Prioritizing Patient Care for Profit


California Association of Marriage & Family Therapists

Prioritizing Patient Care for Profit

By Elizabeth Irias, LMFT

Whether born out of a keen eye for a need in the market, or for love of the mental health treatment game, behavioral health providers can stay ahead of the curve by investing in the quality of both their clinical services and clinical documentation. With fluctuating budgets and innumerable financial burdens, providers may ask themselves, “Is it really worth it to provide all of those trainings to my clinicians?” It boils down to a numbers game: Improved clinical documentation by your clinicians leads to improved quality of care for your patients, boosted referrals among colleagues and past patients alike, and extensions in insurance authorizations. There are a number of strategies that you can integrate at your treatment center to help push this process in the right direction:


The Clinical Cycle, as I call it, starts from the moment your prospective patients come in contact with your admissions or marketing staff: They want to know, “What sets your treatment apart, and why should I admit my family member here?” In order to ease the patient’s transition into your care, your use of technology offers an opportunity to immediately capture critical client information, as well as appear tech-savvy and modern. Do you provide patients and their families with an easy-to-use forms portal via your electronic medical records system? Do you give your prospective clients an opportunity to let you know how they see the situation, real-time? This is an easy way to integrate direct client quotes (ie- ‘UR Gold’) into your initial authorization process, directly contributing to the picture that your admissions team is painting for the client’s managed care company…