Friday, July 22, 2011

Contact your Congressperson!

The implementation of electronic Health Information Technology (HIT), required by the Affordable Care Act by 2014, represents a major change to the way that most LCSWs conduct their practices today. The cost of HIT software is estimated to be $44,000 per provider (Office of the National Coordinator, 2010). For physicians and hospitals, this cost will be covered by $2.7 billion which was built into the HITECH Act of 2009.

LCSWs and other mental health clinicians were not included as eligible for these funds, though we are expected to comply with HITECH requirements to receive Medicare payments (and most likely payment from all insurers). S. 539, the Behavioral Health IT Act, will make these funds available to mental health clinicians as well.

This is federal regulations so make sure to contact your FEDERAL congresspersons (not NC Legislators). Let them know to include social workers in an incentives package! To find who represents you federally, click here.

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