Meet “Amanda.” Her life is largely limited to lying on the couch in front of her television and wishing the pain would go away. This is certainly not the life that she imagined. And even though she feels unhappy about it, she can’t seem to break the vicious cycle that tears her away from friends and family.
It could be depression, anxiety, or substance abuse. But with mental illness affecting nearly a third of individuals, we all have a loved one faced with the same difficulties as Amanda.
Psychiatrists, psychologists and other allied behavioral health professionals have devoted their lives to helping people like Amanda and to fighting the stigma of mental illness. They are invested in making a difference instead of making a fortune. But with the economy as shaky is it’s become and reimbursement for mental health services facing tremendous hurdles–in spite of national legislation mandating parity–practices are closing and psychiatric hospital are shutting their doors.
While the old stereotype of a psychiatrist penning notes while the patient lies on the couch is somewhat antiquated, many behavioral health professionals find themselves at the bottom of the curve when it comes to utilizing new health care technology.
Technology must be easy to adapt and the vast majority of mental health providers don’t need big data processing, analytic models, wearables or artificial intelligence. They simply need to digitize their workflows and save time on paperwork. They need to be able to be able to spend time on what they’ve devoted their lives to: helping their patients to get their lives back.
This is what drove psychologist Dr. Igor Holas to develop Mentegram. Imagine Amanda sitting in the reception room. While waiting, she fills out and submits evidence-based screening tools and completes a personalized cognitive behavioral therapy worksheet. These results are immediately scored, interpreted, and shared with the psychiatrist.
The psychiatrist reviews the information in an easily-digestible fashion as Amanda walks through the door. They need less time to complete their treatment session and a large portion of the progress note is already waiting even before the visit finishes.
Darshan A Patel, MD, a psychiatrist who uses Mentegram in his Atlanta-based partial hospitalization program praises Mentegram, “It helps me to save around 5 minutes per appointment on documentation time and this allows me to see an extra 10-15 patients each week. Additionally, screening patients with Mentegram is a reimbursable service that in many cases helps me bill for an extra ten to fifteen dollars per patient.” While this might not seem like much, a program like Dr. Patel’s can see well over a hundred patients on a weekly basis. Simple math shows how yearly revenue is increased in such a practice by more than six-figures through using Mentegram.
Indeed, Mentegram allows practices to grow in size and scale. Providers see more patients on daily basis, the screening process itself is a reimbursable service, and using this system justifies billing for a higher complexity E/M visit which further increases revenue. All of these factors can make a floundering practice suddenly viable without additional overhead. But most importantly, by alleviating many of the hassles and paperwork, clinic staff and treatment providers can spend more time focusing on their patients. This is why they entered the field to begin with.
Mentegram’s Chief Medical Officer, Jacob L. Freedman, MD reminds practices and organizations using the product that “easy-to-use, cutting-edge technology appeals to patients and boosts referrals due to increased patient satisfaction.” This has certainly been the case with a number of boutique practices in New York City that utilize Mentegram’s resources and have been flourishing.
Mentegram’s ability to increase revenue while improving patient outcomes has caught the idea of investors both in America and abroad. The company has already secured significant venture capital backing including funding from Neulogy Ventures, a premier European investment group.
This article first appeared on ‘Jewish Business News’ on 25 February 2016.