|You might favor this bill if:
► You believe that incentives should be set in place so behavioral health care providers, such as psychologists and psychiatric hospitals, can adopt electronic heath records. Other health care providers already receive such incentives, mental health care providers should too.
|You might oppose this bill if:
► You think behavioral health care provides don't need a financial incentive to upgrade their records electronically. This is a waste of taxpayer funds.
The Improving Access to Behavioral Health Information Technology Act would incentivize behavioral health care providers, like psychologists and psychiatric hospitals, to adopt electronic health records by authorizing certain medicare and medicaid payments.
According to Senator Whitehouse press release on the legislation, the federal government has distributed $38 billion since 2011 in incentive payments to health care providers to adopt electronic health records. Mental and behavioral health providers, such as psychologists, community mental health centers, psychiatric hospitals, and others that specialize in treating addiction and mental health, have not qualified for such payments. The legislation aims to close this gap with the intent of improving the coordination and quality of care for Americans with mental health, addiction, and other behavioral health care needs.
Specifically, the bill would authorize the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation to implement a demonstration program that provides incentive payments to behavioral health care providers for adopting and using electronic health records.