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Qualifacts Uses Data, Industry Position to Advocate for Behavioral Health Providers

Editor's Note: Business Insights is a new NMN series tapping into expertise in our community.

As the COVID-19 threat became imminent and we realized our company would need to create a virtual workplace plan -- and do so very quickly -- back in March, we also knew that our customers would be facing the same challenge. Behavioral health and human services providers are in the business of serving our communities' most vulnerable populations and doing so through in-person visits is a key component of their success. How would this $200 billion industry transition to a virtual setting?

Even as we made significant operational changes and enhancements in order to stand up our own virtual team, Qualifacts wasted no time reaching out to customers through our CareLogic Community, a unique social platform that serves as a networking and educational space for them. Here is where we learned that providers' overarching need was for support as they stood up telehealth solutions in a matter of days so they would not lose any ground in their support activities. Our team worked tirelessly on many different fronts to make that happen, most notably the rapid implementation of an integrated telehealth solution to support agencies' most pressing needs.

As a dominant behavioral health EHR provider across the United States, including 10 customers in Tennessee, Qualifacts had the expertise to create solutions as well as the experience to speak out about what our customers would need in those early days, as well as going forward. We leveraged our expertise in producing timely webinars by partnering with OPEN MINDS and the National Council for Behavioral Health to discuss the actions executives would need to take to navigate the "new normal," as well as with the team at McDermott + Consulting to analyze the flurry of aid packages coming out of Congress -- and show how providers could tap into and leverage those funds. We also created two online resources for our clients and others in the behavioral health space to gain access to rapidly changing information around regulatory changes and funding sources.

At the same time, providers told us they also needed help in making their case to state and federal regulators to loosen some restrictions around virtual services and reimbursement so that their businesses could survive the transition. To meet that challenge, we took a deep dive into the data generated by our proprietary CareLogic database, which utilizes information from more than 50 million mental health and addiction treatment services delivered to more than 1.5 million patients annually. This anonymized data was then offered to national media so that we could amplify the story being told by individual providers to local, state and national elected representatives.

The situation continues to be fluid, as a patchwork of regulations around reopening are being promulgated across the country. Behavioral health and human services providers have done a masterful job of pivoting quickly to a virtual world. They have protected their employees and maintained a lifeline to their clients. Our next step is a survey in partnership with the National Council for Behavioral Health, which was slated to come out the first week of May, to assess what the move to virtual care has meant for their business operations. That will allow Qualifacts to continue the necessary work on our end to make sure providers continue to get the services and support they need.


David Klements is president and CEO of Qualifacts, a trusted strategic partner and technology provider of electronic health records (EHR) for behavioral health and human services organizations. Qualifacts' EHR platform, CareLogic® and CareLogic Mobile helps organizations focus on client care by optimizing efficiency and productivity regardless of care environment or internet access. For more information, go to qualifacts.com.




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Tags:
Behavioral Health, COVID-19, David Klements, EHR, Electronic Health Record, Mental Health, National Council for Behavioral Health, Qualifacts, Telehealth
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