4 Ways to Stay Motivated During Recovery

This is a guest post by Adam Cook from Addiction Hub.

Ok, so you’ve made the decision to choose your life over your addiction. It’s a great first step. It’s not an easy decision to make, and it is one that will come with many challenges and triumphs, as well as a few setbacks and victories. Taking your life back from addiction can open you up to new experiences and get you back on track with old passions. The possibilities and opportunities are endless. Of course, that first step can seem so intimidating; you might not know where to start. That’s okay — you are not alone. Here are a few suggestions for getting your life back after addiction so you don’t just survive, but rather, thrive.

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BCBS to Reimburse LICSWs for Screening and Assessments

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts is now reimbursing Social Workers for using evidence-based assessments with their clients.

Previous years have seen insurers begin to appreciate the value of screening and assessing their patients for mental illness. Therefore it is no surprise that such practices are now becoming financially-incentivized by BCBS as these measures lead to improved patient outcomes.

Mentegram continues as a leader in the field, providing our partners with an easy-to-use platform for screening and assessing their patients. With well over 50 evidence-based tools in our library and the ability for our customers to create their own personalized assessments with great simplicity, Mentegram makes it happen.

Disclaimer: This post does not represent legal advice, please double-check with your billing consultants and/or Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts.

The Price is Right!

As The Chief Medical Officer at Mentegram, my goal is to develop new tools to help clinicians help their patients.

Outside of this, my other job is working as a psychiatrist and a psychotherapist in a busy private practice. Therefore I know how important it is to use technology in the workplace to make my life easier. That way I can spend more time with my patients in the office and more time with my family at home.

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Meet Traci Ruble, CEO of Psyched in San Francisco

At Mentegram, we love to provide helpful, valuable content for our readers, whether it be for therapists already utilizing our products or for those who simply find our articles and posts beneficial in some way. Mentegram not only bridges the gap between therapists and their patients, but we also hope to create a platform for information that can be used and shared among therapists and other professionals in the mental healthcare field. This is why we are extremely excited for you to meet Traci Ruble, the CEO of PSYCHED in San Francisco therapy center and the Managing Director of a Sidewalk Talk, a nonprofit community listening project. Traci will be sharing her expertise, as well as her professional experiences, on a monthly basis on our blog.

 

So, let’s get to know her a little bit better!       

 

Traci, we love that you have chosen Mentegram to share helpful tips and professional information! What was your process for narrowing down the topic for your first article?

I just had a conversation with one of my interns.  She really wanted my feedback on how to build her practice. She kept putting time and money into her website, but I explained to her that websites are a dime a dozen now. It was through talking to her that I was reminded of this polling I did a few years ago and nudged her to get out there and network. I think a lot of therapists hide behind their websites.

 

We don’t want to give out too many spoilers, but what other topics might we see in the upcoming months?

Spoilers…ooo I like that.  Therapist spoilers. I am going to share my worldview on blogging, SEO, YELP, client retention, social media policy and privacy, as well as volunteering as marketing.

 

Now, let’s learn a bit more about you! What made you decide to open a mental healthcare center?

This may not be an impressive answer.  It came from my longing for community. Psyched started as a simple blogspot blog (remember them?). I had such a good time I decided to monetize it to make a little cash so we could hire a really good editor.  All of our profits form the clinic go back into creative projects but the richness of knowing I have other colleagues whose work I respect makes showing up to work every day so much more fun.

 

We absolutely love the content in your magazine, by the way! When you started Psyched Magazine, what was your main goal?

Oh that means a lot.  We have come a long way. I still pinch myself some days when I read the articles.  I like writing but we have some real pros.  Our main goal, again, was community.  At the outset I wanted to write in a way that may have made my young parents seek out therapy.  Now we are focused on drawing in an urban professional audience by writing provocatively about the intersection points of community, culture, politics and the environment and how those are related to mental health.

 

And I can’t wait any longer to bring up Sidewalk Talk! This has got to be SUCH a rewarding experience. What is your role in this?

