Turning Point Family CARE Enjoys Staggering Improvements to their Operations and Communications with Patagonia Health EHR, Practice Management and Billing Software
Turning Point Family CARE (TPFC) is a critical access behavioral health agency (CABHA) that provides mental health and substance abuse counseling to over 2200 children, adolescents and adults throughout Wake, Durham, and Johnson Counties. The TPFC staff conducted numerous meetings and vendor demos, and after over a year of research, they chose Patagonia Health EHR “because Patagonia Health was consistent with their approach, as well, they offered lots of customized features that we felt would be able to take the agency to the next level” said Darryl Stanford, Co-founder and Director of Finance, Turning Point Family CARE. Once the EHR was implemented, their agency had staggering improvements in their operations and communications.
As Turning Point Family CARE (TPFC) has had, and continues to have, substantial growth, they knew they needed to implement an electronic health records (EHR), practice management and billing system. They needed a system that would not only improve their efficiencies, but also be scalable as they grew. “As mental health has evolved over the past seven years, it was important that we have an electronic health record that was a) certified and b) would enable us to make specific changes that are specific to our agency. So we wanted a software company that had some flexibility to be able to give us some choices as well as some customized features” states Stanford.
Patagonia Health’s EHR system included a complete practice management and billing solution, along with an integrated patient communications tool, the Communicator App. Patagonia Health’s billing software streamlines the claims and billing process, which saves a lot of time for the staff. “Previously, we had to go into a portal and have a different user name and password for each insurance company that we accepted here at Turning Point Family CARE. Patagonia Health allows us to go into one portal to submit claims and then Patagonia Health on the back end, has the ability to go in and bill all of the insurance companies directly and the payments come in as little as three days to as much as 21 days” shares Stanford.
Patagonia Health’s EHR eliminates dual data entry by auto-populating the information throughout the patient’s record from registration through the billing process. “The search box has been very helpful in navigating the client system, we have been able to manage appointments through the use of the calendar, and the dashboard has been very important in helping us to organize the system as a whole and be able to find things that we are using on a day to day basis. The system is very user friendly and took very little time for us to get trained and to implement the new system” said Karen Register, Clinical Program Supervisor.
The Communicator App is an automated patient reminder and outreach tool that adds another layer of streamlining clerical workflow. “Having that option has allowed us to send text messages and email reminders to clients about their upcoming appointments and it allows us to set filters of how often we want to send these texts or email messages out to consumers” said Stanford. The automated messaging system saves time and money as well as reducing no-shows.
Since the implementation of Patagonia Health in 2013, TPFC has seen a lot of growth within the agency and a lot more usage of the software by the staff. “One of the biggest perks of Patagonia Health EHR is the fact that when you enter a client record, all the information needed, such as the comprehensive clinical assessment, the progress note, the diagnosis information, and medication information, is all on the same screen so you don’t have to leave that person’s file to find specific information” says Stanford.
Since implementing Patagonia Health, the staff’s timely submissions for notes drastically increased from 76% to 96%. “I think we can attribute this to some of the reports we can run out of the system that allow me to assist the reviewers and tracking those notes and compliance” said Katie Fournier, Medical Records Coordinator. With built-in data checks and scrubs of all claims being sent to payers, Turning Point Family CARE’s denial ratings also drastically decreased to an astounding less than 1% of claims. “It allows us to see any errors prior to sending claims so we can make any required corrections” added Fournier.
The calendar widget allows TPFC to keep up to date with what is going on in real time with each patient such as who is being seen, what therapist is seeing them, when they have a doctor’s appointment, or how many times they’re no-showing for appointments. “This has been a huge benefit for the staff because as we have changed administrative staff, it’s a lot easier for the next person to fill in, and because we have multiple offices. So when a client calls in, any of our three offices can assist even if they’re not going to be seen at their specific location; it does not always have to be done at the office where the client is going to be seen. That’s been a huge benefit for us because we have three different locations” added Stanford. “Patagonia Health has been very scalable to the growth of Turning Point Family CARE.”
Key Benefits of Patagonia Health EHR
- Increased collections by 15% within the first quarter of using Patagonia Health, and improved overall cash flow
- Timely submissions for notes drastically increased from 76% to 96%
- Review of clinical documentation became much more efficient and faster
- The ePrescribing feature helped reduce errors by sending the prescriptions electronically to all pharmacies
- Claims denials drastically reduced with built-in data scrubber to below 1%