David Shillcutt, Member of the Firm in the Health Care & Life Sciences practice, in the firm’s Washington, DC, office, was quoted in Part B News, in “Growth in Outpatient Programs Signals Opportunities for MFTs, MHCs,” by Roy Edroso. (Read the full version – subscription required.)

Following is an excerpt:

Marriage and family therapists (MFT) and mental health counselors (MHC), the newest providers empowered to enroll in and be reimbursed by Medicare, have an opportunity to participate in a new CMS program. This could lure more of these providers into Medicare, making them available for partnership in Part B behavioral health. …

“Providers may see a drop in utilization of partial hospitalization as some patients are able to step down to the new IOP level of care,” says David Shillcutt, attorney and behavioral health expert at Epstein Becker Green in Washington, D.C. “But community mental health centers (CMHC), federally qualified health centers (FQHC), rural health clinics (RHC), hospitals and other facility providers are likely to see an increase to total utilization for these intermediate-level services as a whole as the new coverage takes effect.” …

“There is a significant amount of interest from private equity in opportunities to invest in facility-based MH/SUD providers, but staffing requirements have been one important limiting factor on the ability to scale up volume or build new facilities,” Shillcutt says. “MFTs and MHCs were not idle prior to the new Medicare enrollment authority, so we should not expect to see a dramatic, overnight influx of new capacity; but nonetheless, the ability to use MFT and MHC professionals for Medicare should facilitate the ability of facility-based MH/SUD providers to expand their operations.”

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