CMS' finalized physician fee schedule: What mental health leaders need to know

CMS finalized its Physician Fee Schedule for 2023, which includes four updates aimed at making behavioral health services more accessible to Medicare beneficiaries. 

In the U.S., more than 47 million people or 19 percent of adults experienced a mental illness in 2021. Of those 47 million cases, approximately 11.25 million were considered severe cases.

Here is an overview of the behavioral health updates made to the fee schedule:


  • Licensed professional counselors and licensed marriage and family therapists may now provide mental health and substance use services without direct supervision of a physician. 


  • CMS introduced a new behavioral health integration code for psychological evaluations conducted by clinical psychologists and clinical social workers. 


  • The ruling included an update allowing for patients who undergo psychiatric diagnostic evaluation to immediately be eligible for treatment by clinical psychiatrists or social workers, through the newly implemented behavioral health integration code.


  • Extended telehealth coverage.


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