New bill aims to extend meaningful use incentives to mental health facilities

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Achieving meaningful use incentives for the implementation of electronic health records (EHR) is currently a popular topic in the healthcare industry. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently outlined the guidelines for healthcare providers to receive monetary incentives from the federal government.

A new bill regarding this issue was recently introduced in Congress, which will expand eligibility EHR incentives to mental healthcare providers and facilities, Healthcare IT News reports.

The bill will help expand the types of providers that are eligible for Medicare and Medicaid incentives for the use of EHR to include licensed psychologists and clinical social workers.

“Mental healthcare is a critical component of our healthcare safety net, and allowing these providers access to cost-saving, quality-enhancing advances in health information technology will improve the care that millions of Americans receive,” Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, told the news source.

This bill may increase the demand for health information management degree holders to implement EHR systems in mental healthcare facilities. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that job opportunities in this field are expected to increase by 20 percent by 2018.