Care Coordination Through Referrals

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As a part of our larger health care integration initiative, Behavioral Health Professionals, Inc. (BHPI) continuously works with partners across the region to facilitate care coordination between behavioral health, physical health, and specialties. The ultimate goal is to improve communication between care providers and efficiently facilitate the sharing of important health information about our members. Health Information Technology makes better care of patients through the exchange of key health information a reality.

Our Inspiration

BHPI began this initiative in 2015, initially inspired by a visit to the West side of the state where this referral application is utilized by a large number physician offices. After observing the simplicity with which this application works and its ability to connect providers of care on the West side of the state, BHPI wanted to bring it to the East side and pave the way for improved care coordination through appropriate referrals, coordination, and follow-up needed to support and improve services to our member community. It is an excellent time to join us as our Healthcare Integration Initiative between behavioral health, physical health, and specialists is well under way!

We are thrilled that you are interested in becoming a partner with us as we continue to expand the use of the Great Lakes Health Connect (GLHC) Referrals Application throughout Michigan. The GLHC Referrals Application allows health systems, hospitals, physicians, payers, and behavioral health providers to send and receive referrals throughout Michigan through the application’s secure repository, sending and receiving electronic referrals and meeting initiatives for PCMH and PCMH-N. The application assists providers in meeting Meaningful Use criteria for patient referrals by closing gaps in coordination and providing better continuity of care.

BHPI partnered with GLHC, Michigan’s largest, sub-State Health Information Exchange (HIE) and provider of this application, to guide your practice through the onboarding efforts that will provide your practice the ability to exchange patient-centric referrals providing efficiency and consistency in an electronic fashion.

Our Partner:

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As the leading Health Information Exchange (HIE) in Michigan, Great Lakes Health Connect (GLHC) names among its key advantages, the power to connect primary care physicians and behavioral health care professionals across the state.  The GLHC Referrals Application allows health systems, hospitals, physicians, payers, and behavioral health providers to place and receive referrals throughout Michigan. The application’s secure repository for sending and receiving electronic referrals meets initiatives for PCMH and PCMH-N. This application assists providers in meeting Meaningful Use criteria for patient referrals by closing gaps in coordination and providing better continuity of care.

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How It Works

This Referrals Application is a communication vehicle for provider-to-provider information exchange, enabling any provider who utilizes the application to generate and exchange patient referrals electronically. This communication mechanism is free of charge and not specific to an EMR system so any practice can use it. The application replaces archaic faxing which significantly reduces the likelihood of illegible or missing faxes. It also decreases unnecessary phone calls and provides an excellent way to track appointment dates and times, cancellations and no shows. Since its introduction into the behavioral community we have connected behavioral health providers, primary care physicians and specialists throughout the Oakland, Macomb and Wayne County communities, contributing to the improved care of our patient population.

The overall process involves just five simple steps:

  1. Demonstration. BHPI will arrange for you and key individuals from your practice to attend a demonstration of the features and use of this application. Our staff will arrange an onsite demonstration at your facility or an optional live virtual webinar.
  2. Information. BHPI will also provide you with paper and electronic copies of the following:
    a. Data Services Agreement (DSA) to review prior to a demonstration of the
    referral application.
    b. The Command Center PC (Windows) Installation Guide
  3. Agreement. Within one-two weeks of the demonstration, assuming you like what you preview, our team will follow-up with you to discuss and obtain the signed DSA.
  4. Installation. Once the DSA contract is received, our GLHC partner will work with your technical team to install the software on your existing hardware, or you may have the GLHC rep install the software for you.
  5. Training. The BHPI/GLHC team will coordinate a training session with you and your team to guide you through the use of the product in order to facilitate member referrals. This training may help you identify any potential improvements in workflow, as well.

Community Outreach and Engagement

BHPI engages with providers in different ways to introduce, educate and gain momentum in the use of this productivity application. At any time, we are here to answer your questions and help you. Please send us an email at sarmstrong@bhpnet.com if any of these outreach methods interest you.

Dinner & A Demo

BHPI arranges demonstrations for community practitioners to gather over a delicious meal to learn about the application. This casual forum is designed for behavioral health practitioners, primary care physicians, specialists, and office staff who want to view a demonstration of the product and gain a deeper understanding of the features and benefits the application may provide their practice. We have engaged in discussions around workflow improvements, implementation concerns, staff engagement, etc.

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Lunch and Learn

BHPI hosts training sessions while enjoying lunch. We know practitioners are busy and we know it is hard to learn a new skill while multi-tasking at work. We arrange a one-hour, hands-on Lunch and Learn session to show practitioners how to use the application once they return to their office. It also provides an excellent venue to introduce Behavioral Health providers and Primary Care Providers who they work with regularly.

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Key Features

Standards are vital in healthcare and in order to maintain continuity of care for patients, standards exist when using the Referrals Application.

  • Patient Consent: Appropriate consent forms can be attached to a patient referral.
  • Creating and Updating Patient Demographics: Payers/Insurance information, Parent/Guardian, Subscriber, Guarantor, Primary care Provider, Adjustor or Attorney, and/or Case Manager can be updated as needed
    • Patient Database: A database specific to each practice that contains all your patients in a convenient repository (Figure A).

      GLHC Patient database
      Figure A
    • Patient Record: Each patient will have a distinct record that is accessible by simple search functions (Figure B).

      GLHC Patient Record
      Figure B
  • Sent, Received and Cancelled Referrals:
    • Referrals are monitored and responded to regularly (Figure C).
    • Referrals will only be marked Complete AFTER the patient has come to their appointment. In Progress status will be reviewed weekly to confirm the appropriate status of each referral.
    • If a patient does not show or call to reschedule, the referral will be canceled.
    • Consults or treatment recommendations for follow-up will be added as much as possible.
    • Requested cancellations will be monitored and responded to regularly.

      GLHC Received Referral
      Figure C
  • Message: A note may be added to any referral when information is updated and all messages are monitored and responded to regularly.
  • Provider Network: All providers that utilize the GLHC Referrals Application are readily available. Conveniently search by Provider, Practice Name or Location or Service Type (Figure D).

    GLHC Referral Provider Network
    Figure D
  • Homepage: Each practice has the ability to quickly and easily setup a homepage. This homepage will be visible to all providers in the application. It provides an excellent means to include mandatory or optional forms you require when a practice is referring a patient to your practice. We are happy to assist you in this configuration (Figure E).

    GLHC Homepage Inbound Office
    Figure E

Additional  Benefits of Using Free GLHC Referrals Application

Coordinate care – Staff can ask questions and share information with time-stamped messaging. Medical records and consults can be attached quickly and easily to the referral, ensuring follow-up and accountability.

Convenient email alerts – Receive email notifications of new referrals to a work or personal email.

Get information to patients – Add patient brochures, maps, and other marketing material to your Homepage for referring offices to hand out to patients.

Instant access – Gain electronic access to a growing network of over 800 physician offices, in 124 cities and 43 counties throughout Michigan.

Increase efficiency – Add up-to-date information and questions on the Referrals Homepage that is specific to your office, reducing the likelihood of receiving incorrect referrals.

Manage referral follow-up protocols – Assign referrals to specific staff members for follow-up in a work queue.

Reduce phone and fax issues – Decrease unnecessary phone calls and missing or illegible faxes.

Seamless referral tracking – Quickly check the status of every outgoing and upcoming referral in a work queue. Track appointment dates/times, completed referrals, cancellations, and no-shows.

Searchable in-network providers – Identify in-network referral options using a “favorites” search function. Also, search by the name of a provider, their practice, or service specialty.