Co-morbidity between mental and medical conditions is the rule rather than the exception:
This patient population possesses an exceedingly poor overall health status:
This patient population adds significant cost to the health care system:
The benefits of EHR outweigh the cost:
Primary care health systems and providers have long benefited from the implementation of Electronic Health Records (EHR) systems. These digital records contain comprehensive and real-time information about a patient and can be shared across different authorized health care settings.
The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009 provided funding for primary health care providers to adopt EHR technology – unfortunately, most behavioral health providers were not eligible to participate in this program. Due to this exclusion from available funding, behavioral health providers to this day still substantially lag behind primary care providers in adoption rates of EHR systems.
Consistent with Bipartisan Policy Center recommendations, the BHIT Coalition strongly supports full funding for the Section 6001 CMMI Behavioral Health IT Demonstration in the SUPPORT Act (P.L. 115-271). Digital information flow between primary and behavioral health care would establish integrated treatment and an increased quality of care for patients.
The BHIT coalition believes in improved integrated care for individuals seeking mental health and addiction treatment – this improvement starts with federal funding for behavioral health providers to establish a foundation of modern documentation and exchange of patient records through EHRs.
Recent Recommendations on the Inclusion of Incentives for Behavioral Health Providers to Obtain EHRs
Costs for providers to purchase, deploy and maintain a behavioral health EHR can vary based on a number of factors. The provided estimates are based on general assumptions about the costs for each agency – including the purchase, installation, deployment, and operating costs for a cloud-based, full-featured EHR.
Netsmart, a member of the BHIT Coalition, provided these cost estimate scenarios