Representatives from Barnes Dennig’s dedicated nonprofit service team recently sat down with some of the industry’s financial thought leaders at local mental health agencies to discuss the challenges and obstacles they face when managing financial operations in an ever-changing economic environment. Several factors discussed were ICD-10 implementation, rising healthcare costs and budgeting for these and other types of changes affecting mental health service providers. Financing challenges associated with these factors can be inherent to operations that rely on government or insurance reimbursements and client volume to sustain operations, fuel organizational growth and program expansion.

To help manage operations, participants discussed their experiences with different Electronic Health Records (EHR) software, and the role each plays in the required transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10. Other notable topics included best practices for navigating the conversion to ICD-10 and the best sources of training materials or classes.

With the implementation deadline less than six months away, planning for the transition to ICD-10 and coordinating for updated diagnoses evaluations for mental health organization clients are on the forefront of many minds in the industry. However, finding the right software that can also be integrated into other systems can sometimes be a daunting task.  During our talks, we found a wide variety of software usage and limitation examples amongst our discussion participants.

Not only are the costs to provide services to the community increasing, but the costs of doing business in general are also ballooning for many organizations. Some insurance brokers are projecting a 13% rise in internal health insurance costs next year, which will impact the budgets of organizations of all sizes.

One of the best ways to learn and prepare for these issues and others affecting nonprofit mental health organizations is speaking with others that have shared experiences and valuable knowledge of the mental health services environment.   Do you have a topic you would like to discuss with the group?  Send a quick note to Rachel here for more information on the next thought leadership meeting in the summer of 2015.