The Massachusetts eHealth Institute (MeHI) at Mass Tech http://mehi.masstech.org announced in December 2015 that MeHI has awarded over $1.3 million in grants to 25 behavioral health providers to advance their use of health IT.
In April 2015, MeHI made the first round of awards totaling $973,500 to 18 providers statewide. In the second round completed in late October, seven additional providers received $363,000 to manage 53 facilities in 28 cities across the state. The behavioral health grantees selected in the two funding rounds now manage 179 facilities in 64 cities across the state.
The funding will help to improve patient care, reduce healthcare costs, and ensure the appropriate privacy and security protection for behavioral health patient data. The awards were part of MeHI’s eQuality Incentive program (eQIP) http://mehi.masstech.org/funding/equality-incentive-program-eqip, an initiative to provide grants for critical technology enhancements to both behavioral health, long term, and post-acute care organizations.
The grantee organizations serve many vulnerable populations where many receive costly services from multiple providers across the care spectrum. Through investments in technologies such as EHRs and the HIE exchange, behavioral health providers are able to communicate with other providers treating the same individual.
Organizations awarded through eQIP include behavioral healthcare facilities that provide direct care to patients with mental health or substance abuse issues such as Family Continuity www.familcontinuity.org, a non- profit mental health and social services agency with facilities in Eastern and Central Massachusetts.
“The eQIP grant comes at a key time in our agency’s growth,” reports Nina MacLean Robinson, Contracts Manager at Family continuity. “This grant will help us implement an EHR that will provide better clinical, financial, and operational oversight.”