Tag Archive for: Addiction

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Too Late for Some. Consequences of Maine Underfunding Addiction Treatment

discovery-houseThe Bangor Daily News (BDN)  helped give a public voice to substance use treatment facilities during these fiscally turbulent years in Maine. Individuals who are reaching out to get into treatment for their addiction are being wait-listed for long periods of time due to lack of state funding for opioid treatment programs. Maine is finally realizing the depth of their opiate problem and legislators are now taking steps to override the devastating changes. These changes have left thousands of opiate-dependent Mainers without treatment access.

Discovery House‘s Program Director Brent Miller spoke with Bangor Daily News about his clinic’s wait-list. Currently he has 550 methadone patients with approximately 61 people on their ever-growing wait-list. As soon as they are able to take in a new patient they call them, however, many times that individual has become unreachable for reasons like hospitalization, imprisonment or death from overdose. Brent told BDN, “You ought to celebrate that a person is reaching out to get well…We impugn them at every turn and make it difficult for them to actually do it. That’s why it’s a miracle that people are able to fight through the prejudice and actually get into recovery.”

There are whispers of treatment facility reimbursement rates being raised, but for now its just a waiting game. Read the full article

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Las Vegas is Calling

las-vegas-ncbhNational-Council-2016The National Council for Behavioral Healthcare (NatCon) ’16 Conference is March 7-9th at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas Nevada. This year’s program promotes a full schedule. Influential thinkers, industry leaders, and specialists are slotted to present invaluable information in a variety of educational sessions, workshops, and events.

Visit us at booth #815 and register to win this year’s gift give-away. Our Software Team will be on hand to answer any questions you may have and to demonstrate the features in SMART’s EHR.

We look forward to connecting with our current Partners and to building new relationships.

About National Council

“National Council for Behavioral Health is the unifying voice of America’s community mental health and addictions treatment organizations. Together with 2,000 + member organizations employing 750,000 staff, they serve our nation’s most vulnerable citizens – more than 8 million adults and children living with mental illnesses and addiction disorders. They are committed to ensuring all Americans have access to comprehensive, high-quality care that affords every opportunity for recovery and full participation in community life.”

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Discovery House Opens New Location in PA

Discovery House Opens New LocationDiscovery House, The Center of Recovery and Hope, has been treating individuals affected by opioid addiction since 1989. As CARF-accredited facilities, they serve Maine, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and Utah providing a wide range of recovery services including medication assisted treatment, counseling and aftercare planning.

On behalf of everyone here at SMART, we would like to congratulate our long-standing partner, Discovery House, on the opening of their newest location in Mechanicsburg, PA.

For years, we have seen their dedication to helping patients succeed and fostering the community awareness that brings them to the level of a trusted recovery resource in the areas that they serve.

With nineteen locations in four states, Discovery House is poised to continue providing the personalized patient care and recovery services that they are known for… while extending their outreach even further.

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Insurance Companies Stress Out Mental Health & Addiction

The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA) was enacted to help protect mental health and substance use treatment patients from insurance companies charging them more than those suffering from physical illnesses.(1) Unfortunately, there have been some disparities, as NPR pointed out in a recent news broadcast.(2)

Despite the fact that US law has made it mandatory for the majority of insurance companies health plans to treat mental health patients the same way that they would treat anyone affected by physical illnesses, many contest that there is still a great deal of discrimination. While, insurance companies have complied with portions of the law, they are still found to be more strict in their treatment toward substance abuse and mental health patients. Under law, deductibles and co-pay charges are no longer higher for these mental health conditions, however insurance companies appear to be making up for the loss by applying other “cost-control” techniques. Critics are calling out insurance companies for being more rigid when determining if an individuals treatment should be deemed ‘medically necessary’.(2) When speaking about her experience as a patient advocate who also runs the Parity Implementation Coalition, Carol McDaid said, “They [patients] end up with this perception that they have access to care, but when they’re in a crisis for themselves or their loved one, lo and behold, the care’s not available because of these cost-control techniques.”

npr-insurance-companies Read the full NPR article or listen to the story.

1.) http://www.nami.org/Find-Support/Living-with-a-Mental-Health-Condition/Understanding-Health-Insurance/What-is-Mental-Health-Parity

2.) http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/04/04/397043323/when-it-comes-to-insurance-mental-health-parity-in-name-only

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Medical Documentation – Protect Your Clinic

Risk management through medical documentation was an important topic addressed and presented via a mock trial at the 2015 AATOD conference. As treatment providers, you are responsible for taking the appropriate measures to ensure that patient documentation is accurate and thorough. Consistent documentation not only ensures that important patient progress is recorded, but it is also key to protecting your clinic from legal retaliation should a patient experience an unfortunate event while enrolled in your Medication Assisted Treatment program.

your-clinic-addiction-treatment-forumAddiction Treatment Forum (ATForum) recently published an article outlining the specific protocol that should be followed for every patient and emphasizing the tasks that should be tailored to patients in specific circumstances. “The problem wasn’t necessarily that the counseling wasn’t done. The problem was that it wasn’t documented.”(1) Read the full article.

