Mental health and addiction service providers encounter struggles every day, whether it’s a challenge facing a patient or confronting the stigma surrounding the value of addiction rehabilitation. There are institutional obstacles including rising costs with stagnated administrational support. Tack on human resource shortages, insurance coverage management hoops, patient, and rehabilitation advocation, and the list goes on and on.
Over the last few years, being hit with a pandemic has only amplified the accumulation of challenges that treatment facilities face. Today, we are seeing mental health disorders on the rise. According to the American Psychological Association,1 there is a 29% increase in addiction numbers, depression and anxiety have surged by 74%, and the rise of trauma and stress-related disorders has skyrocketed by 51%. That translates to an increase in the demand for public health support and increased caseloads for most organizations.
Providers are struggling to overcome the hurdles, but they continue to rise above them because the purpose calls louder than the problems.
Alongside a group of other treatment center operators, I decided the future of behavioral health facilities needed to be comprehensive and there had to be a solution to overcome the fragmented market and offerings. That’s why in late 2015 we set out to solve some of these issues using innovative technology to allow treatment center operators to focus less time on solving manual problems and more time on patient care. Today, we’re proud to say Lightning Step is the only comprehensive enterprise software created by treatment professionals for all levels of care and in-house medical billing.
What Lightning Step’s technology platform uniquely does is integrate Customer Relation Management (CRM), Revenue Cycle Management (RCM), and Electronic Medical Records (EMR) into one comprehensive management platform – ultimately streamlining efficiencies and giving treatment center operators and facilitators their much-needed time back. Lightning Step’s CRM involves all data required before a patient arrives for intake. This includes referral, management, and communication, call tracking metrics, inquiries, admissions, and admission activities. Our EMR eliminates the need for paperwork and having to manually enter data repeatedly across platforms, creating a care continuum. And Lightning Step’s RCM promotes simplicity and productivity by integrating insurance claims, invoices, and automated payment plan processes as well as point-of-service payment. Gone are the days of calling an insurance company each time you see a patient because the data entered will generate throughout their stay. Lightning Step makes it easier to collect clinical, treatment, and payments without the hassle of calling insurance companies, inputting data multiple times, or searching for client information. Having an automated workflow eliminates the high probability of human error from manual data entry and saves the treatment center staff time and headaches of the past.
Provider organizations do not have the time, money, or resources to develop their own enterprise software solutions, so they settle for the same substandard output. On the other hand, our clients say that Lightning Step allows them to no longer worry about separate database systems, optimizing work from their staff so they can provide the highest quality care to their patients and family. With this platform, all treatment team members see the benefits of harnessing technology to ensure a streamlined back-end process to focus their attention on remission and recovery.
Each health facilitator understands that data must be collected for each patient and then input data individually to monitor progress and submit claims. Each minute spent repetitively adding data to a unique software is a minute away from a patient. As part of the job today, computers tend to get most of the operator’s attention. The benefit of this data-driven world is a deeper insight into patterns and analytics created from this information. All organizations need to be able to tell the story of a client’s success through data. A chart should be evaluated at a glance, from intake to discharge including all payments and insurance or Medicaid coverage. The provider can take this data and help create a solution specifically for the patient from day one of employing technology. The future of healthcare lies in the utilization of technology. Lightning Step Technologies partners have over 100 years of collective experience in the psychiatric and substance abuse treatment field as operators, clinicians, front-line staff, and accountants. This distinctive background allowed us to formulate a software platform that is designed specifically for the evolving rehabilitation services market.
The top priority of any behavioral health facility is superior measurable client services. For those of us that have been closest to the fire, we understand clients are fighting their own battles with mental health and addiction. Understanding that treatment center operators need to focus their time on increased patient care and not sitting behind a computer is critical. That’s why there is a vital need to integrate technology into facilitators’ daily operations to minimize problems of the past and overcome challenges of the future.
Kirk Monroe, MBA, CPA, is Chief Executive Officer of Lightning Step. For more information on how Lightning Step can help solve your challenges, reach out to us through our website at www.lightningstep.com.
- American Psychological Association. (2020). Patients with Depression and Anxiety Surge as Psychologists Respond to the Coronavirus Pandemic. 1(3). https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2020/11/telehealth-survey-summary.pdf