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6 Best Practices for Configuring Service Types in Your EHR 

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In the field of substance use recovery and mental and behavioral health, your EHR plays a vital role in streamlining patient care and administrative tasks. A pivotal component of optimizing your EHR is the configuration of service types. In this blog post, we’ll discuss some best practices for configuring service types in your EHR that are specifically tailored to professionals in the fields of substance use recovery and mental and behavioral health.

The Importance of Service Types

Service types are categories or classifications used to identify and document the different types of services provided to patients. By properly configuring service types in your EHR, you can ensure accurate reporting, improve data analysis, streamline documentation, and enhance communication among healthcare providers. Furthermore, configuring service types in your EMR can have a significant impact on billing and reimbursement for substance use recovery agencies. Accurate and specific service types can help ensure your organization is billing appropriately for services provided. Here are some best practices to consider when configuring service types:

1. Understand the Clinical Workflow

Before configuring service types in your EHR, it is crucial to have a deep understanding of your organization’s clinical workflow. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the various levels of care, programs, and services that your organization offers. This will enable you to develop a comprehensive and accurate list of service types that align with your organization’s specific needs.

To determine payment, insurance companies require specific details about the services provided. The service types recorded in your EMR play a pivotal role in facilitating this process. By carefully selecting the appropriate service type, you can ensure that the insurance company is billed correctly for the service rendered.

Additionally, it’s essential to consider bundled payments. Although not a new concept, the shift towards value-based care is rapidly gaining traction in substance use recovery organizations. As you set up your system, identify services that are bundled together as well as individual services that need to be processed separately.

2. Collaborate with Clinicians

Engage your clinical team in the process of configuring service types. Tap into their valuable insights and expertise in the services they provide. By collaborating with them, you can ensure that the service types accurately reflect the care being delivered. This collaboration will also foster a sense of ownership among your clinical staff, motivating them to consistently adhere to the defined service types.

Additionally, your clinicians can offer their unique perspectives on service types, codes, and durations, as well as identify any issues that may impact their workflow. This is your chance to gather feedback that can significantly enhance productivity. Moreover, your clinicians can provide essential data for bundled services and claims, further empowering your organization.

3. Establish Consistent and Standardized Naming Conventions

For optimal data analysis and reporting, maintaining consistency in naming conventions is imperative. Create clear and standardized naming conventions for your service types to ensure widespread comprehension within your organization. Steer clear of ambiguous or vague names that can cause confusion or misinterpretation. It’s crucial that the names of your service types align with the commonly used terminology in your industry.

By using standardized and specific service types, you can guarantee accuracy in billing. Implementing consistent naming conventions for service types is essential to avoid any confusion and ensure that all staff consistently selects the appropriate service type. Providing regular training and education on the usage of service types will further reinforce the significance of accurate billing. Standardization can also simplify training, allowing staff to quickly grasp and apply the established pattern.

4. Consider Granularity and Specificity

When configuring service types, strike a balance between granularity and specificity. Having too many service types can lead to complexity and confusion while having too few can result in inadequate data representation. Find a middle ground that accurately captures the diversity of services provided while still maintaining simplicity and ease of use. This is especially true for large, multi-specialty agencies and CCBHCs.

Assuming that services are documented and coded correctly, insurance companies will reimburse the appropriate amount for the service provided. Inaccurate or inconsistent use of service types could lead to lower payment or even denied claims. It’s essential to take care in configuring service types to ensure reliable and prompt reimbursement. Whether your payers are private insurance companies or government payers like Medicaid and Medicare, it’s worth taking the time to study their service guidelines and the requirements to get full reimbursement.

5. Regularly Review and Update Service Types

Periodically review your configured service types to ensure they remain up-to-date and relevant. As your organization evolves and new services are introduced, it is important to modify and expand the list of service types accordingly. Regular reviews also help identify any obsolete or duplicate service types that can be eliminated to streamline the system.

Using improper service types can lead to errors in billing and reimbursement. This can cause delays in payment and create revenue cycle management challenges for your organization. In addition, using inconsistent service types can also make it difficult to track and analyze patient data accurately.

6. Provide Adequate Education and Training

Once the service types are configured in your EHR, it is crucial to educate and train your staff on their proper use. Conduct training sessions to familiarize clinicians and administrative staff with the defined service types, their definitions, and appropriate use cases. Ongoing education and reinforcement will help minimize errors and ensure consistent and accurate documentation.

Configuring service types in your EHR is an important task that requires careful consideration and collaboration with clinical staff. By following these best practices, you can ensure that your EHR accurately captures the services provided and enable efficient communication and reporting within your organization. Properly configured service types contribute to improved patient care, data analysis, and overall efficiency in substance use recovery and mental and behavioral health settings. They can also help avoid errors and improve accuracy in billing, benefiting both clients and organizations.

Discover the power of EchoVantage, a highly configurable EHR solution designed to empower providers in substance use recovery and mental and behavioral health. Experience unparalleled agility and flexibility while delivering exceptional services. Don’t miss out, request a demo of EchoVantage today.

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