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Eligibility for EMR Incentives Could Be Widened

The AMA reports that new legislation is proposing to extend the eligibility for EMR incentives to include licensed psychologists and clinical social workers.

The Health Information Technology Extension for Behavioral Health Services Act also would expand the Medicare hospital incentive to include inpatient psychiatric hospitals, and extend Medicaid hospital bonuses to community health centers, mental health treatment facilities, psychiatric hospitals, and substance abuse treatment facilities. The bill was introduced on Aug. 5 by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D, R.I.), and a companion bill was introduced in the House by Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D, R.I.).

Whitehouse said his legislation “will give mental health professionals access to comprehensive and up-to-date medical histories, enhancing the precision of diagnoses and reducing medication errors.”

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