Your EMR/EHR Can Be So Much Better…

If you own or manage an addiction treatment center, do not make the mistake of purchasing a generic electronic medical/health record software! Addiction treatment and behavioral healthcare professionals have a unique workflow. Your EHR needs to support this process and be designed to fulfill your everyday needs.

Addiction Treatment EHR software is tailored to the needs of substance use and behavioral health facilities (both for-profit and not-for-profit). A treatment center needs an EHR platform that has compliance and clinical charting as top features. Treatment centers are getting their licensed pulled because of patient security concerns and not getting paid because of their poor clinical documentation. To stay in business, you must choose wisely.

When selecting the right EHR, consider your business plan and your patients. Think about your current programs and to anticipate any future programs you may add. For example: Detox programs that offer Residential 3.7 or 3.5 step downs, require strong medical necessity documentation, electronic medication administration and nursing assessments and evaluations along with clinical notes. Adding Day or Night Treatment or Intensive Outpatient or Outpatient should not entail a major makeover of your system but simply adding the required forms from a master library to your account.

An EHR that specializes in serving Substance Use and Behavioral Healthcare professionals can grow with your programs and/or locations that you serve. The elite addiction treatment EHRs are configured to generate standard custom reports and ad hoc analytics. The reports and analytics support both business and clinical asks. Many non-for-profits are burdened with creating a multitude of reports for funding agencies, each wanting a different format or set of data. A for-profit may have unique report requirements for Owners or Administrators, Boards or Equity Partners. The Joint Commission, starting in January 2018 is requiring Outcomes Reporting Measurement Tools be used for benchmarking and for statistical analysis to determine if treatment plans are being followed and if outcomes are improving.

If you are a consultant that serves this specialty, you become a hero when you assist in the selection of a software. Especially one that is specific to the business and clinical requirements and is easy to set up, implement and support.

What are the benefits of addiction treatment EHR software?

Most Addiction Treatment and Behavioral Health facilities are moving toward Joint Commission or CARF Accreditation. All addiction treatment centers are required to follow state licensing statutes and payer specific documentation for reimbursement. NAATP QAI will be requiring strict adherence to standards of practice to support best practice and higher ethical standards. The elite addiction treatment EHRs are prepared for this and even have their templates and documents tied into the Joint Commission elements to aid in any audit or review.

Here’s a short list of other benefits…

  • Client & Referral Management: Most addiction treatment EHRs begin at patient admission. The elite EHRs have pre-admission tools to help track referrals, insurance information, and basic patient information prior to intake and admissions. Outreach coordinators have always had a role in placing the patients in the treatment center, but they had to document information and notes in a separate system. Now outreach coordinators can engage their clinical and medical staff to better qualify and evaluate patients at intake.
  • Office Management: Every healthcare business has scheduling challenges of some sort. Anything from using a separate system like Gmail to paper calendars posted on walls, addiction treatment centers make the same mistakes. The majority of addiction treatment specific EHRs have a built-in scheduler. The elite addiction treatment EHRs have a scheduler that ties into reports to provide that additional check and balance that assures that what you say you are doing is getting done every day.
  • Admissions, Clinical, Medical Document Library: The elite addiction treatment EHRs offer an admissions document library as well as clinical and medical templates that are compliant with your state licensing agency and Joint Commission elements. The purpose of these templates is to support medical necessity. These documents can be customized as needed. The structure is focused on one thing: simplifying the clinical process while providing individualized detailed documentation.
  • Revenue Cycle Management, Billing & Clearinghouse Platform: Few addiction treatment EHRs have a billing and claims section. The majority of addiction treatment centers either contract their billing out to a 3rd party biller or do their billing in-house using a separate practice management software. Billers now have to login to the EHR and export the data they need. The data must then be downloaded and transferred into the practice management software. You must be visualizing the significant pitfalls in this process! The elite addiction treatment EHRs have an all-in-one approach with a fully integrated Revenue Cycle Management built in: IC10/DSM5, Professional and Institutional codes, as well as a clearinghouse for real time claim submission and posting capability included. Addiction treatment centers are realizing that performing their own Utilization Review (UR), having documentation and claims in one system for immediate payer interaction, faxing, authorizations and days, really empowers their AR staff. The entire billing process: ERA, EFT, patient statements, auto posting, merchant services (debit, credit, recurring or cash)- all electronically stored in one safe secure database for your convenience. Billers can also bill private pay and cash, generate patient statements and reports internally.
  • Labs: It is common for addiction treatment EHRs to have Uni-directional and bi-directional lab connectivity to speed the review and signature process of lab orders and results. Elite EHRs will already have established connections to LabCorp and Quest (the national labs) which are most used by insurance payers.

AZZLY® Rize™ is an elite addiction treatment EHR that includes all of the benefits stated above. We are in the business of transforming treatment centers. Visit us on our website,, if you are ready to take your treatment center to the next level.

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