What factors determine the success of a therapy group?
Provider training, group cohesion, consistent attendance—these things each play a major role in effective group treatment. Less acknowledged, however, is what goes on behind the scenes, including the software and systems that allow group therapy to run smoothly.
The right group therapy tools can ease administrative burdens and make the experience better for provider and patient. Countless software solutions exist to meet these needs, so check around and compare features. You’ll likely see the best results from using an EHR with a comprehensive suite of tools built specifically for behavioral health.
Whether you’re starting group therapy at your practice for the first time or looking to enhance an existing program, equip yourself with the group therapy systems you need to take your treatment from good to great.
A smooth experience begins with smooth scheduling. It’s hard enough getting multiple people to agree on dates and times; you don’t need clunky tech compounding the hassle.
A scheduling software capable of handling group therapy should allow you to make enrollment lists and schedule appointments for every member on that list simultaneously. Without this feature, you and/or your staff will have to create separate appointment records for each client in the group. At best, this takes up more time; at worst, you accidentally miss a name on the list and create record and billing problems.
Documentation for Multiple Patients
Progress notes for group therapy can create busywork for providers without the right documentation tools.
Instead of typing up your group notes and then meticulously copy/pasting them into each group member’s individual progress notes, use a note-taking software that allows you to write one note and auto-populate it into the individual notes of each patient who attended that day.
Your documentation feature should allow you to input individual notes on patients as well. Consider a solution that provides distinct sections for auto-populated group notes and patient-specific remarks.
Billing for Group Therapy
Like scheduling and documentation, you won’t want to create the same bill for services over and over for each patient who attends the session. Find a billing software that allows you to bill once for all patients who attended. Even better is an auto-generating bill feature that will create bills for each patient marked “present” automatically.
Batch eligibility checking is also important for practices offering group therapy. Use this feature to efficiently ensure that all members of a group are covered for your particular services. Go for a flexible checking feature that allows you to check by provider, by appointment range, by type of service, etc.
Additionally, a robust reporting software that allows you to build custom reports can help you stay abreast of payment and insurance information for all patients within a given group.
Telehealth En Masse
Online treatment creates even more needs for group therapy tools to meet. If you will host group treatment online, make sure your telehealth solution does the following things:
- Allows more than one patient to join the video call.
- Gives group leader strong controls over participants’ microphones, cameras, chat and whiteboarding permissions, etc.
- Provides strong security measures, such as login through the patient portal and the capability to disable meeting links that may have been compromised. Check HIPAA compliance rules before choosing any telehealth service.
- Includes whiteboarding capabilities.
- Works from any standard browser so participants won’t have trouble with access.
Patient Portal Group Therapy Tools
At times, you’ll need to communicate with all group members between meetings, whether it’s to cancel a session or help them come prepared for the next one. Secure communication to patients is easy through a patient portal messaging system. It can also serve as a receptacle for therapy homework assignments between sessions if you so choose.
Patient portals can be used to keep patients up-to-date on their payment status, upcoming appointments, and completion of assigned measures to track outcomes. This can be invaluable when managing group logistics.
Easy Group Management with Valant
With the right tools in place, managing group therapy can become a seamless part of your daily processes alongside individual therapy. The key is to find the right software solutions.
Valant’s EHR is built for behavioral health providers and includes strong support for group therapy management and billing. Valant software allows you to:
- Access your roster, documentation features, and auto-billing from one convenient group enrollment page.
- Schedule, document, and bill for all group members at once.
- Offer secure telehealth login for multiple participants from the patient portal.
- Create custom reports to support all your group therapy needs.
- …and so much more.
Valant supports the needs of your group therapy treatments and offers a full suite of features for all aspects of your behavioral health practice management. Contact us today to learn how we can make your workday easier.