Bipartisan Policy Center suggests better integration of clinical, behavioral health data in EHRs

A report from the Bipartisan Policy Center probes into the reasons for- and remedies to- the fact that mental and behavioral health data are poorly integrated with clinical information in electronic health records.

According to Bipartisan Policy Center some 45 million Americans have some form of mental illness. There has been increase in deaths due to substance abuse and suicide. Opioid crisis adds to the challenge of getting patients the healthcare they need. Behavioral health engagement solutions help providers to treat mental illness patients.

Federal statute called as 42 CFR Part 2 aimed to protect patient privacy by keeping substance use disorder separate from clinical records. But the rule prevents physicians from having a complete view of the patients.

The HITECH Act noted that subsidies were provided for medical providers to purchase and maintain electronic health records but, these incentives weren’t available to mental health and substance abuse disorder providers.

Integration of services financed at the federal level will need collaboration among traditional mental health providers, public health departments, states, health plans, and federal government agencies. They haven’t traditionally been required to work together and may not have aligned interest.