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 […]

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 […]