New Jersey agencies funnel $6M into EHR interoperability to tackle opioid epidemic

New Jersey's departments of health and human services granted $6M for the state's Substance Use Disorder Promoting Interoperability Program, which aims to increase access to EHRs for substance abuse disorder providers.

The SUD PIP supports behavioral health providers' implementations of EHRs across their facilities. The program also focuses on enhancing EHR interoperability between substance abuse disorder providers and other healthcare providers within the New Jersey Health Information Network.

The New Jersey state departments' funding will support 120 substance abuse disorder providers EHR modernization efforts. An estimated 60 percent of SUD providers in New Jersey reported needing new EHR platforms or system upgrades, according to a survey from the New Jersey Association of Mental Health & Addiction Agencies.

Due to federal statute limitations, addiction providers in New Jersey have generally not been able to participate in CMS' Promoting Interoperability Program. Through the program, formerly referred to as the meaningful use program, CMS distributes incentive payments to healthcare providers that install EHRs effectively and use them to improve patient engagement and care coordination.

"Equipping substance use clinics with modern electronic records and connecting those records together into a single network with hospitals and other clinic types, allows clinicians access to the full scope of information when patients come in for care," New Jersey Health Commissioner Shereef Elnahal, MD, said in a news release. "This leads to better care decisions that can be life-saving — especially for patients that come in right after an overdose."

More articles on EHRs:
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