Measurement based care is an evidence-based approach to providing mental health services. It uses outcomes data, often symptom rating scales, to help clinicians and patients track their progress. It’s an increasingly important part of behavioral health treatment, and it can have a profound impact on patient outcomes.
Outcomes Data Can Drive Behavioral Health Investment
Ultimately, measurement based care is one of the best ways to show the relationship between the quality of your behavioral health treatment and your physical health savings. If you can demonstrate that, you’ll be able to attract more investment in your service delivery and strengthen the field.
The Importance of Quality Measurements
Behavioral health is becoming more and more focused on improving outcomes, as the industry moves away from traditional fee-for-service towards value-based payment systems. This is especially true in the context of Medicare and Medicaid, where many programs are based on outcome measures.
Payors are also increasingly embracing these measures, so it’s important to understand their role and use them wisely to optimize your practice.
The first step in understanding what measures are and how they work is to understand their purpose: How do they provide insight into the quality of care, and how can they improve it? Moreover, how can they inform decision-making about the allocation of resources?
Outcomes define a patient’s status at some point in time, usually at the end of a specific treatment episode. These outcomes can be negative or positive, but they usually describe the improvement a patient experiences following treatment.
In the past, outcomes have been mainly focused on health-related outcomes such as death or disease. However, a growing number of outcome measures now focus on more general concepts, such as disability and discomfort.
Responsiveness: A measure is responsive if it can detect changes in patient health status even when there are significant measurement errors, such as missing data.
Exclusions/Exceptions: A measure may exclude a defined group of patients from its denominator if it would not apply to them due to medical reasons, patient reasons, or system-related issues.
Metrics That Can be Automated
Using a well-designed EHR can be a great way to automate the collection and reporting of measurement data, making the process easier for both you and your payors. You’ll be able to automatically send evaluations to your patients for completion and integrate those results into their records, without adding extra paperwork or consuming extra time during each appointment.
You’ll also be able to easily communicate with your payors about these results and help them see the value of these outcomes for your practice, which will increase their willingness to make payments for your services.
Monetary Reimbursement for Outcomes Data
If you’re interested in delivering more effective care to your patients, it’s time to take your business to the next level. Measurement based care is the most effective way to accomplish this, but it can be challenging to implement.
In order to get started, it’s essential to have a workable process and dedicated staff in place. Having these things in place will make the entire process less confusing, and ensure that measurements are a natural part of your day-to-day workflow. You can also leverage the power of a strong, proven platform like NeuroFlow to derive insights from assessment results and other key data points.