Policy Issues & Resources: Health Information Technology
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) appropriated over $19 billion for incentive payments to certain providers and health facilities to support the adoption and "meaningful use" of health information technology. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technologies (ONC) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have established a definition of "meaningful use" as it will apply to health IT. The definition will inform everything that ONC and CMS do related to health IT, including product verification, funding, and technical support.
The incentive payments established under ARRA do not include many behavioral health providers and facilities as eligible entities for receiving payments. The National Council is working to expand the incentive payments under the law to include behavioral health and addiction treatment providers. The National Council has worked closely with Congress to secure the introduction of the Health IT Extension for Behavioral Health Services Act of 2010, which would extend incentive payments to specified behavioral and mental health professionals, psychiatric hospitals, behavioral and mental health treatment facilities, and substance abuse treatment facilities.
For more information about ARRA, including enhanced federal Medicaid assistance (FMAP) and other Recovery activities, please see the Economic Recovery page of our website.
- Four Congressmen Join Behavioral Health IT Act as Cosponsors; Ask Your Legislators to Sign on Today!
- Five Legislators Join Behavioral Health IT Act as Cosponsors
- Congresswoman Sue Myrick Joins Behavioral Health IT Act as Cosponsor
- Step by Step Guide to accessing meaningful use incentive payments
- Fact Sheet on S. 539, the Behavioral Health Information Technology Act of 2011 (formerly introduced as the HIT Extension for Behavioral Health Services Act of 2010) (updated March 2011)
- FAQs on the HIT Extension for Behavioral Health Services Act of 2010 (updated 8/30/10)
- FAQs on Meaningful use IFR (updated 6/1/10)
- Fact Sheet on the need for including community mental health & addiction services providers in federal HIT funding initiatives (updated 8/30/10)
- Fact Sheet on Health Information Technology Provisions of the ARRA
- Letter to Rep. Patrick Kennedy in support of the HIT Extension for Behavioral Health Services Act of 2010 (Apr. 29, 2010)
- The National Council submitted comments to CMS on its proposed final rule defining "meaningful use" (Mar. 12, 2010)
- The National Council submitted comments to the Certification Commission on Health IT (CCHIT) on its proposed certification criteria for behavioral health IT products (Dec. 10, 2009)
- The National Council and Netsmart Technologies submitted comments in response to a call for public input on how the agencies should define "meaningful use" (June 29, 2009)
- The National Council, SATVA, and NAPHS sent a letter to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus to Ensure CBHOs are included in any federal HIT funding (May 4, 2009)
- Members of Congress wrote a letter to Secretary-Designate Sebelius urging inclusion of CBHOs in discretionary HIT funding (Mar. 17, 2009)
- CMS Medicare Attestation website (eligible providers must attest that they are meaningful users of health IT before they can receive incentive payments)
- CMS list of state Medicaid Incentive Program launch dates and links to state program websites
- CMS Flow Chart to help providers determine whether they are eligible for Medicare or Medicaid incentive payments
- CMS: Questions & Answers on the EHR Incentive Program for Medicaid providers (see Question 15 for information on eligibility for practitioners at mental health/addictions organizations)
- HHS website with updates and resources on federal efforts to protect health data privacy
- CMS website for the Medicare and Medicaid HIT Incentive Programs
- CMS Fact Sheet with information on the Final Rule for "Meaningful Use" of Health Information Technology (July 13, 2010)
- Recording and Slides from Dec. 16, 2010 National Council LIVE webinar "Get Ready for HIT Incentive Payments in 2011"
- Alliance for Health Reform Briefing Webcast Available: Health IT in the U.S. and Abroad
- Linda Rosenberg's comments about HIT and other issues in the behavioral health field, given at a Sept. 22, 2010 congressional briefing hosted by the National Council, The Hill newspaper, and AstraZeneca
- MedSphere article featuring National Council Vice President for Public Policy Chuck Ingoglia discussing the importance of federal incentive payments for behavioral health IT
- Slides from National Council Webinar "Roll Out of the HIT 'Meaningful Use' Standards and Certification Criteria" (Feb. 19, 2010)
- The National Council created a model letter for members to send to key Congressmembers in support of including CBHOs in federal HIT initiatives
- Michigan Health Information Network Initiative report on "The Value Proposition for Behavioral Health Organizations to Participate in Health Information Networks"
- Article from the University of Toledo College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences on patient assistance program software