing compared to their peers, and recognize and celebrate improvements. Ms. Jones said they give out “report cards” to staff, showing how they are doing month to month in timeliness and quality of notes, and that has helped to improve performance.

As the field moves to more of a focus on value, the need for data and clinical documentation will only grow. The challenge for executives is how to get more value out of the process. How to improve the quality and decrease the cost of data collection—and ultimately how to leverage that data for competitive advantage. For more on effective clinical documentation and decisionmaking, check out these resources in The OPEN MINDS Circle Library:

 


This reprint appears with the permission of OPEN MINDS. For more information, visit their website at www.openminds.com. To contact the author, email openminds@openminds.com.

Happy Clinical Director

Results of Implementing EHR Software v.2

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EHR platforms are powerful systems that consolidate client health data into digital records. Each year, more and more behavioral health and human service organizations are utilizing EHR systems to advance the way they provide care, as well as streamline key workflows for the agency. We’ve compiled a list of the benefits of utilizing an EHR platform, as well as some key considerations for successful adoption within your organization.

Quantifying the Benefits

A study by the Behavioral Healthcare Executive uncovered some specific advantages of EHR software, including:

  • Improved client care
  • Decrease need for paper storage
  • Improved staff efficiency
  • Improved reimbursement rates
  • Better outcome tracking
  • Time savings

Other commonly noted benefits include:

  • Improved client data accuracy
  • Interoperability
  • Scalability
  • Customization
  • Increased revenue
  • Better security

An astounding 94.4% of those surveyed by Behavioral Healthcare Executive reported advantages from EHR software. It’s no surprise the adoption of this technology continues to increase every year.

Qualitative Improvements Lead to Quantitative Results

The truth is, EHR software’s benefits go beyond efficiency and increased revenue. Less staff frustration, decreased burnout, more time spent with clients instead of on documentation, fewer errors; the list goes on. The qualitative benefits are compounded over time, which saves money. For example, customized templates for taking notes on specific services will lead to fewer errors, less documentation time, and fewer rejected claims.

As payers shift their focus to value-based reimbursements, these qualitative improvements lead to improved outcomes and happier clients, which helps agencies meet these updated care mandates.

Key Considerations Before Adopting an EHR

The key to successfully adopting an EHR system is to get buy-in from all areas of the agency. Clinicians care about efficiently entering progress notes and keeping track of client information so they can provide better services. Billers want to avoid denials and get the agency paid on time. EHR admins care about system utilization, reliability, and limitations. Executives are more focused on meeting state requirements, managing staff retention, and using data to solve agency challenges. Each persona in the organization has key metrics to meet and an EHR helps them to measure and improve.

By evaluating the workflows that will be improved by an EHR, you will be able to determine the return on investment and gain the support of staff in every area of the business. You’ll also be in a better position to choose the right EHR solution.

Remarkable Health’s EHR platform is focused on removing administrative barriers so that you can focus on your mission. We recognize the growing need for behavioral health services, along with a shortage of providers, and believe that great technology is one of the key solutions to help our industry better keep up with demand. Learn more.

 

 

12 Remarkable Days of Christmas

12 Remarkable Days of Christmas

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[3-minute read]

At Remarkable Health, our north star is creating WOW moments. By removing administrative obstacles, we empower providers (that’s you!), from the front-line staff to the CEO, to work seamlessly and do remarkable things.

In honor of the 12 Days of Christmas, we have gathered 12 WOW moments that demonstrate how Remarkable’s EHR clears the way for organizations to do what they’re meant to do: help others. As we look back on this year, here’s where we made an impact with our customers in every corner of the organization:

  1. According to a mental health and substance use facility CFO, CT|One’s reporting capabilities made it possible to bill clients with special requirements, such as those in drug court, enabling them to procure additional revenue.
  2. A Training Manager stated that the new state-specific treatment plan is one of the best updates they’ve seen yet. It’s estimated to cut their documentation time by a third.
  3. An Executive Director was thrilled that after submitting over 1800 progress notes, they received just one denial. Unheard of!
  4. The Health Information Manager at a child and adolescent behavioral health center shared that it’s obvious Remarkable Health listened to customer feedback, stating that it matches everything they were looking for.
  5. According to an agency’s CEO, CT|One provides everything they need in one system. They are always amazed at what they can do and how easy it is to pull information, tremendously improving patient care and billing efficiency.
  6. The mobile app is a game-changer, as noted by the Clinical Director of a mental health center. It’s especially helpful when out and about in the community!
  7. A Director of Program Integrity and Policy Compliance of a large non-profit believes CT|One is a great system that will help the case management team increase efficiency, giving them time back to create more WOW moments and help reduce burnout.
  8. A prospective customer commented that Remarkable Health offers everything they need in an EHR, from start to finish.
  9. The Billing Manager of a behavioral health facility is grateful that they can rely on Remarkable Health to quickly resolve any issues that arise, making their job easier.
  10. According to the Compliance Director of a mental health and substance use facility, the treatment plan user guide saved them a tremendous amount of time getting their staff up to speed.
  11. Another Billing Manager raved about how the ability to copy and paste between different windows has been a lifesaver. Less manual entry = less time spent on documentation and more time changing lives!
  12. Several clinicians were thrilled that CT|One has the ability to create smart forms that meet the specific service documentation needs of the agency. They also appreciate the shortcuts built into CT|One that save time and alleviate frustration.

