Medicare Finalizes Rule for CY 2022, Includes Welcome Telehealth Continuation Provisions.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on November 3 released a Medicare final rule for Calendar Year 2022 that includes welcome provisions on telehealth and the Quality Payment Program (QPP). The agency has implemented many of the provisions that NASW requested in its comment letter. Among other provisions, the agency has removed geographic limitations (enabling clients to receive services from their home) and will continue to allow the use of audio-only devices for the diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of mental health disorders and for substance use disorder treatment. Clinical social workers are also now eligible to participate in the QPP. Note that under the final rule, an in-person, non-telehealth visit must be furnished at least every 12 months for mental health services, although exceptions to the in-person visit requirement may be made based on beneficiary circumstances (with the reason documented in the patient’s medical record). NASW continues to advocate for removal of this in-person requirement. NASW is evaluating the 2400+ pages of the final rule, including the reimbursement provisions, and will be providing an analysis for members soon. View CMS’ FAQs on the rule.