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APA joins coalition letter urging CMS to make Medicare telemental health services permanent

APA and others in the mental health community call on CMS to make some telemental health services permanent.
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Stine, L. (2020, October 16). APA joins coalition letter urging CMS to make Medicare telemental health services permanent.


On Oct. 5, APA joined the Mental Health Liaison Group in a letter submitted as a public comment (PDF, 82KB) to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed rule implementing the 2021 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule.

MHLG is the leading coalition of national organizations representing mental health and addiction treatment providers, consumers, family members, payers, and other stakeholders committed to strengthening access to mental and behavioral health care.

The coalition letter, co-led by the APA and the Jewish Federations of North America, supported the agency’s proposed changes to make some telehealth services permanent, including group psychotherapy and the add-on code for neurobehavioral status examination. The letter also urged the agency to allow audio-only telehealth for a broad range of mental and behavioral health services beyond the pandemic, notably, psychotherapy and health behavior assessment and intervention services.  Additionally, the letter recommended the elimination of the geographic and originating site restrictions for telehealth that would require congressional action to lift.

APA and the coalition are staunch advocates for furthering telemental health beyond the COVID-19 public health emergency, and are a united voice on preserving access to essential mental health care that will be lost if Medicare patients are limited to using dual audio-visual communication. 

For more information, contact Laurel Stine, JD.