Raising The Bar In Behavioral Healthcare Treatment

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, overdose deaths in the United States have more than tripled between 1999 and 2015. In 2016, rates continued to grow, with an estimated 65,000 deaths due to drug overdose; this number is expected to exceed 70,000 deaths due to drug overdose in 2017.

Dr. Tonmoy Sharma, a mental health specialist and author, believes that the best method to combat this plague is to deliver measurement-based care to patients with substance use difficulties.

The article “Raising the Bar: Accountability and Compliance in Behavioral Health Care Treatment” was published in the Orange County Business Journal’s Healthcare Special Edition. The Orange County Business Journal (OCBJ) is a weekly print and online publication covering businesses in Orange County, California.

MBC is a fundamental component of evidence-based practices. It is described as the practice of basing clinical care on client data obtained throughout therapy. The idea is by collecting data on patients; physicians can determine whether treatment is effective and adjust it as needed. Measurement-based treatment can be used to treat any disorder in any situation.

There are numerous free, brief surveys that patients can complete to assist therapists in determining what is working and what is not working throughout treatment. Throughout the therapy process, patient input informs clinical decisions, and care is changed as needed.

Dr. Tonmoy Sharma, an author and mental health specialist, adds, “MBC has proved to drastically increase patient outcomes in addiction therapy – up to 67 percent in some trials.” “However, this is not the norm. Only 14 percent of clinicians employ MBC in treating their patients with substance use problems, according to a recent report from the Kennedy Forum titled A National Call for Measurement-Based Care.”

According to the Kennedy Forum research, physician opposition to change, the assumption that implementing MBC will be expensive and difficult (although it will not), and misinformation about its efficacy are all impediments to widespread implementation of MBC.

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