SAMHSA’s New OTP Rule Cements Greater Flexibility for Methadone Treatment

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has finalized an overhaul of opioid treatment programs (OTPs) that enshrines many flexibilities first implemented during the crisis response to the COVID pandemic. The final rule represents the first significant change to OTP regulations in over 20 years. In brief, the final rule intends to enable […]

US Senators Move to Eliminate In-Person Rule for Behavioral Health Telehealth Services

Lawmakers have reintroduced a bipartisan bill to make behavioral health delivered by telehealth more available to those on Medicare into Congress. Four sponsors have reintroduced the Telemental Health Care Access Act. The legislation would eliminate the in-person exam mandate to receive mental health services via telehealth. It undoes 2020 legislation that expanded telehealth access for […]

Behavioral Health Providers Face New Compliance Burdens With No Surprises Act

A law meant to protect patients from spurious hospital practices may create headaches for the behavioral health industry. The No Surprises Act adds additional administrative burdens to provider organizations to take on without a corresponding funding measures. The law, in part, requires health care organizations to provide good faith estimates to patients who choose to […]

Court Sets New Parity Standard; United Behavioral Appeals to Supreme Court

The fight for behavioral health parity has momentum heading into 2024 following three major decisions at the appellate level. And the battle may extend to the U.S. Supreme Court following an appeal by United Behavioral Health. Three cases in this slice of the appeals court address how health plans governed by the Employee Retirement Income […]

How Biden’s Anti-Competitive Merger Plan Could Impact Behavioral Health

The federal government could begin scrutinizing private equity-owned behavioral health practices. The Biden-Harris administration announced new initiatives to thwart anti-competitive mergers and practices that could increase health care costs for patients. Private equity firms, health insurers and health systems will be subject to additional surveillance to foster competition in the behavioral health sector.  Although still […]

Behavioral Health Regulatory Outlook: Fight Over Parity, Changes to Telehealth Spill into 2024

Parity will likely be the defining regulatory issue of 2024 as the behavioral health industry braces for the impact of the Biden administration’s to-be-finalized rule. Still, there is plenty to sort out with just 44 days left in 2023. This includes other pending regulatory issues that could be addressed before the end of the year. […]

New Bill Aims to Cut Down on Behavioral Health ‘Ghost Networks’

Almost half of Medicare Advantage online provider directories have at least one inaccuracy – with issues often related to behavioral health services. A new bipartisan bill would protect seniors from the consequences of these inaccuracies, if passed.  And by doing so, the bill could also lead to MA plans strengthening their provider networks, which could […]

Legal, Regulatory Uncertainty Could Slow Down Behavioral Health Dealmaking

Several regulatory and macroeconomic shifts created a new era of heightened scrutiny in behavioral health investing. Higher interest rates, workforce challenges and inflation have made investors and acquisitive companies more thoughtful about where they place their bets. On top of the market force headwinds, the Biden administration and some state governments have signaled that they […]

‘Mental Health Is the Bipartisan Issue of Our Time’: Senators Launch Mental Health Caucus

A bipartisan group of 10 lawmakers has launched the Senate Mental Health Caucus to continue work on regulatory reform and help diminish the stigma surrounding mental health treatment. On Tuesday, Sens. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) and Tina Smith (D-Minn.) announced the caucus’ early strategic efforts to ensure appropriate implementation of the Bipartisan Safer […]