Kaiser Permanente Settles Behavioral Health Access Violations for $200M

Kaiser Permanente has agreed to pay a record-setting fine over its mismanagement of behavioral health benefits. In total, Kaiser Permanente must pay $200 million. This includes a $50 million fine, the largest the California Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) has ever issued, as part of a settlement agreement. Kaiser Permanente has also committed to […]

DEA Extends Telehealth Flexibilities Another Year

The federal government will extend COVID-era telehealth flexibilities until December 2024, dramatically extending the runway for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to establish new rules for using telehealth and controlled substances. The DEA and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a new temporary rule on Oct. 6 after conducting two days of listening […]

Eager for Parity Reform, Outpatient Mental Health Should Expect to ‘Step Up’ Care Quality

Parity reform may heighten clinical and administrative requirements for outpatient mental health providers. These laws may make in-network agreements simpler and more profitable, as many providers hope. Yet talk of parity is often one-sided, focused on perceived payer wrongs. This overshadows the role of clinicians and their organizations in increasing access to and improving care […]

Behavioral Health Payers and Providers Push Measurement-Based Care, But Clinicians Aren’t Buying In

There’s a big problem with measurement-based care in behavioral health that few are talking about: the fact that many clinicians are highly skeptical of payers. While most therapists use clinical assessments to care for patients, many are concerned about privacy and how health plans will use the data that’s shared with them. These attitudes come […]

What DEA Leaders Are Saying About Telehealth and Prescribing Controlled Substances

Key Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) leaders said little last week during the roughly 11 hours of live presentations heard over two days of listening sessions regarding the future of telehealth and prescribing controlled substances. What they did say, however, helps clarify what is top of mind for the DEA as the agency considers re-approaching how […]

‘They Won’t Rip Telehealth Away’: Digital Behavioral Health Companies Prepare for Industry-Shaping DEA Decision

November is fast approaching, and with it comes the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) proposed rule on telehealth and controlled substance prescribing. After a six-month delay, the federal law enforcement and regulatory body will release regulations that will shape the future of telehealth within behavioral health in the post-COVID era. It also has the potential to […]

CMS Rolls Out an All-Payer Cost Control Initiative Featuring Behavioral Health Integration

Behavioral health integration will play a major role in The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) latest cost control initiative. On Tuesday, CMS unveiled the States Advancing All-Payer Health Equity Approaches and Development Model (AHEAD Model). It is an 11-year total cost-of-care reduction model meant to give state governments the tools to reduce spending […]

Baymark, Sheppard Pratt CEOs Tout SAMHSA’s Behavioral Health Action Plan as Almost ‘Spot On’

The federal government gave the behavioral health industry a behind-the-scenes look at its strategic priorities for the coming years earlier this month. Those priorities, outlined by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), include a push to better integrate behavioral health care into physical health care — and the other way around. Other […]

DEA ‘Open To Considering’ Special Registration Process for Telehealth Controlled Substance Prescribing

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has openly signaled a reversal in its stance towards a long-mandated special registration process that would allow telehealth prescribing of certain controlled substances. In a newly published meeting notice, the DEA says the voluminous and negative feedback on its proposed rule for post-public health emergency telehealth regulations inspired its new […]

Behavioral Health Industry Flexes Lobbying Muscles to Shape Policy

Behavioral health providers don’t have to accept the status quo when it comes to challenging state markets. Savvy operators can change fundamental aspects of the markets in which they operate through lobbying and advocacy. This is a right — and even civic obligation — for members of the public to push officials to make changes. […]