As the timeline draws near for the end of Medicare Meaningful Use incentives, the ONC (Office of National Coordinator) is pondering its own origins, and how to ensure that the healthcare industry continues to move to a model of electronic data exchange.
Understanding that the behavioral health specialty consists of a large number of clinicians who did not meet the definition of eligible provider under the Meaningful Use incentive program, the ONC has stated it will focus on promoting electronic health record adoption among psychologists and therapists in 2015, as well as specialists in long-term care delivery.
At the same time, the ONC has worked closed with SAMHSA to develop standards for what HIE should look like for the behavioral health community. The two agencies worked together to create the Behavioral Health Data Exchange Consortium which sought to establish the policies and procedures that would guide states on how to share data while complying with both the states’ and federal requirements. Acknowledging the need for standards in consent forms and the ability to accommodate patient disclosures (or nondisclosures) SAMHSA continues to elicit feedback from the community (there’s an upcoming meeting about substance abuse records and disclosures on June 11th). By directly addressing the nature of privacy in behavioral health both entities seek to overcome one of the challenges to wider adoption of HIT in the behavioral health world.
AUTHOR: Heather Grube