Sidewalk Talk is a passion project. I started it with another therapist.  Now that it has grown into full fledged non-profit, I have taken the reigns. It is rewarding but humbling.  I have learned so much about listening, stripped bare of my “therapist” role.  You see, I go out on the street and listen to strangers on city streets as a citizen.  I am actively holding the mantle that human connection heals, and that doesn’t always happen in a therapists’ office.  And it is fun that people sit down and talk who have never met a therapist before. We are getting ready to take Sidewalk Talk on a road tour in April in the middle USA.  Always looking for more volunteers.

 

sidewalktalk

San Francisco, CA, Homeless Pop Up Care Village Organized by LavaMae

 

When it comes to running your own business, what is the best advice that you can offer to other entrepreneurs who might be reading this?

Ask for help.  Have a plan.  Make mistakes.  It may look easy, but it isn’t, so be committed. And hands down, pay for a good accountant up front. I just created a mastermind group of other women who run their own businesses, and we are in constant touch about our fears, proud moments and advice.  It has meant a lot to be surrounded by these women. Being a woman and running a clinic, magazine and non profit can still be going against the grain for some men I meet, so having their support has been very important.

 

When you think about therapy today, versus several years ago, what types of changes do you see on the horizon?

The power of the internet really is changing what is possible for therapists touching their clients.  And it provides some unique challenges.  What does it mean that a client who is acting out can punish a therapist by writing a bad YELP review? How do we harness the power of social media to uplift and support clients between sessions? I think addiction treatment is getting the humane overhaul it has long needed as a result of the opioid addiction epidemic.

 

Lastly, just because we really do value your opinion, especially with your technical background, how can you see Mentegram changing the face of therapy?

Mentegram has the potential of proving out therapy’s effectiveness by tracking client success rates and enabling the paperless office.  It will allow therapists to focus more on their clinical skills, rather than the back end components of running a business.  I have high hopes for the potential for the therapist client interactions via Mentegram homework that sustains client progress between sessions and long after treatment has completed.

 

We are so excited that you were able to “meet” Traci! Now, be sure to stay tuned to Mentegram’s blog in the upcoming months to read more from Traci, including articles written specifically to help therapists.

Thoughts on Mentegram: Ohel Children’s Home & Family Services

Mentegram-Logo

 

At Mentegram, we value our customers, and we understand that sometimes the best way to understand Mentegram and its many benefits is to see it through the eyes of a clinician that regularly utilizes its online instruments in his daily practice. Mentegram is pleased to introduce Simcha Feuerman, LCSW-R, the Senior Director of Operations at Ohel Children’s Home & Family Services!

Ohel Children’s Home & Family Services began originally as a foster home, but today it has branched its services into providing mental healthcare for approximately 3,000 clients per year at locations throughout New York and New Jersey, as well as in Los Angeles. These services range from residential programs to a myriad of day services designed to assist with psychological disabilities, with the goal to integrate patients successfully into society.

So let’s learn a bit more about our customer’s personal experiences with using Mentegram!

 

1. How long have you been actively using Mentegram?

I have been using Mentegram for about two months.

 

2. How was your introduction to using the product? Did you find the software relatively easy to use and simple to train others to use, as well?

Yes, I did.

 

3. When and how did you first notice that Mentegram was positively affecting your practice?

I have noticed that for clients who like apps, it is an excellent engagement tool!

 

4. While Mentegram offers a myriad of online instruments that may be assigned to patients, is there a particular instrument that you have found to be the most beneficial for your particular needs?

I have found the various measures so we can track clients progress over time and also provide motivation as they see their own progress are definitely the most beneficial.

 

5. Have you made use of the new scheduling calendar feature yet, and if so, what are your thoughts on its impact on efficiency within your practice? If you have not yet utilized this new feature, what are your thoughts on what you have seen so far?

It would be great, especially if we find a way to integrate it into our EHR.

 

6. If a colleague were to ask you about using Mentegram in their practice, what words of advice would you offer?

Focus on the patients who enjoy using technology, and don’t try to convince the others who don’t. In time, more will follow.

 

7. If you could add anything to Mentegram, what would be your addition?

I would add Integration into our EHR system.

Ohel

Please stay tuned for additional interviews with more of Mentegram’s valued customers. If you are interested in learning about the ways Mentegram could work in your practice, schedule a demo today!

