The Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA), 2023 (H.R. 2617, now Public Law 117-328), which funds federal government operations for the 2023 fiscal year, was signed into law by President Biden on December 29, 2022.
The CAA contains a number of health provisions relating to Medicare, Medicaid, and other programs. For summaries of these provisions, see, e.g., a summary from the Senate Finance Committee, a summary from the Senate Appropriations Committee, and a summary prepared by McDermott+Consulting.
In addition to preventing or mitigating some cuts to provider payment, Medicare-related provisions of the CAA include:
- Two-year extension of some current Telehealth Flexibilities related to the COVID-19 public health emergency through December 2024 – see accompanying Alert re: telehealth
- Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Treatment – In addition to “establish[ing] or expand[ing] upon more than 30 programs that collectively support mental health care and SUD prevention, care, treatment, peer support and recovery support services” (per McDermott summary, above), Medicare provisions include:
- Coverage of marriage and family therapist services and mental health counselor services under Part B beginning on January 1, 2024
- Improved payment for mobile crisis care in Medicare (crisis psychotherapy services when furnished by a mobile unit, as well as additional settings other than a facility or physician office) beginning on January 1, 2024.
- Requirement that the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) conduct outreach and education to providers on availability of behavioral health integration services as a covered benefit under Medicare
- Coverage of intensive outpatient mental health care beginning in January 2024
- See statement from Senate Finance Committee Chair Wyden (Dec. 20, 2022)
- COVID Treatments – According to Inside Health Policy (Jan. 4, 2023), the bill “includes a policy aimed at ensuring Medicare temporarily covers COVID-19 treatments once the products move to the commercial sector and the public health emergency ends by allowing Part D plans to cover oral antiviral treatments even if they are only available through emergency use authorization. Without the legislative fix, products would need to be fully approved by FDA to be covered by Medicare Part D.” This is in anticipation of the end of the current Public Health Emergency (PHE), which, Inside Health Policy notes is projected to end this April.
- Two-year extension of the Hospital at Home waiver (through December 2024)
- Coverage of compression garments for treatment of lymphedema under Part B as durable medical equipment (DME) starting January 2024
- Permanent Medicare Part B coverage for in-home intravenous immune globulin services (IVIG) beginning January 1, 2024 (a current demonstration lasts through 2023)
January 5, 2022 – D. Lipschutz