Our hope is that some of the WOW moments above resonate and get you thinking about how obstacles can be overcome, giving you time back to focus on your mission. We’re grateful for everything our partners do and look forward to a new year of empowering behavioral health agencies and their clients. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


We’re curious; which of the 12 WOW moments above is most relevant to you? Let us know by commenting on our social media posts. One lucky person will win a $25 gift card!

EHR LinkedIn  Facebook EHR

Peter Flick CEO and Remarkable Health

EHR Thanksgiving

Supporting Behavioral Health Staff During the Holidays

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[3-minute read]

“Always start with thanksgiving; be thankful for what you already have and
see the miracles that come from this one simple act.” – Jim Rohn


 

In giving thanks, the first thought for many of us is friends, family, and health. Next may be our career, where we have the opportunity to help others every day. This year, in our new COVID world, each of us as healthcare workers have been added to the list of things to be especially grateful for.

Most of us have appreciated our physical health, but during this unusual time, mental health is coming to the forefront. According to the CDC, there have been “considerably elevated adverse mental health conditions associated with COVID-19.”  While we as providers have the opportunity to help our clients, we also need to be cognizant of this increase in our staff and colleagues. Each of us are dealing with an influx of change; working remote, Telehealth, changes in client care, work-life boundaries, increased hours, and higher demands at work. We can ask ourselves, how can I better support our team, colleagues and my own mental health.

Here are two simple steps each of us can take to bring greater impact to those we serve, and some examples to get us started.

Cultivate a Culture of Gratitude

Research has shown, expressing gratitude is beneficial to our health and well-being; both as the giver and recipient. Additionally, when people feel acknowledged, they’re more likely to socialize, help others in-turn, and build stronger work connections. There are many ways we can cultivate gratitude within our teams, not only around the holidays but also year-round.

Share appreciation for your team

  • Simple praise for a job well done can make a person’s day, be specific and timely
  • Create a fun trophy which team members pass around 

Shine a spotlight on usually unseen accomplishments

  • Don’t let the routine or unexciting parts of the job go unnoticed
  • A simple acknowledgement dedication and hard work goes a long way 

Say ‘thank you’ often… put a sticky note on your laptop as a reminder

  • A little reminder to say ‘thank you’ during normal conversations

Focus on What We Can Control… Talk to Your Team

While we can’t control the world around us, we can control how we support our teams and colleagues. Often times, we get so caught up in the day-to-day and whirlwind of change we forget to step back and remember why we’re in this business in the first place. The simple act of showing you care and seeking others thoughts is immensely powerful. Here are several questions to ask your team to uncover joy, frustration and new ideas.

What made you smile today?

  • Ask why… you’ll get to know them more personally and can incorporate into your leadership

What would make your day easier? 

  • Be curious! Imagine if we could save 1 hr/day, how would this happen
  • Opportunities to remove small obstacles or insert help are everywhere

How can I better support you?

  • Keeping this top of mind illustrates you care
  • This is another opportunity to uncover obstacles and areas for innovation

Be Remarkably Grateful

Tomorrow may be Thanksgiving, but giving thanks should be everyday. By taking intentional steps to show appreciation we can cultivate a culture of gratitude which lives all year. Taking time to talk helps each of us mentally; we need to practice this within our agency and team, not just with our clients. 

Each of us are in the behavioral and mental health field because we want to help others. And all of us here at Remarkable Health are obsessed with supporting you through removing obstacles. Reach out and say hi you’d like to chat, learn how others have worked to show gratitude or remove obstacles.

Happy Thanksgiving, and thank you for all you do!

Peter Flick CEO and Remarkable Health

Peter Flick
CEO

6 Essential Billing Solutions to Drive Revenue

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Does your EHR solution follow the full behavioral health client life-cycle in a way that allows you to effectively manage your revenue cycle? If not, it may be time to consider a solution that does just that. Look for these six essential behavioral health billing solutions to ensure you maximize cash flow and improve your revenue cycle management. 