The New Psychiatry: At Your Family Doctor, OB/GYN, or Cardiologist

It’s about more than just tele-psychiatry

For the past month, David has been recovering from a heart attack. It’s been a tough road for him, settling into exercise regimes, and completely changing his diet. He’s realizing he’s not young anymore, and just escaped death. After revealing these thoughts to his physician, Dr. Michaels, he’s prescribed medication to manage his depression.

But Dr. Michaels isn’t a psychiatrist. Responding to David’s complaint cost his staff time, for which they may not be properly trained nor adequately reimbursed. Further yet, does Dr. Michaels have sufficient experience with mental health care to make correct clinical decisions about mental health? How can we ensure David receives the same quality care as in a mental health practice? How can we ensure Dr. Michaels’ practice is operating effectively when handling mental health patients?

Continue reading at Medium

A US Air Force Psychiatrist Has Joined Our Advisory Board!

“If healthcare wasn’t resistant to technology, Mentegram would already have been in every practice by now.”Rebecca

Mentegram is growing yet again, and we are extremely pleased to welcome Rebecca Burson to our medical advisory board. Rebecca is a commissioned officer in the US Air Force and serves as an Active Duty physician and board-certified psychiatrist.

Rebecca is going to contribute great things to Mentegram, so let’s all get to know her just a little bit better!

 

Why have you ultimately decided to become a part of Mentegram?

I enjoy being a part of things I believe in, and I believe in being able to better hone in and observe how patients are doing so that we can best figure out how to customize and enhance patient care.  I also am a fan of being on a team with enthusiastic and bright people who are passionate about what they do.

 

What do you expect from working with the team at Mentegram?

I expect that I will encounter a lot of great stories on how Mentegram is helping  better patient care. I expect I will meet lots of inspiring individuals, and that I will be a part of a team accomplishing a vision.

 

How do you feel Mentegram helps both psychiatrists and patients?

I think Mentegram can better equip providers with having a pulse on how their patients are doing over time, as well as to serve as a barometer to measure treatment interventions and measure the ups and downs of life.  I think this can help empower patients to communicate how they are doing and to help them see visually what areas they are improving in and what areas still need attention.  I think Mentegram also assists both the provider and the patient in that it can help encourage optimization of medication usage and appointment compliance.

 

What type of feedback do you typically hear when discussing Mentegram among other colleagues? 

Frankly, I am quite new to Mentegram, so the conversations are just beginning.  For colleagues who are trying Mentegram out, I am hearing feedback about how much easier it is not having to use paper and pencil, how nice it is seeing a continuum of comparison and how it brings a practice to a whole new level of care.

 

What do you think is the main reason that healthcare is often resistant to adapting to new technology?

I think if I knew the answer to that Mentegram would be in every practice by now.  I imagine, like anything, change takes time.  There are always the early adapters (roughly 10%) who catch onto good ideas first, and then it takes awhile for the majority of individuals to join.  We get used to doing things a certain way, whether it is good or bad, and we don’t want to change.  Also, it takes convincing to believe that doing something “extra” to improve one’s practice overall increases quality, efficiency and profitability.

 

Do you feel that Mentegram’s technology can lead to even more exciting changes in the field of mental health?

Absolutely!  For quite some time, mental health has been pushing “Evidence Based Medicine”.  Well, it’s time we have evidence based practice where we can see the results of our interventions in ways that are measurable.  Patients deserve that, and the field of mental health deserves that.  I think if physicians could show the mean difference of patient improvement in their practice, this would give future patients hope.  Ultimately, I think anything that improves patient hope is integral to enhancing the field of mental health.

 

Speaking of all things “new”, what are your thoughts on Mentegram’s new feature, a calendar which allows therapists to schedule appointments and send reminders to their patients?

Brilliant!

 

When you are finally at home with a chance to relax, how do you best like to spend your free time?

I like playing with my 15 month old daughter, gardening, watching movies with my husband, eating amazing food and going on runs and long walks.

 

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

I would go to the Pyrenees mountains in France due to my love of France, French food, the mountains and high mountain lakes. I am learning French right now (I just started), and that would give me something to look forward to and work towards.

 

Tell us something about you that would surprise everyone.

I play the accordion, and I used to be in a band.

 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are solely those of the authors and do not reflect an endorsement by or official policy of the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Army, the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs, or the U.S. Government.

