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APS Healthcare Issues First Award to South Carolina Providers Using Data to Increase Effectiveness of Mental Health Treatment
Date:1/14/2010

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., Jan. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- APS Healthcare, a leading provider of specialty healthcare solutions, today announced the first two winners of its Outcomes Informed Care (OIC) Award, Pepper Sarnoff, M.S., M.A., of Charleston, S.C., and Mona Saylor, MSW, LISW, of Columbia, S.C.  The award honors the two practitioners who made the most significant contribution to the APS OIC initiative, designed to increase the effectiveness of mental health treatment plans through use of APS-designed outcome measurement tools.  

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"I found the OIC survey to be very beneficial when reassessing my clients," said Award winner Mona Saylor, a group practitioner at Harbison Psychological Services LLC.  "It was particularly helpful in uncovering information that normally may have been forgotten if I haven't seen a patient for a period of time."

APS Healthcare has contracted with the South Carolina Employee Insurance Program to manage the mental health and substance abuse benefits for employees, retirees, and dependents covered by the South Carolina State Health Plan since 2002.  The Outcomes Informed Care program, launched this year as a voluntary initiative with South Carolina practitioners, brought a new level of measurement and patient feedback to the care provided to State beneficiaries.  

"I decided to try the Outcomes Informed Care initiative to see if it could be useful in my practice," said Award winner Pepper Sarnoff, M.S., M.A., a licensed professional counselor and marriage and family therapist.  "The survey tool was a good reminder about the need for ongoing assessment, especially in later stages of the counseling process. I also learned about some 'problems' my clients had not previously disclosed that might have gotten overlooked."

"Decades of research prove that routine patient feedback to clinicians improves outcomes," said Jeb Brown, PhD, Director of the Center of Clinical Informatics.  OIC provides mental health practitioners with objective data on how their patients are progressing according their patients' survey responses.  APS Healthcare's survey instruments, created with the Center of Clinical Informatics, were tested to ensure their statistical validity and clinical efficacy.  

"It is very important to provide some external measurement of the mental health counseling process to ensure that the best possible care is being delivered," said Steve Saunders, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer of APS Healthcare.  "We are very pleased that South Carolina practitioners are finding the instruments valuable, and that they are providing measurable impact on treatment."

About APS Healthcare

APS Healthcare, headquartered in White Plains, NY, is a leading provider of specialty healthcare solutions. APS delivers customized, integrated healthcare solutions that help people engage in behaviors that optimize their health status. By uniting all participants in the healthcare landscape -- individuals, practitioners and payers -- APS improves overall health and reduces total healthcare expenditures.

SOURCE APS Healthcare

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