The National Council for Behavioral Health and Nashville-based Qualifacts, a leading EHR platform for behavioral health and human service organizations, recently released results of their national survey of behavioral health providers to gauge the role virtual care has played during COVID-19.
More than 1,000 providers in the areas of behavioral health, substance abuse, and intellectual and developmental disabilities completed the survey and offered deep insights into the following areas of interest: How were they handling a remote workforce? How were their operations and revenues affected? And what technology solutions were they putting into place?
The results, unsurprisingly, showed rapid and significant structural changes in order to continue effective, efficient care to the communities served:
- 80 percent said they were delivering care virtually at least 60 percent of the time now,
- 70 percent said at least 40 percent of their care will be virtual going forward,
- 64 percent have experienced revenue losses -- yet also report decreased no-show rates, and
- 20 percent said they'd need a new EHR in order to support new virtual programming.
"Telehealth has always eliminated barriers to access," said Chuck Ingoglia, president and CEO of National Council for Behavioral Health. "With the pandemic erecting substantial new barriers to in-person care, patients and providers embraced telehealth in historic numbers. Virtual care represents the safest, most efficient means to provide behavioral health treatment and services during the pandemic. This timely survey clearly demonstrates that virtual care is here to stay and will remain a viable option for treatment long after the pandemic."
David Klements, president and CEO of Qualifacts, added, "The full short- and long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are not yet known, but these insights and data-driven priorities allow Qualifacts and the National Council to respond quickly on everything from adaptable, flexible technology solutions to promoting legislative changes to make sure that virtual care remains an effective and important part of their overall services portfolio."