About ATForum

Reports on substance abuse and addiction therapies, research, news, and events of interest to both healthcare professionals and patients with a focus on methadone maintenance (MM) treatment for opioid addiction. AT Forum is made possible by an unrestricted educational grant from Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, St. Louis, MO, a manufacturer of opiate and alcohol addiction products. (2)

1.) http://atforum.com/2015/08/reduce-opioid-treatment-program-legal-liability/

2.) http://atforum.com/

Ricky Byrd NCAD SMART EHR booth

Our take on NCAD 2015

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Keynote speaker and world renowned guitarist of Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Ricky Byrd

This was our first year as an exhibitor at the National Conference on Addiction Disorders ( NCAD ). We would like to thank the Vendome Group for welcoming us to the 4-day event at Union Station Hotel in St. Louis. With 900 addiction treatment professionals in attendance at NCAD, this was an excellent opportunity for SMART to meet many professionals directly involved in the critical task of providing patient care. Learning about the needs of midwestern treatment facilities afforded us the opportunity to demonstrate and prove the compatibility and efficacy of SMART’s Software.

Aside from sharing our enjoyable time with the attendees, we also want to highlight the conference proceedings. There was an excellent panel of speakers with diverse backgrounds and experience. As an exhibitor we often miss attending the sessions but we heard many great comments about the keynote speaker, Ricky Byrd, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee and world renowned guitarist of Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. Not only was he the keynote speaker for the conference, but he also thrilled attendees by performing “Broken is a Place I’ve Already Been.”

He later stopped by the SMART booth, met our staff and indulged us with a few fun photos!

With the serious topic of addiction disorders on our minds, Homerun Henry (a.k.a Doug Edwards, Vice-President and Managing Director of the Vendome Group) helped to keep spirits light by sporting a St. Louis inspired classic style baseball uniform and posed with attendees including the grand-prize winner of the Fiat 500 give away. We were happily surprised when we were awarded third-place for Homerun Henry’s Most Exemplary Attendee Handout Awards…in short everyone really loved our SMART coffee mugs!

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Elizabeth Lenzy, M.A. LPCC-S, Executive Director of The Lenzy Family Institute

We would also like to congratulate our Samsung Galaxy Tab S gift pack winner Elizabeth Lenzy, M.A. LPCC-S, Executive Director of The Lenzy Family Institute. The Lenzy Family Institute is a federally-qualified health organization providing integrated physical and behavioral health services. They work to promote abstinence and mental wellness for people affected by behavioral health disorders by providing substance abuse prevention, treatment, and recovery support services.

About NCAD

The National Conference on Addiction Disorders ( NCAD ), along with Behavioral Healthcare Executive Summit, has rapidly established itself as a premier, respected, and trusted national conference that provides a diverse educational curriculum on the prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery management of addictions that affect various genders, generations, and cultures.

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Addiction Treatment, It’s a Chronic Issue

addiction-treatment-BeaconHealthBeacon Health Options (Beacon) recently published a whitepaper, Confronting the Crisis of Opioid Addiction. One of the primary issues addressed is the treatment of opioid addiction as a chronic illness versus treatment as an acute illness, “Our health care system is currently organized to treat this addiction primarily with acute care services and the hope of abstinence upon discharge. Evidence tells us that this approach typically leads to treatment failures and re-admissions to acute detoxification services.”

The proposed solution is to implement a chronic care model across all related treatment organizations, policies and systems of care. Help address the opioid addictions crisis and learn more about recommendations in their full white paper.

About Beacon

Beacon provides the best-in-class behavioral health solutions for regional and specialty health plans; employers and labor organizations; and federal, state and local governments. Beacon offers superior clinical mental health and substance use disorder management, a strong employee assistance program, work/life support, specialty programs for autism and depression and insightful analytics to improve the delivery of care.

Pinnacle Treatment Centers

Welcoming Pinnacle Treatment Centers

The SMART Software Division is pleased to announce that Pinnacle Treatment Centers has chosen SMART as the EHR Software vendor for their locations in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Michigan and Kentucky, providing drug-free inpatient and outpatient treatment, medically-assisted treatment, and counseling for drug addiction.

SMART’s implementation team recently visited Pulaski Medical of Pinnacle Treatment Centers for their first SMART Software installation. Our team was impressed by the beauty of this rural Virginia town and by the hospitality of Pulaski’s staff. They do a truly wonderful job of providing a clean and safe environment for patient treatment.  We are thrilled to welcome Pinnacle Treatment Centers to our family of SMART partners and look forward to continuing our integration.

About Pinnacle Treatment Centers

PinnacleTreatmentCentersPinnacle Treatment Centers is based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They began in 2006 with the acquisition of four treatment centers in Pittsburgh and Johnstown. Since then, they have expanded to provide facilities in New Jersey, Kentucky, and Virginia. Each year, their facilities provide drug addiction treatment and services at 20 facilities.

Pinnacle Treatment Centers provide inpatient and outpatient treatment for those suffering from addiction. Their services include drug-free and medication-assisted treatment, including Suboxone, methadone, substance disorders, and co-occurring disorders. They provide these treatments along with medical evaluation and counseling for our clients and their families. Through a network of facilities in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, and Kentucky, Pinnacle treats more than 7,500 people every day.

SMART EHR at NCAD

Join us at NCAD

ncad-groupOur team is looking forward to meeting you at The National Conference on Addiction Disorders ( NCAD ) August 1-4th in St. Louis. Take a tour of SMART and see why leading treatment providers have chosen our software for all of their EHR needs. Stop by #301 to visit with our associates and register to win this year’s gift giveaway!

We are a leader in supplying Certified Paperless Electronic Health Record and Clinic Management Software to organizations providing Behavioral Health, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Treatment Services. Our state-by-state customized software model allows your team to be efficient when processing and implementing billing and clinical documentation requirements.

About NCAD

ncad “The National Conference on Addiction Disorders, along with Behavioral Healthcare Executive Summit, has rapidly established itself as a premier, respected, and trusted national conference that provides a diverse educational curriculum on the prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery management of addictions that affect various genders, generations, and cultures.”