Ideally, treatment plans are documents created collaboratively between people with a particular condition, in this case bipolar spectrum disorders, and their treatment team. A treatment plan is a blueprint of the work to be done. It’s also a mandatory requirement for most insurers, including Medicare and Medicaid. Organizations, such as the Joint Commission (JC) (previously the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO)), as well as Medicare and Medicaid, maintain guidelines as to what must be on a treatment plan and how it needs to be worded. Agencies and practitioners that provide healthcare need to do regular treatment plans with all of their clients. This includes home health agencies, hospitals, clinics, and private practitioners that bill Medicare, Medicaid, and other insurers that require a written plan of care.
Treatment plans include specific long and short-term goals, also referred to as goals and objectives. Each long-term goal (typically something that can be achieved within six months) is broken down, and specific interventions, such as therapy, medication, social interventions, etc., are slotted in to help move the person toward the stated objective. Every goal and objective needs to be worded in such a way that progress is measurable, something that can be counted or quantified in some manner. They must be behavioral, i.e., something that can be observed, and they must be realistic and desirable.
Evidence of the patient’s involvement in the treatment plan is also a requirement for the JC. In order for agencies to be reimbursed for services provided, the treatment plan must also be under the direction of a physician (MD or DO) and signed by him.