Presidential Hopeful Kamala Harris Unveils Plan for Mental Health Reform 

Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris has unveiled a new plan to reform mental health treatment. If passed, it could lead to new opportunities and higher reimbursement rates for behavioral health providers. The plan aims to double the number of mental health treatment beds nationwide, remove the institutions for mental disease (IMD) exclusion, increase the availability […]

Funding for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics Extended

Certified community behavioral health clinics (CCBHCs) will continue to receive funding through at least Dec. 20, thanks to a temporary government spending bill President Donald Trump signed Thursday. National Council for Behavioral Health president and CEO Chuck Ingoglia lauded the move as life-saving for the thousands of people who rely on CCBHCs for care.  “CCBHCs […]

Disparities Widening in Coverage of Behavioral Health Care Versus Physical Health Care

U.S. employees are far more likely to go out of network and see lower reimbursement for behavioral health services than for physical health services. Despite a nationwide push for parity, those equality gaps are widening, according to a new study. The report — published by Seattle-based actuarial and consulting firm Milliman Inc. and commissioned by […]

Beneficiaries Likely to Spend More, Go Out of Network for Behavioral Health Services

Despite the push for parity, Americans are more likely to go out of network and pay higher out-of-pocket costs for behavioral health care treatment than for treatment of chronic conditions such as diabetes and congestive heart failure.  That’s according to research out of Ohio State University published in JAMA Network Open.  The findings illustrate the […]

Low Reimbursement Exacerbating the Behavioral Health Worker Shortage

With minimum wage on the rise and unemployment rates at the lowest they’ve been in 50 years, it’s no surprise that a number of industries — from home care to education — are facing labor shortages. Behavioral health care is no exception. However, low reimbursement from payers for behavioral health services is only exacerbating the […]

CMS Expands Medicare Coverage for Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has expanded coverage for treatment of Medicaid beneficiaries with opioid use disorder (OUD). The recently finalized 2020 Physician Fee Schedule creates a new enrollment category and benefit for providers who offer OUD treatment programs. The rule also establishes payment codes for bundled payments, which include medication-assisted treatment […]

New Medicaid Rule Could Indirectly Impact Behavioral Health Providers

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed a new rule Tuesday designed to increase oversight of Medicaid supplemental payments by creating new reporting requirements. While it’s not yet clear what the changes would mean for the behavioral health care industry, Medicaid is one of the largest financing sources in the space. It accounted […]

D.C. Medicaid Program Granted First IMD Waiver Specifically for Mental Health

A first-of-its-kind Medicaid demonstration project aimed to improve care for beneficiaries with serious mental illness (SMI) and/or serious emotional disturbance (SED) has been approved in Washington, D.C. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the approval of D.C.’s Section 1115 Medicaid waiver Wednesday. It quite literally waives federal rules that typically prevent Medicaid […]