New Behavioral Health Data Exchange White Paper

October 20th, 2016 | Published Under Behavioral Health by Jennifer Mensch

Because Community Health Centers (CHCs) focus on all the determinants of health, including physical, mental and social, they have become trusted health partners in their communities. Evidence shows that the integration of physical and behavioral health care improves outcomes and increases patient satisfaction and engagement. While the importance of exchanging data on a patient that includes both physical and behavioral health information is clear, the actual practice of doing so has some complexities.

To help educate CHCs on how to exchange data, CORHIO partnered with the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) on a new white paper: Behavioral Health Integration and Data Exchange: Privacy and Exchange Considerations for Community Health Centers.

The paper focuses on data and privacy implications for three levels of integrated care:

  • Coordinated Care (Levels 1 and 2)
  • C-located Care (Levels 3 and 4)
  • Integrated Care (Levels 5 and 6)

The paper also includes a detailed look at Federal and State laws concerning behavioral health data exchange, including HIPAA, 42 CFR Part 2, and state laws. Other topics include information releases, receiving and storing behavioral health data, qualified services organization agreements, shared care plans, HIE and care coordination.

 “We’re fortunate to have many Community Health Centers in Colorado that have long been focused on treating a patient’s physical and behavioral health issues simultaneously,” says Toria Thompson, Behavioral Health Information Exchange Coordinator at CORHIO. “Often, this has been done despite using bifurcated IT systems that were built to support a siloed healthcare approach. This paper attempts to provide a roadmap for Community Health Centers who are dedicated to this journey of integration and want to build the infrastructure to better support that aim.”