Medicare expands mental health access to MHC and MFT practitioners

Posted by Yesenia Servin on March 28, 2023 in CMS,

A recent and exciting CMS Medicare update for both benefit recipients and healthcare practitioners is that legislation that included expansion to mental health access was signed into law on December 29th, 2022. After several years of advocating and waiting, mental health counselors (MHC) and marriage and family therapists (MFT) will be able to enroll as participating providers in medicare part b. The medicare participation status will allow MHC and MFT to serve Medicare members and receive reimbursement for the provided services.

MHC and MFT practitioners provide mental health services in the same healthcare settings as their counterpart, clinical social workers (CSW).  CSWs have been able to participate as Medicare providers for over 33 years per the act that was signed into law in 1989. Although each state determines the licensing process for each of these professionals; in many instances, the education, training, and clinical hours of an MHC and MFT mimic that of the CSW. The wait is finally over and we all benefit from this update. An estimated 165K professionals will have the option to enroll. Even if only a fraction of the 165K professionals complete the Medicare participation process, that addition will expand access to mental health services to Medicare beneficiaries.    

CMS is developing the specific rules that will be incorporated into the CMS provider manual. The Medicare Administrative Contractors (MAC) should be prepared by the January 1st, 2024 implementation deadline.  The provider participation application process should not look very different from the current CSW process. Credentialing & enrollment professionals are prepared to serve MHC and MFTs with the process.

About Yesenia Servin

About Yesenia Servin

Yesenia Servin is an expert in credentialing and provider/payer enrollment with over 23 years of experience in the healthcare industry. Yesenia has a deep understanding of Medicare & Medicaid enrollment and is a nationally certified credentialing manager and provider enrollment specialist. Yesenia is a current Charter Oak University Faculty, NAMSS member, and is a NAMSS Educational Conference Guest Speaker, a current member of the NAHRI Leadership Council, current trainer for The Chicago School of Professional Psychology trainer and a TMG Collaborator.

Related Articles

The Mannequin Challenge #TheHIPAAWay

November 20, 2016

There is no question that a large number of social video challenges have been extremely useful for all kinds of purposes and the latest trend is called The Mannequin Challenge. We have already seen ot...

Your Guide to Navigating Medicare Enrollment ...

March 25, 2024

The exact steps for a provider or medical director of a hospice to enroll or opt-out of Medicare may vary, but generally, the process involves the following steps: Determine eligibility: Ensure th...


November 7, 2022

The Basics - Failure to Monitor Federal Exclusion Lists Can Hit Your Bottom Line Health care providers which serve Medicare and Medicaid enrollees have a duty to know if their employees, contracto...

Understanding OIG Exclusions

OIG Exclusions Screening Process

Exclusion FAQS

Quick OIG Exclusion Basics

Employing Excluded Individuals

Consequences to Employing an Excluded Individual

OIG Compliance Law

Laws and Publications on OIG Compliance

More Compliance Resources

Our Culture

We build the best, so you can perform at your best.

Trusted for Good Reason

  • ✓ Guaranteed accurate
  • ✓ Certified Secure
  • ✓ Audit Proof
  • ✓ Feature-rich reporting
  • ✓ Round the clock real-time-data
  • ✓ Processing fully automated

Security First

  • ✓ Cloud hosted
  • ✓ Encrypted data
  • ✓ Real-time backups

Trusted for Accuracy

  • ✓ Physical security
  • ✓ Restricted access
  • ✓ Single sign-on
  • ✓ Password security
  • ✓ Certified secure
  • ✓ Cross checking




Average workload reduction by implementing the Streamline Verify program



Establishments trust Streamline Verify nationwide



Serving the healthcare industry’s unique compliance needs since 2011



Setting standards with hourly synchronization to primary source data