Mental Health Telemedicine Expansion ActThe Mental Health Telemedicine Expansion Act – H. R. 1301 was passed into law as part of the Omnibus Appropriations and Coronavirus Relief Package on December 21, 2020. An abbreviated version excerpted for the telehealth community can be found here: Unprecedented Telehealth Support through the Omnibus Appropriations and Coronavirus Relief Spending Bills.

 

The Mental Health Telemedicine Expansion Act was introduced to the House by Ms. Suzan DelBene in February of 2019 to amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide for coverage under the Medicare program of certain mental health telehealth services. On December 21, 2020, as the incoming Chair of the New Democrat Coalition, Ms. DelBene explained that the bill was designed to expand telehealth access for seniors seeking mental health care.

 

The bill amends title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide for coverage under the Medicare program of certain mental health telehealth services. The entirety of the official bill can be found on the congress website. Key sections of the most relevance to the telehealth community are reproduced here for your convenience. It reads as such:

SEC. 2. MEDICARE COVERAGE OF CERTAIN MENTAL HEALTH TELEHEALTH SERVICES.

Section 1834(m) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395m(m)) is amended—