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September 26 2016

President Obama marks National Health IT Week- "During National Health IT Week, we recommit ourselves to improving the health of our citizenry using the breakthrough technologies of our time and reaching for the next frontier of innovation."


See the full statement here.


March 12, 2013-

Senate Staff Briefing

"Behavioral Health Information Technology: A Tool to Save Money and Improve Quality Care"


 





July 22, 2014-

Senate Staff Briefing

"Behavioral Health Information Technology: A Tool to Save Money and Improve Quality Care"


 





July 20, 2011-

Senate Staff Briefing

"Saving Money and Lives: A Briefing on Behavioral Health Information Technology"


 





Moderator: Mark Covall, President & CEO, National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems


Presenters:

Dennis King, President of Maine Health Mental Health Partners & CEO of Spring Harbor Hospital, ME


Joan Sivley, Board Member, Centerstone Research Institute, Nashville, TN •Don Miskowiec, CEO, North Central Behavioral Health System, Inc., LaSalle, IL


Joseph F. Cvitkovic, Ph.D., Director of Behavioral Health Care, Jefferson Regional Medical Center, Pittsburg, PA


Kevin Scalia, Executive Vice President, Netsmart Technologies



December 3, 2014-

Senate Staff Briefing

"Mental Health and Substance Use Community Addresses Interoperability of Electronic Health Records"

See Dear Colleague Letter Here


 





Moderator: Jonas Waizer, Ph.D., Chief Healthcare Policy, FEGS Health and Human Services, New York City, NY


Presenters:

Bill Cadieux, Chief Information Officer, The Providence Center, Providence, RI


Joseph F. Cvitkovic, Ph.D., Director of Behavioral Health Care, Jefferson Regional Medical Center, Pittsburg, PA


Kevin Scalia, Executive Vice President, Netsmart Technologies, Long Island, NY



News

Events

December 12, 2018


Politico Morning eHealth: COALITION REACTION TO TESTIMONY BEFORE THE HOUSE E&C COMMITTEE​. Politico Morning eHealth featured BHIT Coalition reaction to Dr. Rucker’s testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee and his comments on behavioral health IT.

“Noting that while CMMI — due to the SUPPORT Act (H.R. 6 (115) ) — will have future opportunities to help extend tech, Rucker argued that the government has an opportunity to improve things rather simply making sure admit, discharge, and transfer (or ADT) data is disseminated through health information exchanges that tell doctors when their patients have been hospitalized. That might help for patients admitted for a drug overdose.

"There may be low-hanging fruit and we are looking at how to expand that," Rucker said. His comments back up our earlier reporting about last week's White House interoperability meeting, during which CMS Administrator Seema Verma stated that the government is hoping to promote more fulsome release of ADT data.

It's "not enough," said Al Guida, a lobbyist for the Behavioral Health IT Coalition, noting increased usage of EHRs was a critical prerequisite for safe expansion of medication assisted treatment. Such treatment can be most safely used if prescribers check whether there are any patient allergies or interfering medications — both of which are best with an EHR.”


December 5, 2018


Politico Morning eHealth: BEHAVIORAL HEALTH IT COALITION LETTER TO CMS. The Behavioral Health IT Coalition wants CMS to boost health IT as it implements the new SUPPORT Act, H.R. 6 (115), law to combat the opioid crisis. Specifically, the coalition — with members like the American Psychological Association and Association of Behavioral Health and Wellness — wants proof of interoperability capability to be mandated to be eligible for CMMI demonstrations, as well as use of ePrescribing for medication assisted therapy demonstration


October 16, 2018


Politico Morning eHealth: COALITION LETTER TO CMMI. ​At least one health IT group is pressuring CMMI to get specific about implementation plans for a provision in the new legislative opioid package allowing that group to incentivize behavioral health providers to adopt health IT products.

The opioid legislation, which awaits President Donald Trump's signature, describes a demonstration program that could nudge behavioral health centers to use EHRs. The Behavioral Health Information Technology Coalition has asked CMMI for a meeting to discuss the agency's demonstration program on bundled payments for medication-assisted treatment for substance use disorder, according to coalition president and CEO Al Guida. In a letter to CMMI head Adam Boehler the group argued that updated EHRs could enhance behavioral health providers' ability to combat the opioid crisis, potentially by allowing better e-prescribing


September 11, 2018


The BHIT Coalition was highlighted in an op-ed article published by the Morning Consult discussing CMMI's role in fighting the opioid crisis. 


Written in the op-ed, it states:

"Behavioral providers must have access to EHR systems to properly coordinate care because of the sky-high incidence of co-occurring medical/surgical conditions among individuals with mental health and SUD. Health IT can also enhance the quality of and access to medication-assisted treatment through e-prescribing. Since we are at the beginning of the MAT revolution in SUD treatment, an e-prescribing requirement would yield critically important data by electronically tracking prescribers, dosages, dispensing facilities, who are receiving MAT, and information regarding clinical outcomes — ushering in a new era of accountability." 


