Everything you need to know about The 21 Century Cures Act
If you are a mental health provider, you have probably heard about the 21st Century Cures Act, signed by President Obama back in 2016. Among numerous aspects, this legislation focuses on providing greater access to mental health services. In addition, one of its main aims is to minimize healthcare information blocking.
Let us take a look at how the Cures Act came to be, how it might affect your practice, and how you can stay compliant.
According to the United States Food and Drug Administration, the Act helps “accelerate medical product development, new innovations and advances to patients who need them faster and more efficiently.” This legislation bolsters mental health treatment services and expands funding to combat the nation’s opioid crisis. It also allocates funds to the FDA, with an intention to promote EHR use, improve telehealth services and simplify medical device and drug approvals.
This legislation outlines many related to client access to electronic health information (EHI). Providers must ensure that their processes for retrieving and providing client health information are as fast and efficient as possible. These processes should not tolerate the following aspects, for example:
• Refusing to release EHI upon a client or provider’s request
• Intentionally delaying the release of EHI
• Charging unreasonable fees for the release of EHI
At the same time, the section called "Aiding Families in Mental Health Crisis," covers the prevention and treatment of mental diseases and substance addiction, as well as treatment coverage, HIPAA-allowed communication, and interactions with law enforcement. A special emphasis is put on the balance of benefits. The Act prevents insurance carriers from imposing less favorable benefit limitations on mental health services than on medical benefits.
A quick reminder: We Can Help you ensure that your practice is on the same page with the current regulations. Our innovative billing and EHR solutions provide quick & secure access to patient charts and insurance claims. Contact us!
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