The Mental Health Connection
Independent of the weather, Fall has arrived and with it comes the beginning of the holidays. This month, Halloween is front and center. Halloween has been evolving to become less about kids trick-or-treating and more about adults partying. It’s also a time of anxiety for many suffering from a mental illness. These individuals can greatly benefit from talking with a therapist to uncover the underlying causes that trigger anxiety and learn coping strategies.
Medicare Fall Enrollment begins October 15 and runs through December 7. This is the time Medicare recipients can change from Medicare Advantage plans to Medicare Original, or Medicare Original to Advantage plans, and also change prescription plans. Researching options and considering the consequences to changing plans is recommended; otherwise Medicare recipients will be re-enrolled in their current plan the first of the year.
As mentioned in last month’s newsletter, Help Therapy is participating in the annual Navy SEAL Foundation Impact Forum taking place this month in La Jolla, CA. There’s still time to register. If you’d like to attend in person or virtually, register here.
Help Therapy providers, if your patient tells you that they are switching their insurance, please email us so we can update their file at email@example.com.
Annette Conway, PsyD
October is National Depression and Mental Health Screening Month and Bullying Prevention Month
National Depression and Mental Health Screening October is the perfect time to increase awareness and understanding of the signs and symptoms of mental health issues. It’s been reported that:
One in five adults in the U.S. experiences mental illness each year
One in six youths ages 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year
Bullying Prevention October is also the time to bring awareness to the fact that bullying is an ongoing concern and there is a need to address and prevent childhood bullying. The United States Justice Department's statistics show that one in every four kids will be bullied sometime in adolescence. Students ages 12–18 who reported being bullied said they thought those who bullied them:
Had the ability to influence other students’ perception of them
Were physically stronger or larger
Had more money
Have you ever been Denied?
Claim denials are a pain for everyone involved. A few things can happen when a claim is submitted to an insurance provider or other payer. It can be:
Accepted after the first submission, making it a clean claim
Denied with no chance for resubmission
Denied due to an error and can be resubmitted
In the past, claims were reviewed, processed and paid by individual claim processors—real people. Today, much of that work is being determined by computers. Payers have increased the sophistication of their computer systems so they can define different payment algorithms which match the contract requirements. Unfortunately, it may appear that some algorithms are set to follow the rule: "When in doubt, deny.” After all, denying your claims saves the insurance provider money. Plus, payers are aware that many healthcare providers will not follow up on claim denials. In fact, The Healthcare Financial Management Association estimates that 65% of all denials are not resubmitted. But we all know that when you reduce your denial rate, you bring more money to your practice's bottom line. This process includes benefits verification, claim auditing and denial follow-up. Benefits Verification If a patient’s insurance isn’t up to date, any claim submitted to a payer may automatically be denied. That’s why each patient’s insurance coverage needs to be verified in advance. Claims Auditing Claims auditing is a step taken prior to the claim's submission. A billing team member will audit each of your claims to identify potential red flags, such as missing information, billing code errors and more. If an error is found, it’s corrected prior to submission. This step leads to higher rates of clean claims and increased revenue for you. Denial Follow-up Even with much diligence, denials still happen. But having a process in place ensures that every denied claim is corrected and resubmitted within the required time frame. You can trust Help Therapy has the knowledge and resources to handle your billing efficiently.
Is it Just a ”Senior Moment” or Something More Serious
Alzheimer's, dementia and other forms of cognitive impairment are conditions causing much fear because of their growing prevalence, incurability and life-changing consequences.
According to Alzheimer's Disease International, someone develops dementia every 3 seconds. As of 2020, 55 million people worldwide are living with dementia. This number is expected to reach 78 million by 2030.
Mild changes in memory and other thinking skills are common as we age. We’ve all experienced an older relative or friend forgetting someone’s name or misplacing their glasses or keys. These occasional lapses in memory or attention are not typically a cause for concern. But, regularly forgetting to turn off the stove, being unable to recall recent conversations or getting lost in familiar places could be signs of a more significant problem.
Although cognitive decline is common with age, certain forms can indicate a more severe condition. There are particular memory loss and thinking issues seen in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia that are not part of normal aging.
As we age, subtle changes in our memory occur naturally as part of the aging process. Unfortunately, these changes can happen sooner than anticipated or faster than expected.
Researchers believe that MCI is the precursor to dementia for some individuals. It’s the stage between normal age-related mental changes and early-stage dementia. However, not all individuals diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment are destined to develop dementia.
When memory loss prevents someone from performing daily tasks and continuing established roles in life, it becomes a health concern that needs further evaluation by a healthcare professional.
This Month’s Tip 7 Fun Family-Friendly Fall Outdoor Activities Fall is a beautiful time to enjoy nature and experience the mind and body benefits of being outdoors. No matter your age, Fall offers many fun activities for the whole family. Here are just a few ideas to get you outside.
1. Take a hayride
2. Explore a pumpkin patch
3. Get lost in a corn maze
4. Attend a Fall festival
5. Pick apples
6. Enjoy the Fall displays at a botanical garden
7. Go on a nature scavenger hunt.