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IT expert to probe how behavioral health can catch up to innovation without meaningful use

IT veteran Laura Young will share best practices for health information exchange among long-term post-acute care and mental and behavioral health providers at HIMSS16.
By Chris Hayden
08:16 PM
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“A lot of providers were unable to capitalize on meaningful use dollars,” said Laura Young, executive director of the Behavioral Health Information Network of Arizona.

Left out of meaningful use, mental and behavioral health providers have spent the past few years trying to catch up with advances in electronic health records, data sharing and developing interoperability standards.

“A lot of providers were unable to capitalize on meaningful use dollars,” said Laura Young, executive director of the Behavioral Health Information Network of Arizona. “I still see providers with old EHR systems and we’ve had to get creative around those.”

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Young has been in the IT industry for 25 years, much of that time spent building bridges within the behavioral health community. Along with Jeannie Harvell, of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and Keith Kelley, of IHIE, Young will present “HIEs and Non-Eligible Providers: Leveraging LTPACs and Behavioral Health” at HIMSS16 in Las Vegas.

The session will focus on the specific challenges around information exchange and the best practices developed by providers to meet those challenges, Young said.

[Also: Meaningful use still in effect, Slavitt and DeSalvo say]

Young said given the call for integrated health in meaningful use, mental health advocates have been an underserved group within the healthcare community.

The recent announcement by acting CMS administrator Andy Slavitt that meaningful use would undergo a large-scale transformation has Young taking a wait-and-see approach.

Meaningful use, she added, aimed to help the healthcare industry achieve interoperability and standards for information sharing, she said, but significant changes to meaningful use could discourage industry from working toward standards for information sharing and interoperability.

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“I want to believe there will still be a lot of innovation around healthcare technology,” Young said. “A lot of meaningful use initiatives have been postponed and a lot of great innovation has still come out. The nice thing about meaningful use is that a dialogue has been started, and that’s important.”

Young’s session, “HIE and Non-eligible providers: Leveraging LTPACs and Behavioral Health,” is scheduled for Feb. 29, 2016 from 9:30-10:30 a.m. in the Sands Expo Convention Center Bellini 2001.

Twitter: @HenryPowderly


This story is part of our ongoing coverage of the HIMSS16 conference. Follow our live blog for real-time updates, and visit Destination HIMSS16 for a full rundown of our reporting from the show. For a selection of some of the best social media posts of the show, visit our Trending at #HIMSS16 hub.