NABH Chief: CMS’ Plan to Streamline Psychiatric Hospital Compliance Misses Mark

Psychiatric hospitals that participate in Medicare will soon see changes to the way they’re surveyed for compliance. Currently, providers are surveyed twice to ensure compliance with two different sets of guidelines, or conditions of participation (CoPs). But starting in March, those surveys will be consolidated into one, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) […]

UnitedHealth Group Temporarily Avoids Parity Lawsuit

UnitedHealth Group avoided a parity fight Monday, when a California federal judge dismissed a lawsuit claiming the insurer unfairly denied a man his right to receive coverage for addiction treatment. However, the insurer isn’t in the clear just yet, according to Law 360. The class action suit, originally filed last July, stated that the lead […]

‘Rehab Mogul’ Pleads No Contest in $175M Billing Scheme; Outpatient Mental Health Provider Settles False Claims Suit

The one-time owner of more than a dozen Los Angeles-area substance abuse treatment centers has been indicted on charges he operated a massive $175 million billing scheme. Robert Bathum, who has called himself the “Rehab Mogul,” pleaded no contest Monday in Los Angeles County Superior Court to 14 felony counts of grand theft, insurance fraud, […]

CCBHC Demonstration to be Extended Through May

The Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) demonstration program is set to be extended through May 2020. That’s thanks to the fiscal year 2020 funding package President Donald Trump is set to sign by midnight on Friday, Dec. 20. Congress passed the legislation earlier this week. Without the package, funding for the program would run […]

Feds Aren’t Proactively Checking for Parity Compliance — But Advocates Say They Should Be

Federal agencies may not be doing enough to ensure behavioral health parity within health plans, according to a recent report from the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO). In response, advocates are calling for more extensive oversight of employer-sponsored group plans. The report found that the vast majority of federal reviews and investigations into parity […]

Law Change Leads to Boom in Rural Medication-Assisted Treatment Access

Rural areas have seen an explosion in access to medication-assisted treatment since 2017, largely due to the passage of a law that allows nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) to prescribe buprenorphine-naloxone. The boom could have applications in other areas of behavioral health care, too. That’s according to a recent study published in the […]

Despite Uncertainty, Policy Expert Optimistic About 2020 Behavioral Health Outlook

As 2020 approaches, behavioral health providers are staring down the barrel of financial and regulatory uncertainty. While they may not know exactly what to expect, policy experts at the National Council for Behavioral Health are optimistic about the behavioral health landscape in the year ahead. “[A government shutdown] seems extremely unlikely this year,” Rebecca Farley […]

Why Compliance Programs Are More Important Than Ever for Behavioral Health Providers

Historically, many behavioral health providers have operated on a cash-pay basis out of necessity. But as reimbursement options continue to increase for mental health and substance abuse treatment, that no longer has to be the case. Parity requirements have brought commercial payers more substantially into the mix, while opportunities for providers to be reimbursed by […]

Federal Opioid Grant Money Can’t Be Used on Marijuana

The U.S. government says federal grant dollars awarded for opioid and other substance abuse treatment can’t be spent on marijuana. The news comes as the opioid crisis continues to rage on in states across the country — more and more of which now allow the use medical and recreational marijuana. While the drug is illegal […]