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House Passes Rep. Jenkins' Behavioral Health Legislation

Washington, D.C. – Today the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3331, the Improving Access to Behavioral Health Information Technology Act, introduced by Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins’ (R-KS) and Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-CA). The bipartisan bill would authorize the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation to incentivize health IT demonstrations for behavioral health providers.

“As the nation battles a mental health and opioid crisis, Congress must do all it can to make certain that providers have the tools they need to effectively treat their patients,” said Congresswoman Jenkins. “Comprehensive care is key to producing the best outcomes, improving substance abuse treatment and fully integrating prevention services for all Americans.”

This legislation takes the critical step of bringing mental health and addiction treatment into the 21st Century while reducing health spending and expanding access for these treatments to underserved communities, like those in rural Kansas.

Earlier today, Congresswoman Jenkins spoke on the House floor in support of this legislation.

House Floor Speech:

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to express strong support for the Improving Access to Behavioral Health Information Technology Act - HR 3331. 

Our nation finds itself in a mental health and opioid crisis and Congress must do all it can to ensure providers have the tools they need to effectively treat their patients.

Toward that end, together with Representatives Matsui and Mullin, I introduced this bipartisan legislation, which would authorize the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation to incentivize health IT demonstrations for behavioral health providers.

By utilizing electronic health records they can better coordinate care, support delivery of treatment, and help to fully integrate recovery and prevention services for all Americans.

This legislation takes the critical step of bringing mental health and addiction treatment into the 21st Century, while reducing health spending, and expanding access for these treatments to underserved communities, including rural areas in my home state of Kansas.

I urge my colleagues to vote in favor of HR 3331 and it is my hope that we get this bill to the President’s desk as quickly as possible.

Thank you and I yield back.

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