BHBusiness Plus Helps Behavioral Health Leaders Make Change to Business Systems and Deliver Value to Bottom Line

Submitted by: 06/27/2014 by Maureen Fitzgerald

Washington, DC – June 16, 2014 – With up to 30 million newly insured people entering the healthcare system, it is critical for behavioral health (BH) providers to expand capacity, improve business systems, and position themselves in the market. Yet 50% of BH provider organizations do not feel ready for changes in the healthcare marketplace. BHbusiness Plus is a program of customized technical assistance that helps BH providers initiate or complete change projects that support business success and ultimately ensure better client experiences and outcomes.

Because it is funded by SAMHSA, BHbusiness Plus is offered to participants at no cost. Providers need only invest time and energy toward making change in the business operations most advantageous for the organization. Developed and taught by behavioral health leaders and business experts, the project is led by State Associations of Addiction Services (SAAS) in partnership with NIATx, the National Council for Behavioral Health, and Advocates for Human Potential (AHP).

BHbusiness Plus aims to support BH providers in actually making change, not just planning for it. “In its first two years of operation,” said Becky Vaughn, CEO of SAAS, “BHbusiness served well over 1,000 provider organizations, many of whom have benefited from the action plans and programs developed during their participation.”

Debra Russ, Patient Accounts Manager at NorthKey Community Care in Northern Kentucky, and her team participated in a BHbusiness Plus program on third-party billing and compliance. They designed a change project to reduce claim denials, using a rapid-cycle change approach. Russ said, “Through this program, NorthKey was able to figure out and generate reimbursements of over $53,000 within several weeks instead of several months.”

Participants in BHbusiness Plus are supported by:

  • Focused technical assistance on the business area most in need of change
  • Guidance from a dedicated coach through the process of developing a change project
  • Access to a peer group of other providers focused on the same topic
  • Consultation from leading subject matter experts in the field
  • Resources designed to provide practical action steps to meet individual challenges

This year, expanded topics include:

  • Strategic Business Decision Making
  • Exploring Affiliations, Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Costing Out Your Services
  • Setting up a Third Party Billing System
  • Improving Billing System to Increase Collections and Compliance
  • New Business Planning
  • Third-party Contract Negotiations
  • Eligibility and Enrollment

Providers may apply as individual organizations or under the auspices of an umbrella group that serves as a “convener” to bring like organizations together on one topic area. Up to 20 organizations work together on the topic in a learning network – a group of providers working on projects in a virtual environment with access to the coach and an array of resources – and benefit from peer-to-peer collaboration. The focus is on making change happen, driven by each organization’s needs, energy, and resources.

Applications are open, and conveners and individual BH provider organizations are invited to apply at The deadline for applications is August 15, for Round 1 learning networks starting in October 2014. BHbusiness Plus will offer two additional rounds of learning Networks, in Winter and Spring of 2015.

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