Psychiatric News (9/15) reports, “The federal government is proposing to permanently allow payment under the Medicare program for ‘audio-only’ telehealth mental health services,” which have “been temporarily reimbursed as part of the government’s response to the COVID-19 public health emergency.” In addition, the government “would retain other temporarily reimbursed telehealth services through 2023 in order to evaluate whether those services should be permanently added to the list of covered Medicare services.” These “recommended changes are part of the proposed 2022 Physician Fee Schedule [PDF]” by the CMS and are seen as “a victory for psychiatrists and their patients for which APA has strongly advocated.” In a letter (PDF) to the CMS Administrator, APA CEO and Medical Director Saul Levin, MD, MPA, stated, “Audio-only services have been a lifeline for patients for whom it is the only option when seeking mental health and substance use disorder treatment.” (SOURCE: APA Headlines)