Where Behavioral Health EHR Vendors are Missing In Action: An Interview with Doug Edwards

Behavioral health EHR Vendors

Our guest today is Doug Edwards, Vice President and Managing Director of Vendome Healthcare Media’s Behavioral Healthcare division. Anyone who’s anyone in Behavioral Healthcare knows who Doug is and the publications he manages (Behavioral Healthcare and Addiction Professional Magazines). Because Doug has his pulse on our favorite healthcare segment, we asked him to share some secrets, ideas, what’s trending, and where EHR vendors are M.I.A. in the marketplace. While we cover the list of questions we reference below, Doug went far beyond this list. You’ll just have to tune in and take notes!


BH Summer 2015What big trends have you seen in the behavioral health field during your 15 year career?

The most significant has been the rush of investment dollars into the behavioral healthcare field, particularly private residential treatment, during the past 24 months.

Why do you think investors are interested in behavioral healthcare now?

A combination of the Affordable Care Act, parity, changing societal attitudes, and an improving economy have made this field the most desirable in healthcare right now.

Should providers be concerned about the amount of “new money” flowing into the field?

I would argue no, as it reflects changing social attitudes toward people with addiction as well as offers many new AP-Summer-covopportunities for treatment.

Does the increased investment in the field only apply to for-profits? What about for not-for-profits?

Not-for-profits, particularly community mental health centers, are finding that mergers and acquisitions make sense for them, too. Savvy not-for-profits will engage investors perhaps not for direct financing, but for support of their overall mission through philanthropic contributions, particularly as these investors and other high net worth individuals are exposed to the great need.

What is the role of information technology and EHRs in relation to the investment flowing into treatment centers?

Increasing a treatment center’s value is directly tied to outcomes and associated reimbursement, which cannot be fully realized without a top-end EHR.

Where can providers turn to for information on selecting EHRs?

Behavioral Healthcare annually publishes an IT Vendor Survey, the next edition coming out this November and, of course, everythingEHR.

Where are Behavioral Health EHR Vendors missing in action?  

You’ll have to listen to the show for this one folks!

What trends should providers be preparing for now?

Be prepared for continuing institutional interest in the field. This will be accompanied by increasing media scrutiny. The field needs to prepare for its  next “Charter Behavioral Health” moment.

How can listeners become more engaged with Behavioral Healthcare magazine?

I highly encourage listeners to join us at the Behavioral Healthcare Executive Summit in St. Louis this August or our inaugural Treatment Center Investment and Valuation Retreat this December in Scottsdale.

doug edwards 3-14Doug Edwards, MBA, has been active in the mental health and substance use treatment community for 15 years. He currently is Vice President and Managing Director of Vendome Healthcare Media’s Behavioral Healthcare division, which publishes magazines and e-newsletters, produces 50+ live and virtual events, and has a robust social media presence in the field. He previously served as editor?in?chief and publisher of both magazines. Edwards presents on marketing best?practices for the addiction treatment field and has a marketing blog at betheblueballoon.blogspot.com.

LinkedIn: douglas-j-edwards  Twitter: douglasjedwards


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