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News and Notes   |    
News Briefs
Psychiatric Services 2012; doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.20120p842
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Copyright © 2012 by the American Psychiatric Association.

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National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare survey finds low HIT readiness: To be eligible for incentive payments for adopting electronic health records, organizations must meet federally established criteria for “meaningful use” of health information technology (HIT) to record and report key data and to achieve specific goals in patient care. Data from a recent survey of nearly 500 behavioral health organizations show that only 2% of community mental health and addictions treatment organizations feel ready to meet meaningful use requirements, a much lower proportion than their counterparts providing general medical care. When asked about barriers to implementing HIT, 30% of respondents identified “upfront financial costs” as the leading roadblock, followed by 12% who listed “ongoing maintenance costs.” The 47-page report, HIT Adoption and Meaningful Use Readiness in Community Behavioral Health, attributes the disparity in large part to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which provided more than $19 billion for HIT incentive payments but did not qualify behavioral health organizations to receive facility incentive payments. The report calls on Congress to narrow the digital divide between behavioral health and the rest of health care by passing the Behavioral Health Information Technology Act. The full report is available online at www.thenationalcouncil.org.

AHRQ's review of ADHD treatment options and new resources: The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has published the results of its evaluation of evidence regarding the potential benefits and adverse effects associated with treatments for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) among preschoolers; the long-term effectiveness of interventions for ADHD among children six years and older; and the variability of prevalence, diagnosis, and treatment associated with potential moderating factors. The systematic review included 223 studies published from January 1980 through May 2010. Among preschool children with disruptive behavior disorder, which includes ADHD, the review found that parental behavior training reduces ADHD symptoms. The review also found that medications are thought to generally be safe and effective for improving school-age children's behavior, but long-term side effects are unknown. New resources based on the review include a summary of the research findings for parents and other caregivers, a summary for clinicians, CME activity, and a faculty slide set. The full report is available at www.effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov/adhdtreatment.cfm.

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