House Passes Behavioral Health Information Technology Bill
A bipartisan bill that would incentivize behavioral health providers to adopt electronic health records (EHRs) passed the House on Tuesday, following passage of a similar bill by the Senate last month. The Improving Access to Behavioral Health Information Technology Act (H.R. 3331), a long-standing National Council priority, would incentivize behavioral health providers to incorporate electronic health records (EHRs) into their practices. The House and Senate versions of the bill must now be reconciled before moving to the President’s desk for his signature.
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National Council Hosts Integration Briefing on Capitol Hill
The National Council for Mental Wellbeing hosted a congressional staff briefing on Wednesday highlighting government programs and initiatives that promote the integration of primary and behavioral health care. The panel featured four grantees from the Promoting Integration of Primary and Behavioral Health Care grant program, two of whom are also participants in the Medicaid Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic demonstration program.
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National Council Hosts Congressional Briefing on Integrated Care Program
On Monday, July 24, the National Council for Mental Wellbeing held a briefing for Congressional staff on the importance of the SAMHSA Primary and Behavioral Health Care Integration (PBHCI) program. PBHCI supports the integration of behavioral health care into primary care settings, with the goal of improving physical health status in people with serious mental illness (SMI) and addiction. This staff briefing, sponsored by Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), highlighted grantees from Connecticut, Oklahoma, and Missouri.
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Health Home Participants: Build the Case for Integration Through Data
At a recent BHECON forum in Normal, Illinois, attendees heard from legislators and experts in primary and behavioral health care integration about the growing importance of data in making the case for increased investment in services. With Illinois facing a continued budget crisis amid the rollout of its planned Medicaid transformation, the takeaway was clear: behavioral health providers should begin planning how they can collect and report data on cost and quality of care in order to position themselves for success.
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2015 Connect 4 Mental Health Awardees Announced
The Connect 4 Mental Health Community Innovation Awards recognize organizations introducing novel approaches to address mental health in early intervention, creative use of technology, continuity of care and service integration. The recently announced winning organizations for 2015 receive a $10,000 grant and join previous awardees to facilitate best practices.
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Senators Murphy, Cassidy Introduce Comprehensive Mental Health Reform Bill
Today, Senators Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) introduced the Mental Health Reform Act of 2015, comprehensive legislation to reform the U.S. mental health care system. The legislation reauthorizes a number of programs within the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), establishes workforce training and education programs for behavioral health providers, and affirms a commitment to providing evidence-based treatment services throughout federally funded mental health programs.
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National Council: The Business Case for Reducing Cost, Expanding Treatment for Mental Illnesses and Addictions
The National Council has published two business case reports offering behavioral health providers and advocates the information and strategies they need to make the case for the benefits of effective mental health and substance use disorder treatment. As payers and health system partners such as hospitals or Accountable Care Organizations consider how best to incorporate behavioral health into their delivery models, these case reports lay out the argument that integration of behavioral and physical health is not just good for the patient, but also good for providers’ financial bottom line.
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National Council Releases Integrated Managed Care Guide
The National Council is pleased to release an update to our managed care contracting paper, Ensuring Access to Behavioral Healthcare through Integrated Managed Care: Options and Requirements. Created for state government officials and advocates, this paper is designed to have upstream impact on contracts between MCOs and State Medicaid agencies. Chock full of sample contract language and interview questions for MCOs, this paper can be used during the procurement, contracting, and oversight phases of managed care implementation. Do you know when your state’s managed care contracts will next be renewed?
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CMS: Accountable Care Organization Regulations Up for Review
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has indicated that we’ll likely be ringing in the New Year with revised regulations for Accountable Care Organizations in the Medicare Shared Savings Program.
Signals from CMS indicate that the revised rules will address stakeholder feedback on how patients are attributed to individual ACOs
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Whatever it Takes: Strengthening Continuity of Care in MHA Village
The MHA Village, which started in 1990, was recognized in Phase I of Connect 4 Mental Health for its innovations in continuity of care, helping ensure individuals with serious mental illness receive appropriate and consistent care without significant gaps in coverage or treatment quality.
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State-by-State Worksheets Identify Medicaid Billing Opportunities for Integrated Care
Financing is often perceived as one the biggest barriers to sustainable integration activities. By not billing at all, or billing incorrectly, providers risk denied or delayed claims payments, wasted time and resources, and missed reimbursement opportunities for services provided.
The SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions (CIHS) has updated its state billing worksheets, a tool to help clinic managers, integrated care project directors, and billing/coding staff identify the available current procedural terminology (CPT) codes they can use in their state to bill for services related to integrated primary and behavioral health care.
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National Council Magazine Highlights Successful Case Studies of Integration
The Affordable Care Act accelerated many state and local payment and delivery system reform initiatives, including efforts to improve physical and behavioral healthcare integration. The latest issue of National Council Magazine, The Many Faces of Integration, profiles ways providers are getting creative in their approaches to integrated care and population health.
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Several House Committee Members Introduce Broad Behavioral Health Bill
Earlier this week, members of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce – which oversees many policies related to mental health and substance use – introduced legislation to improve the U.S. behavioral healthcare system.
The Strengthening Mental Health in Our Communities Act (H.R. 4574) was introduced by Ron Barber (D-AZ), Diana DeGette (D-CO), Doris Matsui (D-CA), Grace Napolitano (D-CA), and Paul Tonko (D-NY).
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NCQA Medical Home Standards Incorporate Behavioral Health Integration
Late on Monday, the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) released its updated 2014 Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) standards, including heightened standards for behavioral health integration and collaboration with mental health and substance use providers. NCQA recognizes more than 7,000 practices as PCMHs.
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