Legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate would extend eligibility for electronic health records meaningful use incentive payments to behavioral health, mental health, and substance abuse professionals and facilities.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) introduced S. 539, which has been referred to the Finance Committee. Facilities eligible under the bill include community mental health centers, psychiatric hospitals, residential mental health treatment facilities, outpatient mental health treatment facilities, and substance abuse treatment facilities, including facilities operated by counties.

The legislation also would make these professionals and facilities eligible for services from health information technology extension centers.

Text of S. 529 is available at congress.gov.

--Joseph Goedert


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