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Important Update on CANS Assessment Timeline for Providers

As a leading medical billing company in Massachusetts, Medical Billing Management wants to inform healthcare providers of a significant update regarding the Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) assessments. This change, communicated through MCE Bulletin 106 by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS), extends the timeline for re-assessment from 90 to 180 days.


Background on CANS Assessments:

The CANS assessment is an integral part of the Massachusetts Children’s Behavioral Health Initiative (CBHI). It is designed to help providers comprehensively understand the strengths and needs of children and families under their care. This assessment is crucial for tailoring appropriate and effective behavioral health interventions.


Key Update – Extended Timeline:

Starting October 31, 2023, CANS-certified providers will need to update the CANS assessment every 180 days following the initial assessment. This is a change from the previous 90-day requirement. However, providers should note that more frequent assessments may be necessary if clinically appropriate or in response to significant changes in the patient's life.


Providers must continue to report data for each CANS assessment to EOHHS. This reporting is crucial for maintaining compliance and ensuring the delivery of high-quality care to pediatric patients.


For practices concerned about the billing implications of this change, it’s important to note that prior authorization is not required for CANS assessments conducted by in-network providers. For detailed billing guidelines, providers should refer to the Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) Payment Policy. Additionally, performance specifications can be found in Tufts Health Plan’s General Behavioral Health Performance Specifications.


At Medical Billing Management, we understand that keeping up with policy changes can be challenging. We are committed to providing our clients with the latest information and support to navigate these changes efficiently. Our team is prepared to assist with any billing-related queries and ensure that your practice is compliant with the new guidelines.


This adjustment in the CANS assessment timeline reflects a commitment to enhancing the behavioral health care of children and adolescents in Massachusetts. As healthcare providers adapt to this change, Medical Billing Management is here to offer guidance and support in all aspects of medical billing and compliance.


For more information or assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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