Behavioral Health Initiative (Overview)
What is Behavioral Health?
The Office of the National Coordination for Health Information Technology’s (ONC) programs and resources are helping mental and behavioral health care providers make effective use of health IT. ONC's work to help providers includes:
- Behavioral Health Clinical Quality Measures Interagency Workgroup for Meaningful Use Criteria
- Behavioral Health Data Exchange Efforts
- Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs
As advocates for patients with behavioral health (BH) care needs, an interagency workgroup on behavioral health information technology with representatives from 18 federal agencies presented to the ONC Policy Committee consensus recommendations for increased BH-related Clinical Quality Measures (CQMs) in the criteria for Meaningful Use (MU) of electronic health records (EHRs). These recommendations were accepted by the ONC Health IT Policy Committee (HITPC) and referred to the HITPC Quality Measures Workgroup for development.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and ONC jointly sponsor this project to develop and electronically specify BH CQMs to be added to the current EHR CQM portfolio of suitable measures.
This project’s mission is to develop a portfolio of BH CQMs for potential inclusion in future stages of the EHR Incentive Programs for meaningful use of health IT. The timeframe for the project is October 1, 2011 through September 30, 2012. A Technical Expert Panel (TEP) has been convened to make recommendations on potential BH CQMs to be developed and included in the library of potential measures for future stages of MU.
- Behavioral Health Data Exchange
ONC is involved in several initiatives related to BH data exchange. These include:
State Health Policy Consortium – Behavioral Health Data Exchange
The Behavioral Health Data Exchange Consortium was created to pilot the interstate exchange of behavioral health treatment records among treating health care providers using the Nationwide Health Information Direct protocols. The project involves the creation of draft Policies and Procedures (P&P) for exchange of behavioral health treatment records.
The Behavioral Health Data Exchange Consortium is an activity of the State Health Policy Consortium, which is managed by the State HIE Policy Office via a contract with RTI International. The State HIE Program point of contact (POC) for this effort is John Rancourt (John.Rancourt@hhs.gov) and the RTI POC is Cindy Throop (firstname.lastname@example.org). The participating States are: AL, FL, KY, NM, NE, and MI.
For more information on the State Health Policy Consortium or if you are a State HIE Grantee interested in submitting a proposal, please visit: www.rti.org/shpc
SAMHSA/HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions – Health Information Exchange (HIE) of Behavioral Health and Physical Health Care Data
The Center for Integrated Health Solutions (CIHS) through its SAMHSA-HRSA funded cooperative agreement funded selected State Designated Entities (SDEs) for the development of infrastructure supporting the exchange of health information among behavioral health and physical health providers. The participating States are: KY, IL, ME, OK, and RI.
For more health IT information at CIHS, please visit: http://www.integration.samhsa.gov/operations-administration/hit
Data Segmentation for Privacy
- The purpose of the Data Segmentation Initiative of the S&I Framework is to enable the implementation and management of varying disclosure policies in an electronic health information exchange environment in an interoperable manner with the goal to produce a pilot project allowing providers to share portions of an electronic medical record while not sharing others, such as information related to substance abuse treatment, which is given heightened protection under the law.
For more information, please visit: http://wiki.siframework.org/Data+Segmentation+for+Privacy
Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs
Enhancing access to prescription drug monitoring programs through the use of health IT
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has declared that the U.S. is in the midst of an epidemic of prescription drug overdose deaths. The Enhancing Access to Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs Project stems from joint efforts of the stakeholder experts that participated in the White House Roundtable on Health IT and Prescription Drug Abuse in June 2011 and the HHS Prescription Drug Abuse and Health IT Work Group that resulted in the Action Plan for Improving Access to Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs through Health Information Technology (June 30, 2011) [PDF – 337 KB]
The project is managed by ONC in collaboration with SAMHSA, the CDC, and the Office of National Drug Control Policy. The goal of the project is to use health IT to increase timely access to PDMP data in an effort to reduce prescription drug misuses and overdoses.
A Two-Part Project:
- Work groups were convened comprising individuals from the healthcare community, industry, trade and advocacy groups, and state and federal government. The work groups discussed the primary problems facing the transport and use of PDMP data today, and developed specific recommendations to increase the usefulness and availability of PDMP data. These recommendations aim to facilitate information sharing to help health care professionals make better informed clinical prescribing decisions.
Enhancing Access to Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs through Health Information Technology: Work Group Recommendations:
- Pilot studies tested the feasibility of leveraging health information technology and health information exchanges to improve timely access to PDMP data.
Behavioral Health Roundtable
To help coordinate the adoption and use of health IT in integrating primary care and behavioral health, ONC supported a day-long Behavioral Health IT Roundtable meeting. The roundtable included private and public-sector stakeholders with representatives from consumer, provider, payer, HIE, professional association, vendor, health IT certification organizations, and other federal agencies. Read the summary report [PDF - 387 KB] from the roundtable, which reflects stakeholder comments and recommendations.