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Allegheny Health Network Psychologist among Panelists at Senate Staff Briefing In Support of Legislation to Help Patients with Mental Health, Addiction Disorders
Date:7/21/2014

PITTSBURGH, Pa. (PRWEB) July 21, 2014

An Allegheny Health Network psychologist is one of three behavioral health specialists invited by the American Psychological Association (APA) to participate as panelists in a Senate staff briefing sponsored by the Behavioral Health Information Technology Coalition on Tuesday, July 22 at noon in Washington, D.C.

Joseph F. Cvitkovic, PhD, Director of Behavioral Health Care at Jefferson Hospital, part of the Allegheny Health Network, is one of three panelists selected by APA to help the coalition in its push to advance legislation to give behavioral health providers/facilities access to Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments through the existing Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009.

The legislation would amend the HITECH Act to support mental and behavioral health by enabling clinical psychologists to qualify for Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments for integrating electronic health records into their practices. It also would extend eligibility to nationally accredited community mental health centers, psychiatric hospitals, clinical social workers and outpatient mental health treatment facilities and substance use facilities.

“Providing incentives will increase the likelihood that Medicare and Medicaid patients will receive effective, high-quality care from psychologists,” according to a statement by APA Practice Organization. “The inclusion of psychologists and other mental health providers will also genera
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