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Behavioral Health Staff Productivity and Utilization: Is Overproduction a Good Thing?

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You recognize the value of data to drive innovation  within your agency, but you aren’t sure where to begin. The data has yet to expose your current state of business and guide future decision-making opportunities. You may be asking yourself, “how do I analyze the data I have?” or “what data should I be looking at to begin with?”. In this blog, we are going to take a deep dive into data as it pertains to your staff – arguably the most important asset at your agency. Specifically, how has COVID-19 impacted staff productivity and utilization and how does this affect the future sustainability of your agency?

How Has COVID-19 Impacted Staff Productivity & Utilization?

What data should you monitor when analyzing the effects of COVID-19 on staff productivity and utilization? Examining the three metrics below will help ensure the time and productivity of your providers are optimized, to ultimately safeguard against increased employee turnover.

  1. Progress Notes Submitted by Staff: Monitor the number of completed progress notes by staff to expose potential burnout, gaps in staffing, or availability to allocate staff to suffering programs.
  2. Billable Hours by Staff: Evaluate the schedule of your staff to understand how much time is being spent on billable hours of service in a day or week.
  3. Time Utilization by Staff: Validate your staff is spending time most effectively across clients and programs.

Implications of Data on the Future Retention of Your Team

Now that we know what metrics to monitor, what trends should we be looking for? What questions should we ask ourselves? The answers to these questions are ultimately where the value of data is found. Data transitions from numbers to a story formed about the health of your staff.

Progress Notes Submitted by Staff: What changes do you observe in the number of progress notes submitted by staff member when comparing date ranges of January – March to April – June? Have completed progress notes increased? Decreased? How has an increase or decrease in number of full-time and part-time staff effected this number? For instance, if your staff size has increased in the past 3 months, you should see an increase in completed progress notes. Ultimately, analyzing progress notes should reveal two key areas that drive future decisions for your agency:

  1. Through comparative analysis are you able to verify consistency between the number of completed progress notes with the revenue trends of your agency in regard to total services being provided as a result of COVID-19?
  2. Will an influx in services needed sustain or drop off post-pandemic? Will your agency be able to sustain the current number of progress notes being submitted over the long-term? What implications does this have on your future staffing needs? If there is contradiction in the number of completed progress notes you forecast with the number of staff needed to complete those notes, will your staff become burnt out? Or will your staff be under-utilized?

Billable Hours by Staff: If a remote clinician is now providing ten billable hours of service in a day as opposed to six billable hours of service (which you are able to validate through an increase in created claims volume) and doing concurrent documentation, it is evident that staff member has become more productive working from home during quarantine. But, as a result, will this staff member become over-worked? Knowing what your data says about the productivity of staff can have huge implications on retention. How can you encourage providers to block off time in their schedules to eat and take needed breaks between virtual sessions? It is vital to set new expectations with staff. Production data can help guide you in the best ways to support your staff and what new expectations may be appropriate.

Time Utilization by Staff: Based on your providers’ schedules, are providers making the most of their time? Are each of your team members currently utilizing 50% of their schedule capacity? 115%? How does the increase in demand for specific service types dictate how you allocate your staffing resources to match this demand? It is up to you to ensure schedules are being maximized by each staff member and reallocated as necessary for both the health of your agency and the health of each staff member.

Another consideration is travel time. You are likely seeing a decrease in travel time if you have seen virtual services increase. With a decrease in travel time, should come an increase in services provided by staff. If comparative analysis between January – March and April – June reveals less time in the car, are you seeing an increase in progress notes? If not, are you seeing an increase in the quality of completed progress notes? Or are you seeing a quicker turnaround time of progress notes submitted? All of these will help you to understand the past and current state of that employee’s productivity and how it relates to their overall engagement?

Bottom Line Impact: Engaged Staff Leads to Sustainable Services for Clients

Ultimately, each agency must read the story their specific data is telling through looking at key metrics and asking the correct questions. From this data, it is imperative to understand the implications it has on optimizing the time and productivity of your providers, while increasing engagement of staff.  If your team becomes disengaged due to burn out and overproduction, turnover will skyrocket. If your agency experiences high turnover, the individuals you serve may experience negative effects in the quality of services provided. If the individuals you serve are not benefiting from the services provided to them, those individuals may begin to no-show or transition to a new provider altogether. Without increased and quality billable services being provided to these clients, the future ability of your agency to help additional clients may be compromised.

Join us next week as we continue to explore the effects data has on key areas of your agency!