AFSP Attends Congressional Briefing Hosted by the Behavioral Health Information Technology Coalition

07/22/2014

AFSP Attends Congressional Briefing Hosted by the Behavioral Health Information Technology Coalition

Senators Whitehouse and Portman hosted a briefing Tuesday, June 22nd sponsored by Behavioral Health Information Technology Coalition to discuss the necessity of their bills, S. 1517 and S. 1685 respectively, which seek to correct oversight that excludes key providers of behavior health and substance use treatment services from specific categories of incentive fund eligibility that would provide them with much-needed funding to enhance quality of care.

Salt Lake County’s Mayor Ben McAdams, ViaQuest’s Chief Operating Officer Chris Wolf, Columbia Community Mental Health Center’s Quality Improvement Manager Ginger Bandeen, and Jefferson Hospital’s Psychologist and Director of Behavioral Health Care Joseph Cvitkovic all testified on behalf of the two senate bills and on the need for financial and technological assistance to address mental disorders coupled with comorbid medical conditions (diabetes, hypertension, congestive heart failure, etc.).

Ms. Bandeen testified that “both bills would take a great step forward for behavioral health by making… facilities eligible to receive federal incentive payments” to allow for more equity between mental health providers and other health care providers through meaningful use of Health Information Technology.