Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services finalized their annual Medicare Physician payment rule and Medicare hospital outpatient and ambulatory surgical centers rule.  These provisions will start January 1st and will impact behavioral health in several ways including:

  • Extend Medicare coverage to include opioid treatment programs that initiate prescribing of buprenorphine via telehealth.  Medicare will also cover such services through mobile units.
  • Make permanent a pandemic-era flexibility that allows hospital outpatient departments to bill for in-home telebehavioral health services
  • Establishes Rural Emergency Hospitals as a new Medicare Provider type
  • New monthly payments for comprehensive treatment and management services for patients with chronic pain