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what is measurement based care is a system of systematically assessing and tracking patient progress through symptom rating scales and other assessment tools to inform and improve treatment outcomes. It is an evidence-based practice that is increasingly gaining traction in the behavioral health industry.

Despite the strong support for implementing a system of symptom rating scales, only about 18% of psychiatrists and 11% of psychologists use them in routine clinical practice. The lack of routine symptom rating scale use may be a contributing factor to poor clinical outcomes in the mental health field. In addition, the absence of a systematic way to monitor and evaluate symptom severity data may inhibit providers from hone their skills over time.

There are several reasons to implement a measurement-based care program in your clinic or practice, including:

Better Patient Outcomes Faster!

Measurements help you and your patients identify trends in improvement, deterioration, and overall progress. They can also allow you to modify your treatment plan to meet the needs of the patient and their goals.

Payers are becoming more motivated to reward and compensate you for using measurement-based care (see 96127 for more information on this). They recognize that better behavior outcomes are linked to improved physical health, which can lead to lower overall healthcare costs. In fact, even a simple CPT code–96127–can generate anywhere from 5% to 20% more than standard payment rates for clinicians who use it.

You can easily incorporate a measurement-based care program in your practice with the right technology and practices. A robust EHR that automates the process of administration of outcome measures is a great place to start.

Over 65 validated symptom rating scales are included in Valant’s behavioral health EHR, making it easy to collect and report data on a variety of outcomes. With these tools, you’ll be able to track the performance of your team and your practice as well as create reports that will make you look good to your payors.

It’s Becoming the Standard of Care!

As more and more carriers recognize the correlation between behavioral health and physical health, it’s only a matter of time before the concept of measurement based care becomes the standard of practice in the mental health space. Using an EHR that can automate the entire process of collection, tabulation, and reporting makes it easy to create the kind of data that payors are interested in seeing.


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