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Thread: New Depression screening by Medicare

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Madison, WI

    Question New Depression screening by Medicare

    AAPC: Back to School
    In the latest newsletter from CMS in regards to depression screening coverage it states:

    Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will cover annual screening up to 15 minutes for Medicare beneficiaries in primary care settings that have staff-assisted depression care supports in place to assure accurate diagnosis, effective treatment, and follow-up.

    Is it saying if you don't have "staff-assisted depression care supports in place" you can't bill for this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Kansas City, MO


    The MLN says "at minimum, staff-assisted depression care consists of clinical staff (e.g. nurse, Physician assistant) in the primary care office who can advise the physician of screening results and who can facilitate and coordinate referrals to mental health treatment."

    from AMA:
    "Appropriate Medicare depression screenings will indicate the severity of symptoms within a certain time period, according to the CMS memo. The agency mentions eight screening tools used by physicians, including the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, the Beck Depression Inventory and the Zung Self-Assessment Depression Scale.
    But specifics about how to offer the new preventive coverage would be left up to clinicians. CMS cautions that when it comes to screening patients for depression -- whether they are in Medicare or not -- there is no gold standard for doctors"

    Thats about all I can find....not a whole lot of guidance yet.
    Linda Vargas, CPC, CPCO, CPMA, CPC-I, CEMC
    PMCC Licensed Instructor
    Kansas City, MO Chapter
    Member Development Officer 2016
    Harrisonville, MO Chapter President - 2013
    ICD-10 Education Coordinator- 2012
    Chapter President - 2011
    President Elect - 2010

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