Strengthening IDENTITY | Preserving INTEGRITY | Advocating PARITY
Below is a summary of the way that the CMS Physicians’ Fee Schedule Rule will impact Medicare psychotherapy reimbursement and telemental health services for LCSWs in 2021. The final Rule was implemented at the end of December, 2020.
CPT Code Reimbursement Changes
*Group Psychotherapy, 90853, has been added to the permanent list of telemental health services.
Telemental Health Services
Telemental health videoconferencing services have been extended indefinitely which is great news. Audio only telemental health services, however, will only be covered through the Public Health Emergency, currently scheduled to end on January 20, 2021. CSWA is working with the Mental Health Liaison Group to have Congress make audio only treatment covered indefinitely as well. CMS believes that Congress must make a legislative change before audio only services can be covered. It is likely that the Public Health Emergency will again be extended past January 20th, but has not been extended yet.
In summary, the cuts were not as severe as had been planned for individual psychotherapy, but somewhat more difficult for family and group therapy and psychoanalysis. To reiterate: Stay tuned for the extension of the Public Health Emergency, which will allow the continuation of audio only treatment, but videoconferencing has been extended indefinitely.
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