ebr logo bar
April 2023  Volume 21, Number 4        

smarts phone

Telehealth, Mental Healthcare and the Consolidation Appropriations Act of 2023

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 was signed into law on December 29, 2022, by President Biden. This $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill is set to fund the US federal government for the 2023 fiscal year. It includes several provisions that will significantly impact telehealth and mental health care services in the coming year.

Under the ADA, employers must provide reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities to enable them to perform their job duties effectively and safely. Additionally, employers must ensure that their facilities are accessible and usable by people with disabilities.

Telehealth Expansion

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 expands access to telehealth services by allowing Medicare beneficiaries to receive care from any location, regardless of where they are located. This expansion is expected to increase access to care for rural and underserved communities and provide greater convenience for patients who may not be able to travel long distances for medical appointments.

Furthermore, the bill extends first-dollar coverage for telehealth services as laid out by the CARES Act to December 31, 2024. First-dollar coverage allows High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) enrollees to access telehealth without first meeting their deductible. In other words, HDHP enrollees can receive covered services without incurring the out-of-pocket expense of a deductible.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, telehealth rose in popularity during the pandemic, going from fewer than 1% of outpatient visits pre-pandemic to 13% during it. While usage has since slipped to 8%, it is still a significant increase from before and indicates that many Americans are using telehealth.

Increased Funding for Mental Health Services

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 also includes the Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Wellbeing Act.

It is meant to improve opioid addiction treatment, mental health care, and other services related to mental health. The act reauthorizes critical programs that support mental health and wellness, including those that provide access to evidence-based treatments for opioid use disorder. It also includes provisions to expand Medicaid coverage for mental health services, increase funding for research on mental health disorders, and create new grants to support community-based organizations providing mental health services.

According to experts, the ultimate goal of the act is to increase the number of mental health providers and reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues. In addition, it aims to improve access to care in underserved communities by creating new resources and expanding existing ones.

[return to top]





In this issue:

This Just In ... The Financial Impact of COVID-19 on Employers

New Labor Policies to Be Aware of in 2023

Biden Administration's ESG DOL Rule Under Fire from Multiple Fronts

How Employers Can Benefit from Accommodating Disabled Workers

Telehealth Services, Mental Healthcare, and the Consolidation Appropriations Act of 2023



The information presented and conclusions within are based upon our best judgment and analysis. It is not guaranteed information and does not necessarily reflect all available data. Web addresses are current at time of publication but subject to change. SmartsPro Marketing and The Insurance 411 do not engage in the solicitation, sale or management of securities or investments, nor does it make any recommendations on securities or investments. This material may not be quoted or reproduced in any form without publisher's permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Smarts Publishing https://smartspublishing.com/ Tel. 877-762-7877.