We are excited to announce that the Behavioral Health Information Technology Act has been introduced in the House!
Much like its counterpart in the Senate (S.539), this bill will add community mental health centers, psychiatric hospitals, residential and outpatient mental health treatment facilities, and substance abuse treatment facilities to the list of organizations eligible for federal incentive payments. Currently, you can receive incentive payments for the adoption of health information technology if you have a psychiatrist or nurse practitioner on staff. Both bills would extend incentive payments for electronic health records to certain types of behavioral health organizations that are not currently eligible.
Health information technology is a critical component to providing high-quality, coordinated care. Extended payments to behavioral health agencies will help to support the adoption, implementation, and upgrading of IT systems. While this is a significant step in our advocacy efforts, there is still work to be done. Please contact your Representative today and urge them to sign on as cosponsors to HR 6043. The more cosponsors this bill has, the greater chance it will become a law. The current cosponsors of H.R. 6043 are Representatives Marsha Blackburn (TN), Pat Tiberi (OH), John Sullivan (OK), Thomas Marino (PA), and Tim Ryan (OH).
Click the Take Action link to write to your Representative today, and if you have not already done so, be sure to also reach out to your Senators to urge them to cosponsor the Senate version of the behavioral health IT bill, S. 539.
(Excerpt from National Council Action Alert Newsletter)