Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) has introduced legislation to encourage behavioral health providers such as psychiatric hospitals, substance abuse facilities and psychologists to adopt electronic health records by extending the Meaningful Use incentive program to them.
Sen. Rob Portman's proposed "Behavioral Health Information Technology Coordination Act," introduced last week, would expand the Meaningful Use incentive program and adoption assistance to psychiatric hospitals, substance abuse clinics and other behavioral health providers. With so much publicity these days on health insurance coverage for the mentally ill, and the all-too-common news reports about the mentally ill not receiving needed treatment, you'd think that senator's bill would garner at least some attention.However, it's received very little press.
What's more, Portman's bill has a companion bill in the House: a bipartisan group of Congressmen introduced legislation virtually identical to Portman's in August, although that, too, has received scant attention.
What I find amazing, though, is that these bills propose much more than mere expansion of the incentive program to behavioral health providers. They mean to effectuate tort reform for EHRs. If any of these provisions passed, it would constitute a major shakeup of the industry. Read more...
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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has reversed its position on the timeline for implementing the Meaningful Use incentive program, proposing an extension of Stage 2 through 2016 and beginning Stage 3 in 2017 for those providers that have competed at least two years in Stage 2.
ONC's Health IT Policy Committee has agreed with its Tiger Team's recommendations that the proposed accounting of disclosures rule, including its creation of an "access report," is overbroad.
What's going on with the Veterans' Administration (VA) these days? The VA, with its vast electronic health record system, seemed ahead of the curve. It was a trendsetter, spearheading patient access to EHRs with the adoption of its MyHealtheVet access pilot. It increased veterans' access to mental healthcare by launching a videoconferencing program. Veterans, who have long suffered with overcrowded emergency departments, understaffing, and other problems in accessing care, finally were getting an innovative, sophisticated health benefit.
Until they weren't. Now it seems that the VA has gone rogue on us when it comes to EHRs.
From Our Sister Sites
Though Affordable Care Act implmenetaiton is driving HIV-positive patients to shop for coverage in the marketplace, 31 HIV/AIDS patient advocacy groups collectively asked the government to investigate whether insurers are discriminating against HIV patients by not covering available HIV drugs or applying "egregious" cost sharing to them in exchange plans, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Hospitals must shift healthcare from inside their faclity walls to their communities in order to make care safer, patient-centered, more efficient and of higher quality, according to Maureen Bisognano, president and chief executive officer of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement during yesterday's IHI conference in Orlando, Fla.