Now that Congress has finally decided what doctors will be earning this year when they see Medicare beneficiaries, here is a look at what is happening to reimbursement for mental health care. The following graphs show actual changes in reimbursement for psychologists to perform initial evaluations, to provide 45 to 50 minutes of therapy, and to perform one hour of neuropsychological testing (to diagnose brain-related conditions), compared to the rate of inflation. Rates shown are for the Medicare carrier that covers WI and other states in the Midwest. Actual amounts will vary by region, but the trend lines will show the same direction and rates of change over time in other parts of the country.
Compare these changes to what would have happened without the “Doc Fix” once again this year. If Congress keeps kicking the required fee reductions down the road, psychologists and other doctors would face a 49 percent rate cut by 2018.