Sharp reductions to in-person visits, reimbursements come alongside spike in demand for mental-health, addiction treatment services
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (April 7, 2020)
Qualifacts, a leading EHR platform for Behavioral Health and Human Service organizations, has begun releasing anonymized customer data showing the sharp and dramatic effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the $200 billion U.S. behavioral health and human services industry.
These statistics are and will continue to be tallied from Qualifacts’ proprietary CareLogic database, which utilizes information from more than 50 million mental health and addiction treatment services delivered to more than 1.5 million patients annually.
As a result of shelter-in-place measures put in place by state and local governments, weekly client appointments across the United States have decreased by from more than 1.1 million to slightly less than 939,000, or 16%, since the week of March 8. However, several states have seen a much more dramatic decrease including:
- Arkansas: down 31%
- Pennsylvania: down 28%
- New Jersey: down 25%
- Alabama: down 24%
- South Carolina: down 20%
“This is valuable, real-time data that make clear the urgent crisis facing the nation’s behavioral health organizations,” said National Council for Behavioral Health President and CEO Chuck Ingoglia. “And these numbers are just the beginning.”
Data from providers also indicates a spike in demand for addiction treatment and other mental health services. To meet this growing need for treatments providers are being forced to rapidly deploy telehealth and other virtual treatment strategies even as they face economic uncertainty and are challenged to keep staff on the payroll. Thus far, many states have relaxed telehealth reimbursement restrictions to support the overwhelming need.
“Our proprietary data affords us a unique opportunity to highlight the adverse impact COVID-19 is having on behavioral healthcare providers across the United States,” said David Klements, Qualifacts President and CEO. “We are working alongside both our customers and industry partners including The National Council for Behavioral Health to continually monitor the situation in real time to ensure appropriate levels of funding and capacity to meet the existing and surging needs for mental health and addiction treatment services.”
Uncertainty remains around the length and total impact of the COVID-19 pandemic across the United States. One constant, however, is the desire of behavioral health and human services providers to continue their vital services. And it’s highly likely that the lessons they are learning now, alongside the new and enhanced tools they are implementing and deploying, will allow for more and better service options in the future — provided they can remain operational now and in the coming weeks.
“Without emergency funding from Washington, many of these organizations are in jeopardy of failing,” Ingoglia said. “If that happens, millions of people living with mental illness and addiction will flood already overburdened Emergency Departments. We are working hard to ensure that does not happen.”
About Qualifacts Systems, Inc.
Qualifacts® is one of the most trusted technology providers of Electronic Health Records (EHR) for behavioral health and human services organizations. Qualifacts’ EHR technology and services simplify the increasing complexities facing behavioral health provider organizations across the country, enabling them to quickly adapt to the accelerating pace of change. Qualifacts’ EHR platform, CareLogic®, helps customers focus on what is most important – client care – by optimizing efficiency and productivity while also keeping them ahead of the ever-changing regulatory and reimbursement landscape.
For more information, visit www.qualifacts.com.
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