MH DHS revised guidelines for Brief Diagnostic Assessments – Actually Makes Them More Brief

As of 12-17-17, DHS significantly reduced the requirements for Brief DAs, and increased the number of therapy sessions that can be provided prior to completing the Brief DA to three sessions.  These changes delete eight previously required sections, making the Brief DA truly more brief.

Tony Puente, Ph.D., on ICD 10 coding challenges for mental health professionals

Anthony Puente, Ph.D., President-Elect of the American Psychological Association and coding expert, provided an excellent webinar, “Getting Reimbursed for Treatment of Behavioral and Neurocognitive Disorders,” on Aug. 31, 2016.  This webinar was offered to members of the APA Practice Organization, and will be posted on the APAPO website. (He had help for an APAPO staff member, whose name was not listed in the slides and I was unable to figure out her name from the sound track.)

Digital Secure Messaging: The Solution for Confidentiality Concerns For MH Coordination of Care

By Richard Sethre, Psy.D., L.P., with generous research support provided by Procentive The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, or “Obamacare”) includes many major changes in the delivery of healthcare, including increased communication between medical providers to coordinate care. This has created significant challenges for Mental Health Professionals (MHPs).  The PPACA mandates eventual use of Electronic Heath Records (EHRs) that have capabilities that raise concerns for MHPs about patient confidentiality, including the capability of exchanging Protected Health Information (PHI) among the patient’s medical professionals.

Update on new CMS guidelines about patient access to their records

Update on new CMS guidelines about patient access to their records

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently published new HIPAA guidelines clarifying the rights of patients to access their medical records.  The guidelines, as is typical for CMS, are pretty dense and detailed, but the New York Times published a more easily digested summary, “New Guidelines Nudge Doctors to Give Patients Access to Medical Records,” on 1-16-16.

The Future is Here in Maryland – hospitals sign up for capitation, and need a network of MH professionals to make it work!

The Future is Here in Maryland – hospitals sign up for capitation, and need a network of MH professionals to make it work!

As reported in an NPR article published on 10-23-15, “In Maryland, A Change In How Hospitals Are Paid Boosts Public Health,” Maryland hospitals have been offered a voluntary capitated payment system, and, remarkably, every hospital in the state has signed up. The program has saved an estimated hundred million dollars in the first year of the program. The program is a collaboration with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The program emphasizes a flexible approach, rules that promote fairness and access to healthcare, establishing uniform policies and processes across hospital systems, support for the social mission of hospitals,