devxlogo

Behavioral Health Information Technology Act of 2011

Definition of Behavioral Health Information Technology Act of 2011

The Behavioral Health Information Technology Act of 2011 is a piece of legislation in the United States that aimed to incentivize the adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) and other health IT solutions in mental and behavioral health care settings. It sought to extend the HITECH Act’s financial incentives to psychiatric and behavioral health professionals, as well as their facilities. The purpose of this act was to encourage the modernization of mental and behavioral health care systems and to improve the quality, coordination, and efficiency of care provided.

Phonetic

The phonetics of the keyword “Behavioral Health Information Technology Act of 2011” can be broken down as follows:Behavioral: /bɪˌheɪvjərəl/Health: /hɛlθ/Information: /ˌɪnfərˈmeɪʃən/Technology: /tɛkˈnɒlədʒi/Act: /ækt/of: /əv/ or /ɒv/2011: /tuː ˌθaʊzənd ənd ɪ’lɛvən/Please note that the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) symbols are used to represent the pronunciation.

Key Takeaways

  1. The Behavioral Health Information Technology Act of 2011 aimed to offer financial incentives for mental health and substance use disorder providers to adopt electronic health records (EHR) systems and improve the overall quality of their services.
  2. This Act extended the provisions of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act to help behavioral health providers transition to EHR technologies, promoting better care coordination and data sharing between providers.
  3. By incentivizing the adoption of EHRs in the behavioral health community, the Act sought to lower healthcare costs, increase the efficiency of care delivery, and improve the overall health outcomes for individuals with mental health and substance use disorders.

Importance of Behavioral Health Information Technology Act of 2011

The Behavioral Health Information Technology Act of 2011 is a crucial piece of legislation as it aims to improve the quality, safety, and accessibility of behavioral healthcare through the adoption and integration of electronic health records (EHRs) and other health information technologies.

By extending federal incentive payments to behavioral healthcare providers, including mental health and addiction treatment professionals who adopt certified EHR systems, this act fosters a more streamlined approach to patient care and encourages interprofessional communication.

Consequently, it facilitates early intervention, prevention, and better management of behavioral health conditions, ultimately enhancing patient outcomes and contributing to the overall improvement of public health.

Explanation

The Behavioral Health Information Technology (BHIT) Act of 2011 was introduced with the primary purpose of promoting the adoption of health information technology (HIT) within the behavioral health and substance abuse treatment sectors. The Act recognized the importance of integrating technology in the treatment and care for individuals with mental health, addiction, and other behavioral health conditions.

Through financial incentives and grant programs, the BHIT Act aimed to encourage behavioral healthcare providers to adopt electronic health records (EHR) and demonstrate meaningful use, resulting in improved patient outcomes and reduced healthcare costs. The BHIT Act serves to facilitate greater collaboration, coordination, and knowledge-sharing between behavioral health providers and other medical care professionals.

By integrating EHRs and other health IT solutions, the Act aims to ensure that individuals with behavioral health conditions receive comprehensive and timely care. In turn, this integration can lead to better-informed clinical decisions, reduced chances of duplicated treatments, improved communication among care providers, and ultimately, a more efficient and effective healthcare system.

Additionally, the adoption of health IT solutions is crucial for behavioral health providers to meet the necessary health care standards and participate in the broader health care reform initiatives.

Examples of Behavioral Health Information Technology Act of 2011

The Behavioral Health Information Technology Act of 2011 aimed at extending the benefits of healthcare IT infrastructure to behavioral health service providers. Although the act has not been officially implemented, technology advancements that resemble its intentions are currently used in mental health and substance abuse treatment. Three real-world examples of behavioral health IT advancements are:

Electronic Health Records (EHRs):Many mental health and substance abuse treatment facilities have adopted EHR systems that store patient data in a secure, digital format. This enables providers to access comprehensive medical information and share it across different healthcare providers, allowing for more efficient coordination across the continuum of care. In the context of behavioral health, EHRs enhance the ability to track treatment progress, monitor medication use, and ensure that patients receive appropriate services.

Telehealth:Telehealth refers to the use of technology to deliver healthcare services remotely. Videoconferencing, telephone calls, and other remote communication methods are becoming increasingly common in the behavioral health field. Telehealth has been shown to enhance access to care in rural and underserved areas, reduce stigma, and increase patient satisfaction in mental health and substance use disorder treatment settings. Tele-psychiatry, tele-psychology, and tele-rehabilitation are examples of services facilitated by telehealth advancements.

Mobile Health (mHealth) Apps:Several mobile apps and online platforms have been developed to assist individuals, families, and communities in managing mental health and substance use disorder issues. These applications can offer resources, information, and self-help tools for people dealing with behavioral health concerns. Some examples include mood tracking apps, digital support groups, and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) tools. Such apps can be useful adjuncts to traditional therapy and can be tailored to the specific needs and preferences of users.

FAQ: Behavioral Health Information Technology Act of 2011

What is the Behavioral Health Information Technology Act of 2011?

The Behavioral Health Information Technology Act of 2011 is a legislation aimed at incentivizing the adoption of Electronic Health Records (EHR) and Health Information Technology (HIT) by behavioral health, mental health, and substance abuse treatment providers, in order to improve the quality, efficiency, and coordination of care within these fields.

What does the Act include?

The Act includes financial incentives for the adoption of EHR and HIT solutions, such as grant programs and direct incentive payments to eligible providers who demonstrate meaningful use of such technologies. Furthermore, the Act supports the development of interoperable infrastructure and collaboration between public and private entities for better integration of behavioral and physical health information systems.

Who are eligible providers under the Act?

Eligible providers under the Act include behavioral health, mental health, and substance abuse treatment providers, and other stakeholders in the behavioral health field, such as psychologists, psychiatrists, addiction counselors, social workers, and community mental health centers.

Why is the Act important?

The Act is important because it helps bridge the gap in the adoption of EHR and HIT solutions between physical health and behavioral health providers. This, in turn, ensures more comprehensive and better-coordinated care for individuals suffering from mental health disorders and substance use disorders. It also promotes the use of evidence-based care practices and encourages greater collaboration between healthcare providers in these fields.

What is the current status of the Behavioral Health Information Technology Act?

The Behavioral Health Information Technology Act of 2011, also known as H.R. 6043, was introduced to the United States Congress in 2012, but it has not yet been enacted into law. However, the Act has generated significant interest among stakeholders in the behavioral health field, emphasizing the need for the inclusion of this integral sector in the larger health information technology landscape.

Related Technology Terms

  • Electronic Health Records (EHR)
  • Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act
  • Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC)
  • Behavioral health care providers
  • Meaningful Use (MU) Incentive Programs

Sources for More Information

devxblackblue

About The Authors

The DevX Technology Glossary is reviewed by technology experts and writers from our community. Terms and definitions continue to go under updates to stay relevant and up-to-date. These experts help us maintain the almost 10,000+ technology terms on DevX. Our reviewers have a strong technical background in software development, engineering, and startup businesses. They are experts with real-world experience working in the tech industry and academia.

See our full expert review panel.

devxblackblue

About Our Editorial Process

At DevX, we’re dedicated to tech entrepreneurship. Our team closely follows industry shifts, new products, AI breakthroughs, technology trends, and funding announcements. Articles undergo thorough editing to ensure accuracy and clarity, reflecting DevX’s style and supporting entrepreneurs in the tech sphere.

See our full editorial policy.

Technology Glossary

Table of Contents

More Terms