This spring Exym Behavioral Health EHR is launching a new product called Exym Engage. Exym Engage a set of thoughtfully curated tools designed to support remote work and virtual client care. The product includes electronic signatures, secure document exchange, and unlimited telehealth software. Exym Engage is fully HIPAA-compliant and provides the tools for compliance with the 21st Century CURES Act.
CEO Beth Berger, CPO Paolo Bettoni, and Product Owner Juan Piscione sat down to share how Exym Engage came to be and why it’s what the current market needs.
Can you describe Exym Engage?
Paolo: For many years care was provided by therapists meeting clients in person. You’d walk into the building, say hi to the receptionist, walk into the therapist’s office and have a conversation. If you needed to sign any paperwork, you were handed a pen. If you wanted a printed copy of your medications, you just asked for it. Today expectations and regulation are changing, and we want to guarantee people have the same quality of service even when they aren’t physically together.
For example, you should be able to have a conversation with your therapist (via chat, or telehealth) without going to the office. You should be able to sign paperwork from anywhere in the world. You should be able to receive a copy of relevant documentation without having to go anywhere. That’s what Exym Engage is for.
Juan: Exym Engage is a place where a patient receiving mental health services can go in and quickly access their treatment documentation. In addition to viewing treatment documentation, the patient can also have interactions with the agency such as electronic signatures and document sharing. Think of Exym Engage as the equivalent of your Primary Care patient portal in which you can go in and view visit summaries and communicate with your doctor.
Beth: It’s the simplified, all-in-one set of tools that replicates the in-person experience of delivering and receiving care now that we’re in a virtual world.
What made you realize the need for Exym Engage?
Paolo: Two main forces: COVID and the CURES act. Covid drastically accelerated the need to provide care beyond physical locations, and the CURES act is a push from the ONC to make medical information accessible and easily interchangeable. Once we saw the direction that the market was going, we saw an opportunity to look at things in a fundamental new light and build an experience that would allow everybody involved to focus on the most important thing: getting and delivering care.
Juan: Even before COVID started, a client portal was always in our roadmap. As soon as the COVID-19 lockdown began, and we saw that agencies quickly shifted to provide remote services, we knew that this item in our roadmap needed to take precedence over anything else.
Beth: It wasn’t just one moment, it was the build-up of all the challenges our provider partners have handled over the last year. If you had to build a new house quickly to get shelter over your family’s head, you could get four walls and a roof put together, and you’d live with sub-par electricity, floors that gave you splinters, and hauling in your own water. For our customers that’s what they’ve been doing to survive this past year. We’re now giving them a software experience that is a house that’s completely remodeled and can meet all of their needs.
What do you love most about the Exym Engage solution?
Paolo: Its ease of use. I am excited about how Engage puts the focus back on providing the best care possible. People have been solving this problem with a number of tools that require both patient and therapist to learn new technologies, install new apps… clinicians have to improvise themselves tech support as they teach clients how to use this or that app in order to get a videoconference going, or a signature done. With engage it’s all seamless, and people can go back to focusing on care.
Juan: I love that we can solve many problems for our customers, with a feature heavy system at a very affordable price.
What do you feel is the most important feature of Exym Engage?
Paolo: For me it’s a 50/50 between the ability to get signatures executed directly from Exym (in a HIPAA compliant way), and the ability to start teleconferencing sessions without the need to install any app, and with a team of customer support experts available to help patients.
Juan: The most important thing is what will make our solution standout from our competitors: Unlimited patients, messaging, telehealth therapy, and electronic signatures at a very budget friendly price.
What is the most surprising thing you learned while working on this project?
Paolo: I’ve come to appreciate the service our customers provide to their clients even more. Despite the challenges of COVID people were able to find a way. Did you know that agencies often use couriers that go house to house? They have these huge, sanitized, zip-lock style bags that they prepare. They visit their patients, drop of the package, let the patient read and sign, then pick up the package again and bring it back to the office. The complexities and overhead of this type of logistics is really an indication of how committed agencies are to the important work they are doing. That was an eye opening for us and we said to ourselves “we have to give them something better that makes their life easier”.
Juan: That in addition to meeting our customers needs, we were also making Cures Act compliance much easier for everyone.
What’s your best advice for agencies who are thinking about using Exym Engage?
Juan: If you are paying for HIPAA-compliant telehealth therapy services, in addition to services such as DocuSign, this solution is a financial slam dunk. Furthermore, Exym Engage is meant to provide clinicians with tools to stay in touch with their clients in situations where they can’t see them. Exym Engage is a true virtual office.
The CURES act is a topic about which a lot of companies want to learn more about, how can they be sure to remain compliant with it?
Paolo: A lot of people are confused about what the CURES act really means for them. Anybody familiar with it knows that the interpretation of the rules has been changing quite a bit, leaving a lot of people wondering what it is exactly that they are required to do.
Here’s what you should know: April 5th is the deadline by which everybody needs to comply with the “Information Blocking” final rule. Exym Engage was created specifically with Information Blocking in mind and it will allow you to pass the current interpretation of the requirements.
We also know that the ONC is planning on providing further guidance to Agencies and IT Vendors alike, during the month of March. We are certain that further and further clarifications will keep on coming down the line, which is why we are in direct contact with the ONC and are committed to continue adapting our offering to make sure you remain compliant.
There are two main things that you can do:
- You must be using a product that is compliant (If you are using Exym Engage, you are in good shape)
- Your organization needs to have the internal know how, processes and procedures to comply with the different aspects of the CURES act.
How does Exym Engage help me with Information Blocking compliance?
Paolo: At a high level, the ONC requires you to make information available to actors that have the right to access it. You should make it easy for them to ask for it, and you should be able to provide the information in a timely manner. With that said, ONC recognizes that there are many reasons why you would not / could not / should not share some information with certain third party. In many cases, you must exercise judgement when deciding what to share with whom.
The tool (“Exym Engage”) will make it easy for you to share information when you want to. Your internal processes and procedures should be developed so that when you are asked to share information you can make the judgement call of what can be shared and why.
Juan: It removes the agency as the middleman when a client wants to see something in their record.
Behavioral Health EHR companies need to support the important work that behavioral health agencies do so that they can deliver the best possible client care. Exym Engage empowers clinicians to do the work that matters with an easy-to-use software solution for virtual client care and compliance.