November 15, 2012
Evaluating the Elections: A Conversation between Linda Rosenberg and Chuck Ingoglia
Now that the voters have spoken, what’s next for Congress and President Obama – and what does it all mean for behavioral health? Public Policy Update editor Rebecca Farley sits down with the National Council’s Linda Rosenberg, President & CEO and Chuck Ingoglia, Senior Vice President for Public Policy, to learn more.
Rebecca: Let’s get started with the question on everyone’s minds: was the election an affirmation by the public of the Affordable Care Act?
Chuck: My sense about the election is that it was not an explicit affirmation of the Affordable Care Act. However, the implications of the election are that the ACA is going forward. There was a lot of hemming and hawing on many levels, of states not wanting to pay attention to the particular provisions. First they were waiting to see what would happen with the Supreme Court, then it was, what will happen in this election…
Linda: Right. But for the general public, I don’t think the question of what will happen to particular provisions was high on their priority list. The public was divided in three groups. One wanted the ACA to go away, another group was neutral or liked it, and a small group didn’t think it went far enough. And now, after the election, there is still the same kind of split. I think what the election did affirm is that most people believe in an active role for the federal government and part of that active role is to care about healthcare.
So, in the new year, do you think we’ll continue to see the same gridlock in Congress and the same reluctance to implement the ACA at the state level? Click to continue reading
National Council Launches Website to Help Providers Navigate 2013 CPT Code Changes
As we have written previously in the Public Policy Update, big changes are underway for behavioral health procedure codes in 2013. These changes, which take effect January 1st, include deletions, additions, and modifications to certain psychiatric procedure codes and have a particular impact on medical services. Between now and January 1st, payers, providers, back office staff, HIT vendors, and others will need to work hard to prepare for these changes.
The National Council has created a web page
dedicated to helping organizations navigate this important transition. The website features a periodically updated FAQ explaining the changes ahead. It also includes a crosswalk of many of the codes, mapping changes from 2012 to 2013. Readers can also view the slides and recording from last week’s webinar, “CPT Code Changes for 2013: Impact on Behavioral Health.” Registration information is available for our upcoming webinar further explaining the modifications to evaluation and management codes, “E/M 101: Preparing Your Organization for 2013 CPT Code Changes.”
Additional resources from the American Medical Association, CMS, and the American Psychiatric Association are also available. Please contact Nina Marshall (NinaM@thenationalcouncil.org
) with suggestions for additional resources or questions about the CPT code changes.
HHS Extends Deadline for States to Submit Health Insurance Exchange Decisions
States will now have until December 14th to submit their applications to run their state-based insurance exchanges, according to a letter
issued last week by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
The announcement clarified that states must still decide whether or not to run their own exchanges by the original deadline of November 16th – but they will now have an extra month to submit their exchange design blueprints to HHS. In addition, the deadline for states planning to operate a joint federal-state partnership exchange has been extended to February 15, 2013.
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ letter comes at a critical time for states, many of whom had delayed decisions on their insurance exchanges. Many states had been waiting first to learn the Supreme Court’s verdict on the constitutionality of the ACA and then to see how the outcome of the elections would affect the likely future of the law. With President Obama’s reelection and the balance of power in Congress split between Democrats and Republicans, the law’s major provisions are now safe.