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New tool will streamline behavioral health referrals

The Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public and Behavioral Health, announced Monday the launch of Nevada Health Connection, a technology platform designed to enable real-time referrals and monitor availability of inpatient and outpatient behavioral health services in Nevada.

The primary goal for implementing Nevada Health Connection is to improve patient access to treatment for crisis, substance use disorder and behavioral health services, according to the division. Nevada Health Connection allows for collaboration between health care providers and offers a one-stop shop to access information on available beds and treatment resources.

The program currently includes almost 50 Nevada behavioral health programs and facilities.

“Locating high-quality and available care resources can be a challenge for health care providers and those in need,” Gov. Steve Sisolak said. “This technology is a crucial resource that will provide our health care professionals with another tool to support Nevadans.”

Nevada Health Connection, through the OpenBeds platform, allows social workers, case managers and health care workers to access information on facilities with available beds to locate an appropriate level of care more quickly. A public-facing portal for community navigation is available through TreatmentConnection.com

The system will help providers to navigate the complex behavioral health system with a HIPAA-compliant, confidential process that allows individuals to access the right treatment at the right time.

“When we are working with Nevadans facing a crisis or seeking behavioral health services, time is of the essence and the Nevada Health Connection will help us to better assist those who have reached out for support,” said Rachelle Pellissier, executive director of Crisis Support Services of Nevada. “We are here to help anyone experiencing a personal crisis and knowing that this resource is available at our fingertips to connect an individual with care is an asset that will benefit those in need.

“Using Nevada Health Connection, we will help you get the support and services you need 24/7/365.”

The Department of Health and Human Services has been working with providers since 2019 to understand the challenges of the current system and develop Nevada Health Connection to better serve patients in need. The system was purchased with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Overdose Data to Action funding, the state’s main source of CDC funding for opioid surveillance, prevention and intervention initiatives.

“This is a much-needed resource for our state, and I am optimistic it will benefit those we serve,” said Dr. Stephanie Woodard, DHHS senior advisor on behavioral health. “The ease of the Nevada Health Connection system will help us to more efficiently serve individuals who are in desperate need of services. We understand the challenges Nevadans have faced trying to navigate the system and connect with the care that they need.

“The Nevada Health Connection will connect referrals for treatment and social services into one comprehensive network.”

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