Biden Administration to Release Peer Support Certification Standards, Touts School-Based Services Efforts

The Biden administration announced Thursday several additional efforts to address behavioral health industry challenges. Among new efforts, the White House said it would release the “National Model Standards for Peer Support Certification.” Departments within the executive branch also announced steps to make it easier for schools to bill Medicaid for services. “The new standards are […]

Virtual MAT Providers Hopeful that COVID-Era Flexibilities Will Continue — But Wary About Risks

Some leaders in the virtual medication-assisted treatment (MAT) space see the opportune regulatory environment of the moment continuing post-COVID. However, virtual MAT providers were disappointed in the past by a regulatory flub at the federal level that could have secured them key flexibilities, leaving them to at least think about what might happen if current […]

Industry Applauds Tough Talk on Parity, Investment in Behavioral Health Workforce in Biden’s State of the Union

Pres. Joe Biden’s State of the Union address laid out a vision for addressing the ailing American mental health care system that was well-received by leaders and advocates in the behavioral health space. Several industry groups and executives in the space expressed their relief that addressing behavioral health — especially mental health and substance use […]

Biden Administration Releases Report Panning Health Plans for Failing to Achieve Mental Health Parity

Three cabinet-level federal departments found that health plans are failing to ensure mental health parity in their benefit plans. The U.S. Labor Department, Health and Human Services Department and Department of the Treasury issued a 54-page report today spelling out how group health plans or health insurance issuers have fallen short of their legal obligations […]

Supreme Court Upholds Vaccine Mandate for Medicare, Medicaid Behavioral Health Providers

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for health care facilities that receive Medicare or Medicaid but struck down the vax-or-test mandate for large employers. On Thursday, the high court handed down two rulings on lawsuits that challenged the Biden administration’s ability to drive a higher COVID vaccination rate in the U.S. […]

CMS Looks for Guidance as Medicare Advantage Plans Struggle to Build Behavioral Health Networks

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is looking into why Medicare Advantage plans have apparently struggled to add behavioral health providers to their networks. Last week, CMS announced that it issued a proposed rule that would change how insurers operate Medicare Advantage and Medicare prescription drug plans. But within the same proposed rule, CMS […]

What the Biden Administration Is Doing Help the Behavioral Health Workforce Crisis

The Biden-Harris administration has bolstered programs meant to overcome the educational costs of getting into the behavioral health workforce in an effort to lessen the staffing pains felt sector-wide. Late in November, the White House hyped $1.5 billion in executive branch spending — $1 billion of which came from the American Rescue Plan Act, passed […]

Medicare Telehealth Visits for Behavioral Health Up Over 3,000% says HHS

The number of telebehavioral health visits provided to Medicare beneficiaries increased by 32x — or by 3,090% — in 2020 compared to 2019. That’s according to a new report released by the U.S. Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE). The report analyzed claims data from the […]

Medicare’s Telehealth Decision Will Lead to Sweeping Changes for All of Behavioral Health

Recently announced changes to Medicare telebehavioral health coverage will impact the entire industry whether providers contract with the program or not. The move from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) marks an acceleration of telehealth on top of staking out a point-of-no-return for the industry’s progression toward digital adoption. CMS announced at the […]