In recent news, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have taken significant steps to enhance behavioral health services and increase transparency in hospital pricing. These crucial changes are outlined in the calendar year 2024 Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) and Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) final rule with comment period.
One key development is the expansion of access to behavioral health services for Medicare beneficiaries. This expansion encompasses intensive outpatient services, addressing long-standing gaps in behavioral health treatment. These changes are poised to advance health equity, especially for underserved communities like Tribal and rural populations.
In addition to improving behavioral health access, the CMS has also bolstered hospital price transparency requirements. Hospitals are now mandated to provide standardized, easily accessible information about their charges. This not only empowers the public but also equips CMS with better enforcement tools, ensuring patients can navigate hospital pricing more effectively.
These changes are part of CMS's broader efforts to address the nation's behavioral health crisis and promote health equity, particularly for marginalized communities. It's a significant step towards improving healthcare accessibility and transparency for all. You can find detailed information on the CY 2024 OPPS/ASC Payment System Final Rule with Comment Period on the CMS website.
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