Staying Afloat in the Maryland Behavioral Healthcare and Addiction Treatment Market During COVID
PHOTO: A graph of new COVID cases in Maryland, one state that has seen a slow but steady recovery. However, the need to provide behavioral healthcare and addiction treatment services is as present as ever.
After a month in phase two of recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, Maryland has seen a steady decline in new coronavirus cases and new coronavirus deaths. While Maryland officials have been fairly hesitant to enter phase three, continuing to require masks inside of stores and restricting closed spaces to 50% capacity, the health crisis of COVID-19 is not over. Summer beach trips, Fourth of July celebrations, protests, and Northern Virginia entering phase three all necessitate caution on the part of Marylanders. During this stage, Maryland behavioral healthcare and addiction treatment providers can follow a few steps to overcome their pain points on the road to recovery. Providers in other states, take note!
Pain point one: funding. If your organization has encountered financial issues during the pandemic, there may be financial resources to help. Monitor SAMHSA’s list of grants here: https://www.samhsa.gov/grants/grant-announcements-2020. Some of them may not apply to you but they add new ones every few weeks. Sign up for their mailing list at the top to stay updated. Beverly Vayhinger is the main contact at SAMHSA for grant information: (240) 276-0564 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Maryland providers can also look for state grants here. Grant Watch maintains a list of other states as well.
Treatment center owners may consider some of the resources available through the Small Business Administration (SBA) to get through this time. These could include paycheck protection (PPP) and loan forgiveness. See here.
Among our current clients and our connections in the behavioral healthcare industry, we’ve witnessed firsthand your commitment to keep serving your patient population no matter what and adapting to remote sessions when it was not what you really wanted to do. AZZLY® Founder and CEO Coletta Dorado put it this way: “We have met husbands, wives, partners, kids and pets. Thank you for welcoming us into your homes. For those that were allowed to keep their facility doors open every day, you did not skip a beat and are serving more than before COVID.”
As you tirelessly work to serve your patients, don’t forget to take care of your staff and yourself. Stay on a regular schedule, keep an open line of communication, check in on each other, and don’t be afraid to take a break now and then.
If you or your staff are meeting with patients remotely right now, telehealth tools are crucial. And that doesn’t just mean Zoom® or Facetime®. While some video-conferencing platforms are HIPAA-compliant to facilitate sessions, HIPAA also requires the documentation of these telehealth calls be stored in an electronic health record rather than in the Zoom cloud. Streamline your process to have as few steps as possible when it comes to scheduling, documenting, and billing for your telehealth sessions.
When you are able to open your doors to clients for in-patient clients (for some of you, they never closed!), you will still need to be able to handle the volume of patients. The coronavirus pandemic and related circumstances (economic insecurity, social isolation, fear for the health of loved ones and self) create a scenario that exacerbates mental illness and substance use disorders. In Maryland, there has been a rise in opioid overdoses during the pandemic, as much as doubling in areas like Prince George’s County. In other states—including in Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Florida—COVID flareups, requirements to operate at 50% capacity, and financial difficulties have all limited the operations of some treatment centers. To continue to serve without being overwhelmed and get reimbursed quickly, organizations need the support of a vendor partner with a scalable, modern system.
Intake, scheduling, documentation, prescribing (if applicable), reimbursements — all of these are considerations that need to be taken into account for each new patient. To manage this growth efficiently, handle reimbursements, and keep staff happy, providers need to consider AZZLY Rize™.
Telemedicine and automation are a priority right now. AZZLY’s founder and CEO Coletta Dorado said, “Within the mental health space since COVID began, we have seen a significantly increased interest in infrastructure and technology amongst mental health providers.” We are dedicated to serving mental healthcare and addiction treatment providers so that they can continue to serve their clients. Our seamless solution is an all-in-one EHR/PM/RCM solution specialty-specific to behavioral healthcare and addiction treatment.
Our Integrated Care Pathways™ provide an individualized chronological medical record of each service or event provided during an episode of care. By connecting a patient’s diagnosis to medications (if any), to labs, to their individual treatment plan, to the selected outcome measurement tool for real-time auto scoring and relative risk display, to adjusting the patient’s goals in the treatment plan review, to adjusting the levels of care or frequency of services offered – filtered to show a day, a week, a month, a quarter, a year view in one view – one report can be very meaningful during a UR review or a chart audit. Such a report is important when calculating the improved clinical outcomes of the population that you serve.
Through our partnership with Zoom, clients can schedule sessions, log notes in the EHR, and submit claims all in one seamless system – easy! For billing, AZZLY®’s Professional Claims screen will allow you to select Telehealth as the Place of Service (POS). AZZLY has a strong billing and claims platform that enables our clients to submit medical claims seamlessly with a first-time pass rate over 98%. Additionally, we are committed to making it even smoother. We have partnered with Twilio® to integrate their services in AZZLY Rize™ in 2020. Twilio is the new normal for telehealth. They are the world’s leading cloud communication platform that enables you to engage customers across channels – SMS, voice, video, WhatsApp, email and more. With telehealth, integrated e-prescribing, and mobile payments, your whole staff can stay in touch anytime, anywhere.
The next step is scheduling a discovery call with an AZZLY EHR and Billing Specialist. Fill out this brief form and one will be in touch to discuss your organization’s needs. Contact AZZLY with any inquiries at email@example.com or (407) 255-2357.