The need to improve patient access to mental and behavioral health services is undeniable, and tools from the AMA and others are available to help primary care practices integrate these services into their workflow and ensure they are properly paid for these services.
When North-western Medicine needed to provide greater access to behavioral health services for its Chicago-area patients, it did so by developing a collaborative care model that allows patients to get the care they need and eliminates some of the insurance payment issues that often create barriers to access.
“Our psychiatrists are swamped and more patients need psychiatric support than we have psychiatrists,” Jacob Atlas, a senior practice manager in Northwestern’s psychiatry department, said during an AMA webinar, “Behavioral Health Billing & Coding 101: How to Get Paid.”
Collaborative care creates opportunities to provide patients with access to services they were not receiving before, Atlas explained.
“It’s really exciting stuff,” he said.
The AMA webinar gives physician practices and health systems a broad introduction to behavioral health coding to help them get properly paid for such services. It is the second installment of the Behavior Health Integration (BHI) Collaborative’s Overcoming Obstacles webinar series.
The AMA and seven other leading physician organizations established the BHI Collaborative to serve as a vehicle for catalyzing effective and sustainable behavioral health care into physician practices. Learn about AMA efforts to improve behavioral health, amid COVID-19 and beyond.
Codes identify convergence of needs
The behavioral health services discussed in the webinar fall into nine categories of the AMA Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) code set, Leslie Prellwitz, the AMA’s director of CPT content management and development, said during the webinar.