May is Mental Health Awareness Month
Each year millions of Americans face the reality of developing or living with a mental illness. Providers and patient can miss opportunities to improve health outcomes when mental illness is under-recognized and under-treated in primary care settings. Medicare supports the efforts of many providers in reaching out to patients, so they can receive screening for mental illnesses and receive appropriate treatment.
Medicare has several reimbursable services to support physicians in evaluating their patients for mental illnesses that contribute to the decline in health and well-being. Some of these include:
- Depression screening - Procedure code G0444. This reimbursable service by Medicare allows practitioners to screen their patients for depression. The primary care setting must have depression care supports in place to ensure accurate diagnosis, effective treatment, and follow-up. You can view details for who is covered, the frequency as well as coding and billing for depression screenings within the Medicare Learning Network's (MLN) Preventive Services education tool here (URL https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Prevention/PrevntionGenInfo/medicare-preventive-services/MPS-QuickReferenceChart-1.html#DEPRESSION ).
The National Coverage Determination (NCD) 210.9 (URL https://www.cms.gov/medicare-coverage-database/details/ncd-details.aspx?NCDId=346&ncdver=1&bc=AAAAQAAAAAAA&) has additional information. You can also find additional information in the CMS Internet-Only Manual (IOM) 100-04, Chapter 18, Section 190 (URL https://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Guidance/Manuals/Downloads/clm104c18.pdf)
- Screening for depression and other mood disorders is also an element of the Initial Preventive Physician Exam (Welcome to Medicare Visit) and the initial Annual Wellness Visit (AWV). You can find more information on the IPPE (URL https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Medicare-Learning-Network-MLN/MLNProducts/Downloads/MPS_QRI_IPPE001a.pdf) and AWV (URL https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Medicare-Learning-Network-MLN/MLNProducts/Downloads/AWV_Chart_ICN905706.pdf) publications on the CMS web site.
Take steps today to encourage your patients to receive the appropriate screening.
The A/B Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) Provider Outreach & Education (POE) developed this document to ensure consistent communication and education throughout the nation on a variety of topics and assist the provider and physician community with information necessary to submit claims appropriately and receive proper payment in a timely manner.
Last Updated May 16, 2019