Introducing Mentegram partnership with TherapyEverywhere

Mentegram was born from the void between clinicians and the patients they treat for depression, substance use disorders, and other chronic medical illness.  To ensure that patients never have to face their illness alone, Mentegram helps doctors and therapists create personalized treatment plans using smartphone and other technology.  This in turn reliable improves both patient outcomes and practice efficiency. We are thrilled to announce a new partnership helping our customers to further develop their practices.

Running a practice is a very busy enterprise especially for someone who is also providing top-notch clinical care.  Whether it’s paperwork, billing, staff management or promoting the practice to find more patients…it’s never simple. Our new partner, TherapyEverywhere.com provides a simple, powerful, and affordable all-in-one solution for growing and developing your practice. They have helped many clinicians across The USA and Canada to find more patients, improve recognition, and increase practice revenue.

therapyeverywhere-logoProviding care to patients goes hand in hand with promoting the practice in order to maximize success. That’s the reason why we are always looking for new ways to provide our customers a 360-degree service. All Mentegram customers receive a $50 discount from the services provided by TherapyEverywhere.com. To learn more about how can you benefit from the partnership, please visit the new partner section on our website.

Healthcare Technology Advancements we can all look forward to in 2016

While a range of technological advancements are made each year, not all of them are able to provide any benefit to the medical industry. However, there are a few advances that have been made with regards to technology and devices that will be of much help to doctors, nurses and patients, some of which will be discussed below.

Remote Monitoring of Patients

One of the biggest technological advancements that can be expected in 2016 will be the increased use of devices such as tablets, smartphones and other wearable devices to help monitor patients remotely.

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Meet our new Chief Medical Officer – Jacob L. Freedman, MD

Jacob L. Freedman MD PhotoMentegram is growing and we are beyond excited that we have found Jacob, our new Chief Medical Officer. He is a board-certified psychiatrist practicing in Massachusetts and an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Tufts University School of Medicine. Since completing his training at Harvard Medical School, he has served as both a healthcare and a risk-management consultant.

Why did you decide to join Mentegram?
As the owner of a private practice, I am constantly faced with the constraints of a busy schedule. This has lead me to seek out new ways to streamline patient care in order to maximize my efficiency throughout the day. On the other hand, as a clinical psychiatrist I am always searching for new treatment innovations to improve patient care. Mentegram is a fantastic product because it offers solutions for streamlining healthcare delivery while allowing clinicians to provide the highest quality of care for their patients. In an healthcare environment of cutting costs and decreased reimbursement, it’s a wonderful thing to find something that achieves both economic and clinical objectives. So to answer the question in brief: the chance to work closely with a team of dedicated professionals to aid in further developing this unique product is a priceless opportunity.

What do you expect from working together?
The founding core at Mentegram already has a tremendous wealth of knowledge and experience behind them. As a clinician on the front lines running a diverse practice, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to aid in adapting the product to new areas in the mental health field. Mentegram has already demonstrated tremendous strengths in increasing practice efficiency and hastening patient recovery. I look forward to expanding the role of Mentegram to new horizons. This is a product that could have an enormous impact when utilized within an organization such as The Veterans Health Administration or within the forensic and state hospital systems. Mentegram could also play a significant role with non-clinicians and first-responders–such as emergency medical technicians and law enforcement officials–to facilitate the appropriate setting for ongoing evaluation of individuals showing signs and symptoms of mental illness. Mentegram has endless possibilities and we are only just beginning.

How do you expect Mentegram will change your own practice?
This is a very good practical question. How is this going to make my life better? Let’s be frank: better practice efficiency means finishing the day earlier and saving money which means that everyone will have more time for their families and more time for themselves. Mentegram basics like pre-screening patients and generating notes and billing paperwork will absolutely get me out of the office quicker. The ability to track my patients between visits will improve care which improves referrals in the community but more importantly helps me to be sure that I am providing the best possible care for my patients using cutting-edge technology. The clinical tools available through Mentegram will be the standard of care in coming years in the mental health field. This product is simply ahead of the curve. I should also mention the fact that using standardized rating scales in one’s practice can’t hurt from a risk-management perspective. This is always helpful documentation to have in the chart in case of an adverse outcome.