MICHIGAN’S SCHOOL DISTRICTS RAPIDLY ADOPT AND USE bhworks SOFTWARE PLATFORM TO IMPROVE K-12 STUDENT BEHAVIORAL AND MENTAL HEALTH
Baltimore, MD - In just over 15 months, 36 of the 56 Intermediate School Districts (ISDs), Educational Service Agencies (ESA), or Regional ESAs in Michigan, representing 301 districts and 945 schools, are now using bhworks, the Student Mental Health Software System from mdlogix (Medical Decision Logic, Inc.) to improve student behavioral health outcomes. Several more ISDs are going live early this year.
Through a statewide grant agreement called 31n, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) selected bhworks in spring 2021 to allow K-12 schools statewide to gain consent, confidentially screen students, assess, refer, monitor behavioral and mental health treatment, collect real-time data, and streamline communication with families and school staff. From October 2021 - September 2022, a rapid adoption of bhworks was underway, with 60% of ISDs/ESAs/RESAs using the system.
From fall 2021 to fall 2022, there were 6,650 student mental health referrals generated from bhworks and 3,451 students went to treatment. The early benefits, from bhworks-generated data, show that Michigan 31n providers are obtaining parent consent and providing services to students faster – from days or weeks to within 24 hours. With a web-based, electronic system, there is less paperwork and using one platform (bhworks) that has integrated with other Michigan systems including MiDataHub, increases efficiency. This time-saving efficiency helps with the state provider shortage.
“The dashboards help me to know what is going on and help with staff workload. I have been using the reports as leverage to report to my superintendent on what the clinicians are doing to support students and to promote the idea of hiring additional providers,” said one Michigan ISD bhworks user.
The student screenings – with immediate assessments and referrals for service – positively demonstrates how Michigan is methodically and swiftly improving student behavioral and mental health in the state.
“Having everything in one place is extremely helpful and time saving. Having assessments electronically available is what I have heard people are very happy about so far,” said one Michigan ISD director.
“We really appreciate the in-person demos and the one-on-one time mdlogix [staff] is spending with us,” another Michigan ISD bhworks user said.
Michigan set and accomplished the goal of expanding the existing Medicaid School-Based Services program to cover services provided to students receiving services outside of an IEP/IFSP. This increased the number of Medicaid-eligible students receiving services from approximately 163,000 to about 980,000. bhworks software serves as the infrastructure foundation for Michigan in this Medicaid process. The benefits include greater efficiencies and integration with billing systems so Michigan providers are reimbursed for these services, allowing for sustainability in the state over the long term.
“The Michigan model of using technology combined with in-state collaboration among all those who provide student support and services – from educators and school health providers to community clinics and first responders – is breaking down silos and showing improved student outcomes early on,” said Psychiatrist Allen Tien, MD, MHS, mdlogix president and chief science officer. “We are sharing their accomplishments with other states who could follow a similar model.”
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