C3 2014 Wrap-up Video

Thank you for making C3 2014 the biggest and best yet!

Historic Mental Health Legislation Passes in the Senate

WE-DID-ITThe U.S. Senate today passed legislation that included $900 million to fund the bipartisan Excellence in Mental Health Act.  The legislation, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives last week as part of the Medicare SGR Repeal bill, establishes a two year demonstration program in eight states to offer a broad range of mental health and substance use treatment services, including 24-hour crisis psychiatric services, while setting new standards for provider organizations.

» Read more from the National Council

That One Thing Every Behavioral Health Provider is Worried About This Year

If you weren’t one of the 400 attendees at our “ICD-10″ webinar this week, you missed out on a wonderful learning opportunity from Lisette Wright, independent consultant with Behavioral Health Solutions, P.A.

Lisette Wright, M.A.

Lisette Wright, M.A.

If your behavioral health/human services organization is a HIPAA entity (yes, it is), you need actionable information to help you prepare for the transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10. The transition to ICD-10 is mandatory effective October 1, 2014. Will you be ready?

Lisette was able to explain why the change is such a big adjustment for those who diagnose:

  • ICD-10 requires far more specificity and details in the documentation to support the diagnosis.
  • There are no exact crosswalks between code sets
  • Transitioning to the ICD-10 code set will require clinical judgement, thought, and a little more time.
  • Some payers may still require DSM codes for prior authorizations

Lisette also included this very helpful diagram and explanation of the ICD-10 “F code” format:


  • Chapter F = Chapter 5 in ICD-10
  • Category = condition or drug of choice
  • Last 4 digits represent the clinical state: etiology, severity, manifestation and placeholders

Note: Some T codes, Y codes, and R codes are applicable to SU diagnosing (T50.905= Adverse effect of unspecified drugs, medicaments and biological substances).

Also very helpful were Lisette’s tips for preparing for the Clinical Documentation Implications:

  • Prepare staff that changes are coming and how they need to document
  • Medical Necessity and Documentation Improvements
  • Higher level of specificity and new policies, procedures and expectations
  • Will require training of staff in new workflows and processes; use of diagnostic language and criteria in record

Listette also provides consulting services to providers to help them transition to ICD-10. If you would like to contact Lisette, you can reach her though her website and via email.

Kicking Off EHR Implementation Right in Tennessee

It’s just great when a big project you have been working on for a long time starts coming together, isn’t it?

That’s just what happened when the Qualifacts team went just down the road a bit for the Tennessee Mental Health Consumers’ Association electronic health record project kick-off.

The TMHCA is Tennessee’s only statewide consumer owned and operated organization with a board of directors and staff composed entirely of individuals with a mental illness. It is an organization that understands and lives the concept of peer-support, and that mission extends to their CareLogic EHR project.

Qualifacts implementation team member Blake Urmos caught a bit of the action on camera. Check out the slide show for TMHCA’s kick-off story:

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2014 Budget Passed by House Includes BIG BUMP for Mental Health

The National Council for Behavioral Health just announced that the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill –  also expected to pass in the Senate – that provides large increases over the 2013 allocations for mental health funding including $15 million for Mental Health First Aid training. The budget agreement H.R.3547 largely spares healthcare programs from any major reductions.

Important for our CareLogic users is that SAMHSA will receive a $144 million increase over fiscal year 2013 levels, for a total budget of $3.6 billion. Some of the highlights of the SAMSHA grant increases that we think our users will find particularly exciting are:

  • $50 million for the Primary-Behavioral Health Care Integration (PBHCI) program, which supports the co-location of services in behavioral health and primary care settings
  • $15 million for a new grant program to provide Mental Health First Aid training to police officers, first responders, judges, social workers and the staff of college and university counseling centers, among others
  • $484 million for the Mental Health Block Grant, 5 percent of which will be used to support evidence-based programs that address the needs of individuals with early serious mental illness, including psychotic disorders
  • $46 million for the National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative

This is a step in the right direction toward parity.

Click HERE to read the full article.

Putting the Usability in Meaningful Use

Mary Givens, Qualifacts Meaningful Use Program Manager

Mary Givens, Qualifacts Meaningful Use Program Manager

We have seen this coming for a while, and this is the year. I’m speaking, of course, about the number of physicians that will switch from one certified EHR to another in 2014 – or “physician EHR replacement behavior,” according to the latest buzz phrase.

Although Black Book Rankings called 2013 “The Year of the BIG EHR Switch,” Bloomberg Businessweek estimates 1 in 6 physicians will switch EHRs in 2014.

But, why are they switching and why now?

The majority of dissatisfied users blame themselves for having to switch because they did not analyze their business practice needs enough but rather jumped too rapidly for the narrow goal of the money to be gained under the EHR Incentive Programs.

The other reasons clinicians switch from one CEHRT to another can really be lumped into a single category: usability. The meaningful use features just were not built with the end user in mind. If the features are difficult to integrate into a physician’s business processes, this can result in the provider seeing less patients and taking more time to document in the EHR than it did to document on paper. Couple that with difficult upgrades and poor customer service, and you have droves of EPs and their organizations saying, “Get me out of here!”

In fact, some critics contend that the government’s role in incentivizing the use of EHRs also removed or diminished the type of market forces that would keep unusable systems from being available for long.

According to acting national coordinator for health IT Dr. Jacob Reider, “[S]ome have argued that the meaningful use incentive program altered market forces in a way that prevents well-intentioned products from failing as did Apple’s first ‘personal digital assistant.’”

Are your agency’s eligible professionals in this category of dissatisfied users, or are they in danger of joining those ranks? Meaningful Use depends on these folks using the certified EHR technology effectively in order to successfully participate in the EHR Incentive Programs, eHealth initiatives, CARF health homes, pay-for-performance models and more.

With that in mind, I hope you’ll join me for a webinar I’m hosting this Thursday when I’ll share with you the critical elements to look for in a CEHRT to avoid buyers remorse and the need to switch.

Register today for “I Need a Hero: Finding the Right EHR for Meaningful Use in 2014 & Beyond”
Thursday, January 16 at 2pm EST/1pm CST

Now is the time to choose meaningfully. The right EHR and the right EHR vendor will lead and support the provider and agency as you move forward with integrated care service models and pay for performance payer contracts.

No more sticky notes!

Dr. Tom Ford, Chief Executive Officer for Lookout Mountain Community Services in La Fayette, Ga., tells the story of how improved usability changed one clinician’s work for the better.

Tom Ford, CEO

Tom Ford, CEO

With our previous system, one clinician had sticky notes posted all around her computer screen to remind her what to do next. She was able to make it work, but that system had her muttering every day about how difficult the process was.

After we implemented CareLogic, she was able to get rid of the sticky notes. She actually said, “This is so much simpler!” So simple, that she now does concurrent, collaborative documentation with her clients – a process that was too cumbersome in the previous system. In fact, every direct care provider in the organization – developmental disability staff and self-proclaimed “computer illiterate” psychiatrists included – uses CareLogic.

The streamlined clinical workflow has even improved billing now that clinicians can see for themselves – without IT running a report – what claims aren’t going out the door. They know what the errors are, what service documents haven’t been signed, and take responsibility. Direct care staff members are so much more efficient now because CareLogic makes it so much easier for them to document the services they are providing.


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