Helping government, hospitals, health plans, and pharmacies combat the U.S. mental health crisis and substance use epidemic
Appriss Health, a technology company delivering point-of-care and data-sharing solutions addressing public health outcomes, announced the release of its first annual Impact Report detailing the company’s efforts to support states, the Department of Veterans Affairs, pharmacies, and hospitals to improve behavioral health and substance use healthcare resources in 2020, a year that saw unprecedented public health challenges.
In 2020, Appriss Health:
- Integrated 120,000 new practitioners and 3,721 new pharmacies providing access to prescription drug monitoring program databases in electronic workflows
- Solidified a partnership with the Veteran’s Health Administration (VHA) to help veterans hit hard by the opioid epidemic
- Supported hospitals’ response to COVID-19 challenges, providing visibility and tracking of critical, lifesaving resources
- Partnered with several states to improve residents’ access to available behavioral healthcare
- Worked to manage real-world challenges with the healthcare industry as narcotics prescribing dropped and sedative dispensations spiked, due to the effects of the pandemic
Through its technology, Appriss Health connects and facilitates engagement by physicians and pharmacists in the use of state prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) within their clinical workflows so they can monitor patient histories and susceptibilities to addiction. Appriss Health also provides a PDMP visualization and analytics application to aid physicians with prescribing decisions based on risk analysis and alerts.
In its 2020 Impact Report, Appriss Health explains that by connecting PDMPs across the nation with risk analysis insights, its technology supports safe prescribing decisions benefitting hundreds of millions of patients each month. Appriss Health facilitates 2.9 billion searches per year across all the PDMPs it manages, yet only an average of one patient ID related support call is generated for every 770,000 searches.
“We are the nation’s largest, standards-based technology provider for housing, analyzing, distributing and integrating behavioral health data for improving access to mental health and substance use treatment,” said Rob Cohen, president of Appriss Health. “Providing physicians with essential data at the point of care enables them to treat the whole person and helps to ensure that a patient accesses the right level of care. We accomplish this by leveraging PDMP and other data around the United States, rapidly ingesting, analyzing, and sharing it through fast connections that help clinicians make the best decisions for patients. Our experience, technology, and ability to connect data best-positions Appriss Health to continue this extremely important work to improve behavioral health throughout the nation.”
Against the backdrop of the ongoing opioid epidemic and the COVID-19 pandemic that swept across the nation in 2020, Appriss Health enabled in-workflow access to PDMP databases for 120,000 new practitioners and 3,721 new pharmacies across 43 new EHR, e-prescribing, and pharmacy management system integrations. The report highlights successful relationships with Kentucky-based Norton Healthcare and Connecticut-based Yale New Haven Health.
Supporting Veterans Hit Hard by the Opioid Crisis
In the fourth quarter of 2020, Appriss Health announced that it had initiated work with the Veteran’s Health Administration, the nation’s most expansive network of healthcare services, to support safe and responsible use of prescription opioids in caring for veterans and their families. Appriss Health connected over 100,000 system users to state PDMPs across the nation in less than 45 days.
As a population, veterans have been particularly hit by the opioid crisis, and when compared to the general population, they are nearly twice as likely to die from an accidental overdose. In the Impact Report, Appriss Health says that, “through the support of the Mission Act, VHA providers and their delegates will have access to a complete nationwide network of PDMP data and analytics.” Made possible with Appriss Health’s PMP Interconnect and PMP Gateway systems, the simplified data access will help VHA’s continuing efforts to lower the use of controlled substances by veterans.
“The current pandemic has emphasized that, as a nation, we are at a time of crisis when it comes to substance use challenges and behavioral health needs, including veterans who have bravely defended our country,” said Cohen. “Working with forward-thinking organizations like the Veteran’s Health Administration will help with critical-to-manage controlled substances and with detecting behavioral health needs of veterans across its 2,000 facilities.”
Responding to the COVID-19 Healthcare Resource Challenge
One of the most effective initiatives undertaken by Appriss Health as the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting spikes in mental health crises unfolded in 2020 was its continued expansion of OpenBeds, the company’s solution designed to connect individuals to behavioral health resources. OpenBeds helps health systems, health plans, and state governments create trusted behavioral health networks that improve referrals and support and coordinate care delivery. Eight states are contracted to provide the solution’s services, and one more will deploy in early 2021.
In the spring of 2020, Appriss Health also launched a consumer-facing website, TreatmentConnection.com, which provides access to a brief assessment for individuals seeking behavioral healthcare resources. Individuals who complete the anonymous assessment will understand appropriate treatment options. The website provides residents in a growing number of states with the ability to search for and connect with behavioral health providers near them. Today, TreatmentConnection.com receives more than 1,000 website visits per month.
Last spring, during the initial months of the pandemic, Appriss created the Critical Resource Tracker, a solution that helps hospitals cope with capacity challenges by tracking and automating the reporting of available resources such as ICU beds and ventilators. This tool was developed to help states automate real time data submission to the HHS Protect Public Data Hub and facilitate resource planning for states, hospitals, and patients.
“Patients in crisis want help to alleviate their suffering, and they don’t want to wait,” said Nishi Rawat, MD, senior vice president of Appriss Health. “Modifying our platform to assist with the healthcare response to the COVID-19 pandemic was one way we could respond to the growing need for immediate access to treatment. The Critical Resource Tracker helped put clinicians back at the bedside so they could do their vital work of caring for patients, where they are most needed.”
For your free copy of the Appriss Health Impact Report, click here >> 2020 Impact Report.