State-funded capacity management and digital referral network helps clinicians secure inpatient placement for clients with substance abuse disorders and mental health needs
NEW CASTLE, Del. and LOUISVILLE, Ky. – November 30, 2021 – In its first year, the State of Delaware’s digital network for expedited client referrals to inpatient and residential behavioral health programs sparked a 45% increase in treatment referral requests and improved the rapid acknowledgement of referrals by 25%. The Delaware Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health built the Delaware Treatment and Referral Network (DTRN) using OpenBeds®, a solution of Bamboo Health (formerly Appriss Health + PatientPing), a healthcare technology solutions company focused on fostering care collaboration and providing information and actionable insights across the entire continuum of care.
In its first year, the Delaware Treatment and Referral Network facilitated 20,924 treatment referrals, 75% of which were for inpatient services. More than half of these referrals specifically noted substance abuse—most commonly alcohol, opioids, and cannabis—an unsurprising fact in a state that has been severely impacted by the opioid epidemic. Delaware has the nation’s second-highest drug overdose mortality rate at 43.8 per 100,000 residents, as well as an opioid prescribing rate that is significantly higher than the national average, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
“With this real-time online inventory of services, we’ve seen a statewide increase in referrals for treatment, as well as reduced referral times,” said Joanna Champney, Director, Delaware Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health. “Instead of providers spending hours searching fruitlessly for the right placement, we can now immediately match a client with a program that offers an appropriate level of care. Moving to electronic referrals means our providers can complete prior authorizations quickly and ensure a smooth admission process for our most vulnerable populations.”
The DTRN was built on Bamboo Health’s OpenBeds® platform, which identifies and tracks behavioral health resources, offering providers with immediate visibility into resource availability across a shared network, hastening clients’ access to treatment.
“The success of the DTRN clearly illustrates the care gaps in our behavioral health system today. Substance use disorders and mental health issues are inextricable, and it can be next to impossible to find a placement for a client with multiple conditions,” said Dr. Nishi Rawat, chief medical officer for Bamboo Health. “The fact that 60% of referring organizations in Delaware made at least one referral request every week shows the steady increase in demand. OpenBeds® gives mental health, substance use disorder, and medical providers the transparency they need to collaborate and get clients to the care they need, faster.”
Connecting clients in need with the appropriate substance use and behavioral health services is frequently a challenge, due in large part to the difficulty in determining current inpatient and residential treatment center capacity. Referring physicians and treatment providers often struggle to share client data, admission criteria, and availability in a timely manner—while clients are left waiting for appropriate placement.
By assisting providers with the onboarding process to encourage adoption, Delaware expanded the number of active users on its referral network by 264% year over year. The variety of distinct services offered by receiving organizations expanded as well, growing from 40 to 109—a 173% increase.
The DTRN has also improved response rates to referral requests, as all communication is now digital rather than manual. A full 65% of receiving organizations now acknowledge a client referral within 30 minutes, an increase of 25% since the program’s inception. The state plans to use the DTRN to identify service gaps, target funding, and evaluate behavioral health and substance abuse programs in its ongoing efforts to curb the opioid crisis and provide appropriate care for impacted clients.
Bamboo Health’s cloud-based OpenBeds® platform provides real-time visibility into treatment provider and evidence-based service capacity, as well as secure digital communication, clinical decision support, data aggregation and analytics, and crisis management services. Along with its success in Delaware, OpenBeds® has expanded access to behavioral health care for Medicaid beneficiaries in Indiana, and agreements are in place for statewide implementation of the platform in six additional states.
About Bamboo Health
Bamboo Health (formerly Appriss Health and PatientPing) is a healthcare technology solutions company, focused on fostering care collaboration and providing information and actionable insights across the entire continuum of care. As one of the largest, most diverse care collaboration networks in the country, our technology solutions equip healthcare providers and payers with software, information, and insights to facilitate whole person care across the physical and behavioral health spectrums. By serving 2,500 hospitals, 7,800 post-acute facilities, 25,000 pharmacies, 37 health plans, 45 state governments, and over one million acute and ambulatory providers through more than 500 clinical information systems electronically, we impact over 1 billion patient encounters annually in provider workflow. Health systems, payers, providers, pharmacies, governments, individuals, and other organizations rely on Bamboo Health to improve care and reduce cost. Visit www.BambooHealth.com to learn more.
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