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Important content and news for mental health professionals.
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There has been a lot of emphasis in recent years on creation of a professional will, a document that clarifies who has responsibility for client records and finances, should a therapist die. While a professional will is a great start, it is not enough.
No one can say that you don't have to be on your toes to keep up with changes in the field of mental health. 2013's big changes included new CPT codes and the DSM-V. This year's will include ICD-10 and the latest stage of implementation of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
In my private practice consulting work, I'm often asked by mental health professionals which type of computer they should get. It wasn't that long ago that the choices were simple.
Proress Notes are an integral part of the work of mental health and wellness professionals. Keeping good clinical notes allows a provider to recall information more readily, focus on targeted goals, and track progress.
Imagine going to your favorite restaurant or store one day and seeing a new two to three percent surcharge on your bill? When you ask, they inform you of a new policy that calls for passing credit card merchant fees on to the customer. How would you feel?
In carrying out these tasks, it's important to be mindful since there are legal and ethics implications. To ensure proper conversion, recall these two key terms: Verify and Backup Remotely.
A private practice doesn't exist without client appointments. Unless the practitioner or office manager is gifted with perfect memory, a tool for keeping track of those appointments is necessary.
With growing frequency, vendors market their software, devices, and services as "HIPAA Compliant". This feeds into the mistaken belief that such beasts exist. It's somewhat understandable.
CentralReach starts off with a wonderful premise and shows a lot of promise. A newcomer to the market (launched in late 2012), CentralReach endeavors to not only provide a Meaningful-Use Certified EHR for mental health professionals, but also a tool through which users and other professionals can collaborate.
DocuTrac, Inc. has been around for quite some time, starting as a traditional software program focused on documentation. They eventually acquired Office Therapy, primarily to serve as the financial piece of the practice management system.
How much time and money would your practice save if it no longer had to worry about reminding Clients about appointments? What if you no longer had to print Intake forms and assessments?
At the beginning of March, 2018, Practice Fusion announced that they will no longer be offering free accounts as of June 1, 2018. New users must sign up for a paid account and current users must sign up for a subscription by May 31, or be given limited access.
Therapists aren't alone in being confused about domain names. Despite the Internet being commonplace for over twenty years now, the inner workings of Domain Name Service remain a mystery to many.
Delphi is a true dinosaur in the cloud-based practice management system market, pre-dating most of the other offerings. Unlike many of the “traditional” practice management systems that have struggled to keep pace with new rush toward cloud-computing, Delphi has adapted and continued to keep pace with changes in the industry.
In this series, I discuss and evaluate cloud-based EHR/practice management systems. These are online software solutions that allow you to manage various facets of your practice electronically, typically through a web browser.
It was brought to my attention through one of Tamara Suttle's wonderful Private Practice From the Inside Out channels, that eTherapi appears to be listing thousands of therapists without their permission.
I feel pretty safe in stating that most mental health and wellness professionals are not in this line of work primarily for the money. Still, most of us in private practice are hoping to make a living or at least supplement our income.
EHR Your Way's core selling point is the ability to take your current forms (progress notes, treatment plans, forms you're required to complete as part of a contract, etc.) and integrate them into a robust practice management system.
In the previous articles, I have covered the major features and concerns when evaluating a Cloud-Based Practice Management System. There are quite a few more things to consider that are less universal and/or don't require full article unto themselves.
It appears that Yodle is heavily targeting mental health practitioners for new business. In addition to receiving the cold calls myself, I've received multiple reports from others who have received them as well.
One of the strongest selling points of an EMR/EHR or Practice Management System, is the potential for huge time savings. When well programmed and structured, most tasks can be completed in these systems through pull down menus and mouse clicks.
While it would be nice if EHR / Practice Management Software would produce clients for us, this feature is about tracking client data. At a bare minimum, practitioners have a need to track names and contact information for clients
This comes with some caveats, however. The most important one, in my opinion, is the need to protect our clients' (and prospective clients') privacy by being mindful about how we address case consultation and referrals online.
Choosing which crowdfunding platform to use for a project is one of the most important decisions to make and one that should be settled on early in the process.
With the House voting yesterday to approve the latest "avoid the fiscal cliff" bill and President Obama promising to sign it, the Medicare "doc fix" will once again occur.
