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TUESDAY, Oct. WASHINGTON — Medicare will pay for yearly screenings for alcohol misuse and depression, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced.

The newest services will be added to other covered preventive services at no additional cost to beneficiaries.

“Preventative services bring relief to Medicare beneficiaries for whom preventive care means early identification of disease and greater chance for treatment and recovery,” CMS
Administrator Donald Berwick, MD, said in a press release. “It is equally as significant for our elderly beneficiaries to enjoy access to preventive services as it is for any American.”
In office screening for alcohol misuse is covered annum by a primary care provider. In case the screen is favorable, Medicare will cover up to four “short, face to face” behavioral counseling
sessions each year.

Alcohol abuse is defined as dangerous and risky drinking that places individuals in danger for future issues.
Speculative or hazardous drinking, according to the United States Preventive Services Task Force, is defined as more than seven drinks per week or three drinks per occasion for women and much more than
14 drinks per week, or more than four drinks per occasion for guys.

Misuse of emotional issues, and contributes to societal issues for example economic losses from injury and sickness, in accordance with CMS.

SEE ALSO:  Depression Stigma Could Be Fading

CMS also issued a different coverage determination on depression that covers Medicare beneficiaries for annual screenings in primary care
settings that have resources to follow up with appropriate treatment and referrals.

Depression bears an economic burden of more than $83 billion and affects one in six individuals over the age of 65, according to CMS.

The brand new melancholy rule doesn’t address treatment coverage.

For both alcohol misuse and depression, counseling should be performed by “competent primary care physicians or other primary care professionals in a primary care setting,” and not in crisis
Sections, skilled nursing facilities, ambulatory surgical centers, independent diagnostic testing facilities, inpatient hospital settings, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, or hospices.

Learn more in the Everyday Health Addiction Center.

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