Behavioral Health

In January, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued updates to the privacy regulations regarding the confidentiality of patient information of substance use disorder patients (42 CFR Part 2).  This notice included references to better alignment with HIPAA regulations, but did state that Part 2 is more protective in order to retain "important privacy protections for individuals seeking treatment for substance use disorders." 

Under contract with the federal government, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recently released revised the Federal Guidelines for Opioid Treatment Programs (OTPs). The agency indicates that the guidelines “should be the primary reference and central measure for program staff, accreditation bodies and other stakeholders on the delivery of care in OTPs that is both high quality and in compliance with federal regulations,” noting that state-specific regulations also may apply.

Incident To Services

The billing of "Incident To" services continues to be a problem. So much so that it is one of the items on the OIG Work Plan. The reason why it is a problem is that there are very specific rules as to when a service should be billed as "incident to" and when it should be billed separately.

Mental Health Parity

Historically, coverage of behavioral health services were very limited. If you were fortunate enough to have coverage for these types of services, they were generally paid at a lower rate than other medical benfits in your plan. Over the last decade, this disparity in coverage has changed - driven by legislative efforts. This began at the state level and over the last couple of years it has also expanded to the federal as well.

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced today $99 million to train new mental health providers, help teachers and others recognize mental health issues in youth and connect them to help, and increase access to mental health services for young people.

Read the article here:

Questions and Answers for Psychologists and PQRS. In 2007, Psychologists had very limited opportunity to participate in PQRS. As of 2014, there are 11 measures available for claims-based reporting and two for registry reporting.  

For the entire article read more here:

Below are the 11 new measures for 2014

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