The SGR referenced in this article was ended by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2015. This article remains published for reference.
Procentive is another in the class of Meaningful Use Certified EHRs that has been working to broaden its marketing appeal. All but solo, part-time practitioners who want integrated insurance filing are likely to find a pricing and features plan that might work for them with Procentive.
If you've been following this series, you've probably noticed I bring up time and money a lot. Specifically I point to how the various features of Cloud-Based EHR / Practice Management Systems have the potential to save practices a significant amount of both time and money.
Recommendations for technology, web sites, secure email, phone, credit card processing, therapy tools/interventions, podcasts, and much more!
As a mental health professional, you've probably been hearing a lot about how you should encrypt your email communications with clients. This is true, with some caveats.
Health Information Exchanges (HIE) are an initiative related to the Affordable Care Act and the HITECH Act. Their purpose is to ease the communication between the EHR/systems of various providers of health care, because the EHRs themselves are behind in doing so (i.e. interoperability).
This policy explains how Rob Reinhardt, LPC, PA (owner/operator of the Tame Your Practice web site and used interchangably below) may collect, use and aggregate personal information about you on https://www.tameyourpractice.com. Rob Reinhardt, LPC, PA respects your personal privacy and is committed to protecting it.
ICANotes has made some improvements since my last update. Most notably, they've shined and polished their scheduling system. In my opinion, it's the most aesthetically pleasing part of the application and now has robust availability search functionality.
One of the most important things I've learned during my evaluation of Cloud-Based EHR / Practice Management Systems is that not all HIPAA Business Associate Agreements (BAA) are equal. This was brought into focus for me when I had an attorney, specializing in HIPAA, review the BAA of one of the vendors.
MHP Office originally was on a fast track for growth. While maintaining one of its strongest selling points, the “Checkout Wizard”, it had added further standout features that make it a viable application for many practitioners.
Carepath's eRecord application packs an impressive array of features. They have all the major feature categories covered and have some unique offerings like a complete suite of note and assessment templates.
One of the top concerns I hear expressed about keeping electronic records in a cloud-based system are the ongoing monthly costs.
How do you avoid a phishing attack? No, I'm not talking about rampaging schools of piranha, nor the venerable, ever touring rock band. I don't even mean that amazing ice cream flavor that references the aforementioned rock band.
Ever since the Affordable Care Act (aka ACA or Obamacare) was passed in 2010, people have been speculating as to how it would impact mental health providers in private practice.
Meaningful Use, in relation to EHRs, is an incentive program run by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services along with regional supporting offices. The goal of the program is to encourage the adoption of EHRs by eligible professionals (EPs), eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAHs)
Many of us have experienced it. We've hit upon a wonderful idea for a product. Something we'd like to have; something we know our friends and colleagues would value. We've even figured out what it would look like and how to use it.
Many of us are concerned, even wary, about what health insurance companies do with the medical data they collect about us and our clients. What's perhaps even more concerning is the prevalence of such data being used, traded, and sold by other entities, including some EHR (Electronic Health Record) vendors.
TherapyPartner has been a player in the realm of cloud-based mental health practice management services for many years. Their original focus was to provide automated credit card billing and statement generation and their primary target market has been professionals in a fee for service practice.
TheraNest continues to develop and add new features at a rapid pace. Their newest is the integration of secure video, allowing clinicians to schedule and hold telehealth sessions with clients.
Since that time, WebPT has acquired TheraBill. It's important to note that TheraBill started out as an OT/ST/PT software that then extended it's market to mental health professionals.
Some readers of this series on Cloud-Based Practice Management Systems have asked why I've not been using the current buzz terms like EHR and EMR. I thought I'd take a brief opportunity to explain.
While many mental health and wellness professionals are interested in an integrated practice management system, there are those that wish to keep their systems and information separate. For many this is driven by relationships.
TherapyMate is relative newcomer to the scene, and has made some significant improvements since my original review. It sports a clean, well-organized interface and pricing based on the number of active clients.
I often help mental health clinicians create and follow-through with a plan to go paperless in their private practice. Following is a brief checklist of what that often entails:
Considering it just became publicly available in 2016, TherapyZen is already off to a solid start. From the helpful set up wizard to the clean, user-friendly interface, there's a lot to like.
