Document Type


Publication Date



Center for Health Services Research and Policy, School of Public Health and Health Services, The George Washington University


Behavioral Health Issue Brief Series No. 22




On August 17, 2000, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) adopted uniform national standards for electronic health transactions and code sets pursuant to the Administrative Simplification provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). Uniform standards hold the promise of improved efficiency in the health care system through standardized electronic transmission of health information.

Many behavioral health care organizations (e.g., the American Psychiatric Association, the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors, and the National Association of State Alcohol/Drug Abuse Directors) have argued that the Rule's standards are insufficient for behavioral health providers. These organizations have called for the development of more appropriate codes for behavioral health services. A coalition of groups proposed new codes to HHS in February 2002 and is awaiting a response. The behavioral health provider community should continue to engage the process of modifying the Rule's standards where necessary to ensure that the Rule covers key components of behavioral health care delivery.


Funder: SAMHSA.

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