Legislation Expands Scope of EHR Meaningful Use Eligibility

Andrea Kraynak, for HealthLeaders Media , April 21, 2010

Bringing behavioral, mental health on-board

Meanwhile, Representatives Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) and Tim Murphy (R-PA) introduced the HITECH Extension for Behavioral Health Services Act of 2010 (HR 5025) to the House April 14. This proposed legislation would further expand meaningful use incentive eligibility to behavioral and mental healthcare providers.

The bill proposes the following change:

Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 300jj[3]) is amended [to include] `behavioral and mental health professionals (as defined in section 331(a)(3)(E)(i)), a substance abuse professional, a psychiatric hospital (as defined in section 1861(f) of the SSA (42 U.S.C. 1395x(f))), a behavioral and mental health clinic, a substance abuse treatment facility'.

The new legislation would make inpatient psychiatric hospitals, as well as clinical social workers and clinical psychologist providing qualified psychologist services eligible for Medicare meaningful use incentives. It also makes public psychiatric hospitals, as well as private psychiatric hospitals and mental health and substance abuse treatment facilities with at least 10% of their patient volume being individuals receiving Medicaid assistance eligible for the Medicaid incentives.

Andrea Kraynak, CPC, is senior managing editor of Medical Records Briefing and HIM Connection. She may be reached at akraynak@hcpro.com.

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