At first glance, the combination of MyClientsPlus and Jituzu seems enticing. They have all the major feature groups covered and Jituzu even offers integrated credit card processing. The gloss quickly fades however,
ClinicTracker is an application to investigate for larger practices (at least ten users) needing a robust feature set, customization options, and/or a Meaningful Use certified EHR. Small therapy-centric private practices may find ClinicTracker to be overwhelming and cumbersome.
BestNotes started out as a solution for residential treatment homes and retains a significant market share there. They've eventually recognized the usefulness of their tool in other environments and have expanded their marketing to include those providing outpatient therapy.
A primary concern for HIPAA Covered Entities when evaluating cloud based applications is whether they are HIPAA compliant. The short version is, if you file insurance claims electronically, you are likely a HIPAA Covered Entity.
Therasoft Online put some significant improvements and new features in place the last time I evaluated it. Particularly noticable is the much more friendly user interface that resulted from a facelift and overall design overhaul.
I don't believe it is news to any of us that most mental health professionals don't have a strong business background. This is not surprising considering the topic is rarely even brushed against in our graduate level coursework.
Technology expert, Licensed Professional Counselor, and CEO of Tame Your Practice, Rob Reinhardt provides his insightful reviews of EHR - Practice Management Systems intended for therapists in private practice.
I have been using Square (also known as SquareUp) since 2012 and have been very pleased with the service. I've recommended it to countless mental health clinicians looking for an easy, affordable way to accept credit cards. For those who may not have seen it yet,
In an odd development within the last 24 hours, the TrueCrypt site as well as the download site at SourceForge have delivered an announcement that TrueCrypt is no longer being developed and will not be safe to use.
Evidence is mounting that, under the right circumstances, telehealth can be as effective as in-person delivery of services. Consequently, interest in this mode of service delivery has been increasing swiftly and exponentially.
If you are a user of Gmail, you may have noticed something new recently. A small red padlock has been mysteriously appearing on some of the emails you are receiving or composing.
TherapyAppointment 2.0 has arrived (2019), and it looks great! TherapyAppointment was one of the first applications in this market that serves solo and group behavioral health private practices.
The ensuing investigation resulted in HONI agreeing to pay a $50,000 settlement to the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR). It's important to note that the fine wasn't a direct result of the breach.
Many of the features one might want in a Practice Management System are present in the free version of the OfficeAlly product (Practice Mate). The pieces that aren't there can be found in Patient Ally (Client Portal) and EHR 24/7 (More refined EHR features).
Like so many of these applications, BreezyNotes started out as an application developed by a mental health professional who couldn't find an application that met their needs. In 2015, that application was put out for general public use and is adding features on a regular basis.
It was March and I was at the American Counseling Association Conference in Orlando. My primary goals for the conference were to rock the two presentations I was involved in and to network, network, network.
In addition to using strong-passwords, and a password manager (I use LastPass), I strongly encourage everyone to use Multi-Factor Authentication (now, more commonly referred to as Two-Factor Authentication or 2FA) whenever possible.
Whether you see Edward Snowden as a patriotic whistle blower or a traitor to his country, he has some valuable insights into technology and privacy.
Still, ClinicSource's pricing suggests that it's a notch above the other applications in its market. In many areas of the application it is evident that there is more attention to detail and some features that other applications lack.
WriteUpp doesn't set out to be everything to everyone. In fact, they are counting on a target market for those who want the most basic of practice management solutions. They're off to a good start in that respect, with a nice clean, uncomplicated interface.
We've probably all done it. Signed a contract or checked an “I agree to the terms and conditions” box on a web site without a thorough reading of the terms. I'll readily admit that I've done it dozens of times. There are certain instances, however, when it's imperative that we read through such agreements.
We use All Call Technologies for our private practice and can personally vouch, not only for the quality of the product, but the great customer service and attention to detail paid by the staff
Mental health professionals (and others!) often have great ideas for products that never make it to market. Often the primary barrier is that of initial funding for the project.
One of the most impressive aspects of PSYBooks is that it has come out of the gates with ERA functionality. Most applications have added that long after launching since it can be one of the more complex features to implement.