Article Published: 7/26/2023
The Medicare Mental Health Workforce Coalition recently sponsored its third webinar about the Medicare program and the coming addition of mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists (MFTs) as recognized providers, hosted by NBCC. NBCC and Affiliates Board Chair Monalisa McGee-Baratta, PhD, NCC, MAC, LPC, CPC, LMHC, LMHP, introduced the webinar.
“Medicare 301—Navigating the Provider Enrollment Process and Physician Fee Schedule: A Primer for Counselors and MFTs” welcomed two experts to provide information and answer questions about this upcoming process. We were pleased to be joined by Gina Mendola, MSW, business function lead with the Provider Enrollment and Oversight Group in the Center for Program Integrity at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and Jeanne Vance, JD, healthcare transactions and regulatory attorney and partner with the Sacramento-based law firm of Weintraub Tobin.
Mendola presented on the Medicare provider enrollment process; the processing, screening, and verification of providers; and the process for maintaining and updating enrollment.
Vance’s presentation offered an overview of the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, the federal regulation that annually sets reimbursement rates for services covered by Medicare.
In December 2022, the omnibus appropriations bill added counselors and MFTs to Medicare through language from the Mental Health Access Improvement Act. This accomplished what NBCC and the Medicare Mental Health Workforce Coalition have been working toward for decades: Beginning Jan. 1, 2024, counselors and MFTs will be able to bill Medicare directly for covered services to beneficiaries over age 65 and people with disabilities who receive Medicare benefits.
This was a great victory for the counseling profession, but many counselors have questions about what to expect when the law is implemented. The Medicare Mental Health Workforce Coalition launched this ongoing webinar series to address questions and concerns and help counselors and MFTs navigate the forthcoming changes.
“NBCC is a proud member of the Medicare Mental Health Workforce Coalition, and we are committed to providing the most accurate and up-to-date information possible, so counselors are ready to begin working with Medicare beneficiaries as quickly as possible,” says NBCC Legislative Research Manager Jolie Long. “The goal is to engage and educate counselors on all aspects of the Medicare program, so they can offer enhanced services and serve a population in need. We have built solid relationships with CMS and will strive to keep counselors informed throughout every phase of the process.”
You can view recordings of previous webinars on our website.
Keep an eye out for information regarding more Medicare-related trainings soon.
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