There are two pieces of proposed federal legislation that would directly impact behavioral health practices. If passed, the new mental health legislation would ensure that insurers provide equal coverage for mental health and telehealth services along with the same cost of physical medical care to beneficiaries.
The Tele-Mental Health Improvement Act
Proposed in the Senate, this bill requires private health insurance plans that cover in-person mental health or substance use disorder services to equally cover telehealth services during and shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition, this bill also requires plans to cover these services at the same rate as in-person services, excluding charges for facility fees, and providing information about how to access these services. Additionally, providers of these services may not charge facility fees to plan enrollees, according to the bill summary provided by Congress.
Read a one-page summary of the Tele-Mental Health Improvement Act here.
Also, access the full text, S. 660—117th Congress (2021-2022): Tele-Mental Health Improvement Act here.
The Parity Enforcement Act of 2021
If passed, the Parity Enforcement Act of 2021 would amend the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). This would give the Department of Labor (DOL) more power to investigate and penalize health insurers. Insurers that offer plans to employers that violate the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008.
In addition, this proposed bill in the House of Representatives would give the DOL the ability to ensure there’s compliance with existing mental health and substance-use parity requirements.
Read a one-page summary of the Parity Enforcement Act of 2021 here.
Also, access the full-text H.R.1364—117th Congress (2021-2022): Parity Enforcement Act of 2021 here.
So, your facility can support these bills passing by reaching out to your state’s representatives. Or, other organizations that advocate on behalf of the rights of patients receiving care and coverage that they need.
- Find your state’s Senators
- Contact your state’s Congressperson
- American Psychological Association
- American Society of Addiction Medicine
In conclusion, contact our team at Nextus Billing Solutions with any questions you might have about billing or claims for your behavioral health facility or practice. We will help to assess your needs and tailor a program that will maximize your patient-provider outcomes.