Health Professional Shortage Area Bonus Payments Coming for All Mental Health Specialties

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will make health professional shortage area (HPSA) bonus payments for all mental health specialties.

Currently, the claims manual indicates that for mental health HPSA bonus payments, only specialty 26 is set up to receive the bonus. Although specialty 26 correctly is eligible to receive the bonus, mental health specialties 27, 86 and any of the future psychiatry provider specialties also are bonus payment eligible when services are rendered in a mental health HPSA.

Per CR11327, CMS instructs the Medicare administrative contractors (MACs) to update their systems and allow all the physician psychiatric specialties, beginning with claims processed on or after 90 days after issuance of CR11327, to receive the HPSA bonus payment.

Hospitals should make sure their billing staff is aware of these changes.

The MLN Matters brief CMS released with more information is available.

A list of provider specialty codes is available.

For more information, contact Amanda Newell at THA, 615-401-7441.