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Availability of Behavioral Health in Medicare Fee-For-Service, Medicare Advantage, and Medicaid Managed Care

More than half of all Americans will be diagnosed with a behavioral health condition in their lifetime, estimates indicate, and many experts say that the need for behavioral health services has grown dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic. Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries often have unmet behavioral health needs and face difficulty accessing appropriate services. To address these concerns, OIG will conduct a three-part study to examine access to behavioral health care in Medicare fee-for-service, Medicare Advantage, and Medicaid managed care. For selected localities, this study will determine: (1) the ratio of behavioral health providers to beneficiaries within each of these three programs; (2) the extent to which behavioral health providers have availability to accept new patients and schedule appointments within each of the three programs; and (3) the extent to which behavioral health providers listed in networks of managed care plans provided services to the plans' beneficiaries. Combined, these studies will provide significant insight into the accessibility of behavioral health providers within each of these three programs.

Announced or Revised Agency Title Component Report Number(s) Expected Issue Date (FY)
December 2021 Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Availability of Behavioral Health in Medicare Fee-For-Service, Medicare Advantage, and Medicaid Managed Care Office of Evaluation and Inspections OEI-02-22-00050, OEI-09-21-00410 2023