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S. 870: Improving Access to Mental Health Act of 2021

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Mar 18, 2021.

Improving Access to Mental Health Act of 2021

This bill increases the Medicare reimbursement rate for clinical social worker services. The bill excludes clinical social worker services from the prospective payment system in which predetermined amounts form the basis for payment under Medicare.

Additionally, the bill alters the definition of clinical social worker services as it relates to Medicare. Under current law, such services (1) include services performed for the diagnosis and treatment of mental illnesses, and (2) exclude services furnished to an inpatient of a skilled nursing facility as a condition of the facility's participation in the Medicare program. The bill repeals these provisions and instead specifies that such services include certain types of health behavior assessment and intervention.