 June 12, 2018


Morning eHealth: CONGRESSIONAL PASSAGE OF BEHAVIORAL HEALTH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY INCENTIVES DEMONSTRATION PROGRAM. The House of Representatives passed HR 3331 on voice vote.  Politico called it “the biggest” of the opioid bills.  GCS also ushered the Senate companion to pass through unanimous consent earlier this year.

This legislation received favorable coverage from Politico in May and June 2018.


June 13, 2018


Politico Morning eHealth: HOUSE BILL VOTE ON OPIOIDS CRISIS. The House voted on a package of 25 bills addressing the opioids crisis Tuesday, part of a broader package slated for approval later this month. For eHealth purposes, Lynn Jenkins's bill (H.R. 3331 (115)) establishing a demonstration program for incentives for behavioral health providers' EHR adoption is probably the most notable of the batch. 


May 10, 2018

Politico Morning eHealth: POLITICO NOTES BHIT EHR INCENTIVES IS BIGGEST PART OF E&C PACKAGE MARKED UP. “Probably the biggest was (H.R. 3331 (115)), to extend EHR incentive payments to behavioral health providers. Remember, a similar bill — the Improving Access to Behavioral Health IT Act (S. 1732 (115) ) — passed the Senate in a bipartisan vote earlier this week.” 


​September 7, 2016

Behavioral Health IT vendor Netsmart still wants the Senate to take up the HELP Committee’s Mental Health bill (S. 2680) during its four-week September work period with the hopes it will give a chance to debate Senator Sheldon Whitehouse’s legislation to extend meaningful use incentives to mental health providers. See the Politico article here.


June 21, 2016
"Neither the Medicaid-Medicare Dual Eligible Demos, nor the current Medicare ACO program, can function properly without integrating mental health and addiction providers. To do that, you need behavioral health IT incentives." See the Politico story here.

June 2, 2016​
In a letter to Energy and Commerce leadership, the behavioral health IT community is urging House lawmakers  to use “such sums” authorization language to ease funding concerns of expanding the meaningful use program to mental health providers. See the Politico story here.


March 16, 2016
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse is giving the get-behavioral-health-into-meaningful-use play a shot, with an amendment that calls for a five-year pilot. See the Politico article here.

March 16, 2016
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse said he plans to offer an amendment extending meaningful use to practitioners in the field when the bill hits the floor. See the Politico article here.


​March 11, 2016
​Sen. Whitehouse (D-R.I.) is expected to offer an amendment that would create a $250 million pilot program offering incentive payments to mental health providers that adopt electronic health records. Seen the Bloomberg BNA article here.


March 10, 2016
The Behavioral Health IT Coalition is encouraging the Senate HELP Committee to include a pilot program for adding mental health providers to the meaningful use program in legislation the committee will markup next week. See the Politico article here.


​June 23, 2015 
BHIT Coalition responds to the Senate Finance Committee letter in regards to the formation of a chronic care working group. 


​​​June 9, 2015

CQ Roll Call: "Consensus on Broad Mental Health Bill Remains Elusive" article.


June 4, 2015

Politico Pro article regarding Congressman Tim Murphy's new legislation quotes Netsmart's Kevin Scalia


June 4, 2015

Congressman Tim Murphy [R-PA-18] reintroduces The Helping Families in Mental Crisis Act. Click to review the BHIT Coalition press release


February 9, 2015

BHIT Coalition comments on the ONC's 2015-2020 Strategic Plan. Click to review the comment letter and press release. Also see the MHLG's letter in response to the Strategic Plan here


December 3, 2014

Pittsburg, PA Radio Station 1020 KDNA Interview with BHIT Coalition Advocate Rebecca Smith.  Listen here.


December 9, 2014

PoliticoPro:  "Behavioral Health Group Seeks Change in CMS Rule" article 


December 8, 2014

CQ Roll Call: "Congress' HITECH Act and Good Patient Care" Article by Netsmart Technologies' Kevin Scalia


December 3, 2014

Washington, DC's WNEW's 99.1 Radio coverage:  "BHIT Coalition Addresses US Senate"

Listen Here for Segment 1

Listen Here for Segment 2


December 3, 2014

PoliticoPro: "Behavioral Health Advocates Renew The Push for Access to Meaningful Use" Article


October 2, 2014

PoliticoPro: "Behavioral Health IT to Congress- Don't Forget About Us" Article


August 12, 2014

PoliticoPro: "Behavioral Health IT writes Congress on Reforms" Article


July 22, 2014

PoliticoPro: "Mental Health Providers Plead for Meaningful Use Payments" Article


July 22, 2014

Triblive: "Jefferson Hospital Doctor Serves as Panelist for Mental Health Legislation" Article


November 23, 2013

Portsmouth Times: "Portman Supports Behavioral Health Bill" Article