Virtual Care to Transform Behavioral Health for SNF Residents

Curve Health
December 12, 2023
Virtual Care to Transform Behavioral Health for SNF Residents

The Evolution of Behavioral Health in Skilled Nursing Facilities Through Telemedicine

In today's dynamic healthcare landscape, telemedicine has proven as a trusted ally connecting experts right to a skilled nursing facility at their time of need. Enhancing the lives of SNF residents, telemedicine transcends convenience, offering quality and timely specialized care. 

While skilled nursing facilities have acknowledged the significance of telemedicine, such as reducing unnecessary hospital transfers, the true value of tele-health extends even further when applied to behavioral health. The potential lies in its profound impact on the overall well-being of residents.

Recognizing the ongoing shortage of mental health professionals, Curve Health has recently introduced remote tele-psych services, taking a proactive approach to managing a wide spectrum of behavioral health needs. This initiative is especially vital given the persistent staffing shortages faced by nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities everywhere, and particularly in remote areas.

As the healthcare landscape continues to evolve, telemedicine stands as a change agent in the pursuit of high-quality care for residents with mental health needs and requirements. This innovative approach becomes increasingly crucial in overcoming the challenges posed by the shortage of mental health professionals and staffing gaps in rural healthcare settings.

Treating the whole person, telemedicine ensures residents receive consistent and timely behavioral health assessments. It enables open collaboration with SNF staff to implement behavioral interventions and closely monitor progress. 

Elements of a Behavioral Health Tele-psych Visit: 

  • A healthcare professional remotely assesses a residents’ behavioral health condition and electronic medical records 
  • During each visit, the specialist can determine if the antipsychotic medications remain necessary, at the correct dosage, and are duly justified. 
  • They can address concerns regarding the use of antipsychotic medications as "chemical restraints" head-on by pinpointing such cases and exploring alternative, short-term interventions to ensure residents receive the appropriate care.
  • Specialists can closely monitor residents for potential side effects or health complications, offering proactive care as the senior population is more susceptible to adverse effects from antipsychotic medications.
  • Extending beyond medications, specialists can document and recommend non-pharmacological approaches such as distraction techniques, music therapy, or adjustments to the daily schedule. 

Telemedicine has ushered in a new era of SNF care for behavioral health. It offers a holistic and proactive approach, ultimately enhancing and improving resident access to care. The benefits to a skilled nursing facility include new admission evaluations, improved patient outcomes, enhanced financial sustainability and data driven quality improvement. 

  • Behavioral Health Program: With a focus on evaluating new admissions, ongoing medication evaluations with a strong emphasis on gradual dose reduction where appropriate, counseling, and behavioral health recommendations.
  • Improved Patient Outcomes: Curve Health's platform delivers real-time clinical insights, enabling early intervention and personalized care plans. This results in reducing hospital readmissions, improving patient outcomes, and increasing resident satisfaction.
  • Enhanced Financial Sustainability: By reducing preventable readmissions and providing timely assessments with comprehensive documentation, SNFs can substantially lower costs and mitigate avoidable CMS penalties. Curve Health's solutions facilitate compliance with value-based care models, enabling SNFs to negotiate favorable contracts with payers and improve overall financial sustainability.
  • Data-Driven Quality Improvement: Pinpoint areas for improvement and implement evidence-based quality enhancement initiatives with efficient data management and analytics features. This data-driven approach fosters continuous improvement in care delivery and operational efficiency.

Elevate the standard of care for SNF residents with behavioral health needs.

Contact Curve Health today to see our newest offering. 

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Virtual Care to Transform Behavioral Health for SNF Residents