SAMHSA awards $13.2 M grants to build HIT

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The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has announced up to $13.2 million in grants to support the expansion of health IT in settings that serve people with mental and substance use disorders.

As part of this new initiative, 47 community health centers working to integrate primary care and behavioral health services will receive a one year grant for $200,000. The grant will be used to develop a health IT infrastructure and expand the use of electronic health records (EHRs). Once the EHR systems are in place, patients and providers will have access to the latest information on effective treatments and support systems, and exchange health information through secure means with appropriate patient permission.

In addition, SAMHSA is announcing a $3.8 million grant to assist community health centers and state designated agencies with efforts to implement EHRs. The grant is being made to the National Council on Community Behavioral Health Care to enhance SAMHSA efforts underway to integrate primary and behavioral healthcare in community based settings.