March 21, 2024

The Future of Inpatient Rehab Facilities: Changes That Could Impact the Industry

The Future of Inpatient Rehab Facilities: Changes That Could Impact the Industry

As new trends surface within the behavioral health industry, the future of inpatient rehab facilities and addiction treatment centers is top of mind for caregivers. 

Facilities are not only wondering how to adjust to the regulatory changes in the industry but also how to take advantage of emerging technology and tools that can improve client care.  

This article discusses how using tailored EMR software can help inpatient rehab facilities overcome the challenges that accompany the inevitable changes.

Table of Contents

The Current Role of Inpatient Rehab Facilities

Inpatient rehab facilities offer intensive treatment for substance addiction and may be provided in two types of settings:

  1. Residential care: This facility provides the resident with accommodations and basic nursing support. Residential care facilities are not designed to manage or treat severe medical problems.
  2. A specialized section of an acute care facility or hospital: This type of treatment is the best option for severe cases of addiction.

In both models of inpatient rehab:

  • Patients remain at the facility for the duration of their treatment.
  • Treatment services are provided around the clock in an often highly-structured setting. Services include managing medications, teaching recovery skills, and relapse prevention. 
  • The care management team is generally made up of doctors, addiction specialists, social workers, counselors, and clinical staff. 
  • The intensity of treatment varies with the individual.

Most health insurance typically covers substance abuse rehabilitation as well as some forms of mental health treatments. The extent to which an insurance company will cover drug or alcohol rehabilitation, however, depends upon a number of factors, including:

  • A policy’s particular behavioral health offerings
  • The provider of the rehab treatment
  • The patient’s unique needs
  • And more

Inpatient rehab facilities offer a variety of amenities. Some include basic living accommodations such as cafeteria-style meals and shared rooms. Others may offer more luxury-style services including a private suite, gourmet meals, and amenities such as tennis courts and a private pool.

Inpatient Rehab Facilities in the Value-Based Model

Under the value-based healthcare model, inpatient rehab facilities are expected to deliver continuity of care for patients in an integrated healthcare system. 

Eventually, successful inpatient rehabilitation facilities and units will be properly structured to deliver on these continuity-of-care expectations. 

This will be achieved by having the type of infrastructure and staffing that is needed to meet both the patient and clinical needs as well as the systems required to address the necessary regulatory requirements and compliance.

Is Inpatient Rehab Care Jeopardized by the Rise of Medical Apps and Telemedicine?

Industry leaders are wondering if inpatient rehabilitative care may be threatened by the rise of medical apps and telemedicine.

We do not believe this to be the case.

Inpatient care cannot be easily replicated through medical apps or any virtual setting. Though telehealth providers can often prescribe medication to help treat symptoms, the most successful outcomes will usually come from a combination of the proper medication with in-person therapy. 

While the rise of medication-assisted treatments, such as buprenorphine, naloxone, and methadone, may have the potential to threaten inpatient rehab care, these drugs should only be used in conjunction with a therapeutic regimen, creating a continued role for inpatient treatment facilities.

3 Ways the Inpatient Rehab Industry May Evolve in the Future

#1: Payers May Need To Analyze How They Measure Value-Based Care

Value-based care is a healthcare delivery model that allows providers to be paid for patient health outcomes. In other words, clinicians are rewarded for helping their patients improve their health. The question then comes into play of how to measure improvements in a patient’s health.

For example, if a patient is in an inpatient rehab facility for 30 days, there needs to be measurable data showing that those 30 days were effective in the life of the patient. 

#2: Restrictions on Medication-Assisted Treatments May Be Loosened

Let’s consider opioid use disorder (OUD) as an example. 

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the rate of “overdose deaths involving opioids increased from an estimated 70,029 in 2020 to 80,816 in 2021.”

With overdose deaths reaching these unprecedented levels, there is an increased urgency to discover new ways of delivering effective treatments for substance abuse disorders. 

Since the regulatory and administrative barriers to rehabilitative treatment are so high, in 2020 only around 11% of individuals with OUD had access to effective medications for opioid use disorder, which include methadone, buprenorphine, and naloxone.

In an effort to make these drugs more accessible, practitioners and advocates are considering a “low-threshold” approach that loosens the restrictions on medication-assisted treatments, reduces the stigma surrounding the medications, and facilitates their use. 

#3: Telehealth Treatment May Be Utilized More Often 

The COVID-19 pandemic initiated a season of emergency rulings that allowed telehealth practitioners to prescribe medications such as Suboxone remotely and reimburse insurance for remote therapy. 

The question is will those policies be revoked since the crisis has passed, or will they survive and potentially lead to the further incorporation of telehealth treatment in rehabilitation? 

Challenges To Overcome When Preparing for the Future of Inpatient Rehab Facilities

Migrating Patient Records

If a values-based model is implemented, patient records must be moved from the current systems to the patients themselves, 

Migrating patient records is always a daunting task, and if a facility is using an unreliable system:

  • Staff members’ data entry is often inefficient
  • Valuable data can be lost
  • Data may be difficult to retrieve

However, already having a well-designed electronic medical records (EMR) system in place makes the migration process far easier and less cumbersome.

At Ritten, we believe in better healthcare tools and have used our software expertise to build them. Book a demo today and find out why Ritten is the future of behavioral health software.

Shifting To Value-Based Care

The structure of the current model means facilities and providers are rewarded for volume. So the more services they deliver, the more they get paid — even if they don't achieve desired results. 

The value-based care model aims to change that faulty dynamic by paying providers more for delivering health care that helps patients get better while also keeping costs as low as possible.

When making the change to value-based care, there are a number of steps inpatient rehab facilities can take to ensure success:

Changes to the Ways Clinicians Will Determine How Patients Are Cared For 

In the future of medicine, many rehabilitation services may be pushed horizontally to outpatient clinics, patients’ homes, and telehealth.

While this will be beneficial since the accessibility of medical services will become a viable possibility for more rehab patients, doctors will need to carefully consider how they’re determining which patients:

  • Need to be admitted to an inpatient rehab facility for further care
  • Would best benefit from acute in-home care
  • Can be cared for via telehealth 
  • Are ready to be discharged

Ritten: Supporting the Evolution of Inpatient Rehab Facility Requirements With a Tailored EMR System 

At Ritten, we believe the future of behavioral health is data-driven and that payers should be using data outcomes to determine the effectiveness of care. 

That’s why we created Ritten

Our tailored EMR system helps addiction and mental health facilities:

  • Deliver personalized, data-informed patient care
  • Monitor and understand patient outcomes
  • Streamline billing
  • Drive referrals

Ritten’s dedicated and experienced team of professionals will guide your inpatient rehab facility through a systemized onboarding plan to deliver a simple and seamless transition to a new EMR. 

At Ritten, we believe that the future of behavioral health is driven by technology and data, and our software is fully customizable and easily integrates with other software.

We are with you from start to finish — from training to data migration and beyond.

But you don’t have to take our word for it. Our partners tell us that Ritten’s EMR software is intuitive, rewarding, and “hits all the marks.”

As the future of inpatient rehab facilities evolves, it is critical to ensure that you have the EMR support you need to simplify life for your team and give your patients the support they deserve. 

Book a demo with Ritten today and find out for yourself just how easy switching behavioral health EMR can be. 

Join our email list!

Subscribe to receive more information on Ritten's software and capabilities.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Get started with Ritten today!

Customized setup

Easily switch from old provider

Simple pricing