The COVID-19 pandemic hit many of us hard. The American Rescue Plan Act signed into law this year by the president aims to help U.S. citizens in our recovery from the financial hardships of the last year. The American Rescue Plan Act provides nearly $2 trillion in relief. Here is what providers in the mental health and addiction treatment space should know.
The Big Picture
The funding to behavioral healthcare in the American Rescue Plan Act is in line with the year one drug priorities announced by the Biden administration. According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), these priorities are as follows:
- Expanding access to evidence-based treatment
- Advancing racial equity in our approach to drug policy
- Enhancing evidence-based harm reduction efforts
- Supporting evidence-based prevention efforts to reduce youth substance use
- Reducing the supply of illicit substances
- Advancing recovery-ready workplaces and expanding the addiction workforce
- Expanding access to recovery support services
Funding Specific to Substance Use Disorder
The American Rescue Plan Act adds considerable funding to the existing HHS/SAMHSA block grant programs. Click through to the linked pages if you think you qualify for these funding opportunities.
- Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Program
- Under this program through the National Health Service Corps, eligible clinicians may receive up to $75,000 in student loan repayment in exchange for a three-year commitment to provide substance use disorder treatment services at NHSC-approved sites. The goal is to recruit qualified providers to this underserved healthcare area to increase the access patients have to SUD treatment.
- Healthcare Provider Relief Fund
- The Provider Relief Fund allocates $178 billion to reimbursement providers for healthcare-related expenses and lost revenue due to COVID-19. This includes reimbursements for testing and treating uninsured individuals for COVID-19. SUD providers were specifically made eligible.
- HUD/USDA Recovery Housing Assistance
- The Recovery Housing Program (RHP) allows states and the District of Columbia to provide stable, transitional housing for individuals in recovery from a substance use disorder.
- Telehealth Program Reimbursements
- The COVID-19 Telehealth Program provided $200 million in funding, appropriated by Congress as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, to help health care providers provide connected care services to patients at their homes or mobile locations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 Telehealth Program provides immediate support to eligible health care providers responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by fully funding their telecommunications services, information services, and devices necessary to provide critical connected care services.
These federal programs are not specific to substance use disorder or behavioral healthcare, but organizations seeking funding may still be applicable. COVID-related funds for these programs have been extended into 2021:
- Employee Retention Credit
- Paycheck Protection Program
- FFCRA Emergency Paid Sick and Family Leave
Your Helper in Staying on Top of Your Billing
When money is tight, it is crucial that healthcare organizations know the status of their reimbursements. The AZZLY® Rize™ revenue cycle management system is designed by billers for billers to make the process easy. Our clients have more than a 98% first-time pass rate when billing through AZZLY and speed Medicaid reimbursements to 6 days in most cases.
We partnered with behavioral healthcare and addiction treatment centers to develop an all-in-one electronic health record, patient management, telehealth, and revenue cycle management solution. Providers using AZZLY can handle scheduling, remote or in-person sessions, documentation, treatment plans, labs, e-prescribing—you name it—and have correctly coded claims ready to submit with one click!
AZZLY Rize users can do Eligibility Checks in the AZZLY platform and receive Billing and Claims Services from AZZLY if they choose. In addition to allowing providers to submit their own claim, AZZLY offers Transitional Billing Services, where AZZLY Billing staff creates, submits the claim and verifies clean claim submission.
Click here to get demos of AZZLY Rize and speak to an AZZLY EHR and Billing Specialist. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1 (888) 400-3201 if you have any further questions. We are here to help you get reimbursed so your organization can grow and serve more.