California Bill AB 2581 – Less Delays, More Helping Families

RethinkCare logo
RethinkEd logo
RethinkBH For Providers logo
RethinkBH For Health Plans logo

By: RethinkBH Team

Caring parents and son during therapy session with BCBA

Share with your community

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

Are you a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) or Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Practice Owner in California who accepts health insurance? We have some GREAT news for you! On September 25, 2022, Governor Newsom announced the signing of California Bill AB 2581, which will increase access to mental health services by reducing credentialing delays for providers. 

This new bill introduces a 60-day timeline for health insurance companies to complete the credentialing process for a mental health clinician and a 7-day timeline to notify the applicant that the application was received and completed. Currently, in California, there is no set timeline for health plans to credential providers. 

Assembly member Rudy Salas, a primary sponsor of the bill expands on this: “AB 2581 helps increase access to mental health services that can significantly improve the lives of children and their families,” said Assembly member Salas. “At a time when California is facing a mental health workforce shortage, AB 2581 will cut bureaucratic red tape so that qualified professionals can meet the community’s needs quicker. This bill will increase opportunities for families to receive the life changing care and services they need.” 

With the signing of AB 2581 California will join 25 other states that have codified credentialing time limits to increase timely access to mental health services.  

Questions and answers about the new Bill

We sat down with Stefanie McCully, VP of Revenue Cycle Management at Rethink Behavioral Health to ask some questions about this new bill and its impact on providers and clients in California.  

What does AB 2581 entail? 

This new bill, No.2581 in California, will go into effect for all newly issued, amended, or renewed contracts as of 1/1/23 which requires health plans that provide coverage for mental health and substance abuse disorders to credential health care providers within 60 days after receiving a completed provider application.

Health plans will also be required to notify the applicant within 7 business days notification of receipt and inform whether the application is complete. 

How will this bill impact existing ABA providers? 

This bill will have a dramatic impact on the access to care for so many members and families seeking behavioral health services by drastically reducing the length of time for credentialing of new providers joining existing practices, which is one of the biggest revenue & benefit constraints for growing ABA practices.

Credentialing can take upwards of 6mo-1yr+ for new providers which impacts the level of benefits members/patients may have to use to see new providers.  

How will this bill impact families seeking services?

The passing of this Assembly bill not only is a momentous success for all ABA and behavioral health practices in CA but also has a significant impact on how quickly patients can get access to qualified network health care professionals.

This impact decreases potential wait lists for families waiting for providers in their network, usage of network benefits which will lower out-of-pocket expenses for families and increase overall the number of in-network providers available to them. 

Is there anything providers should be doing now to prepare for this change? 

If your organization is considering joining health plan networks, it is best to start the process now to see the benefit of this new bill. This bill does not impact the initial contracting and is intended to shorten the credentialing timeline for existing contracted organizations adding new providers to their group.

By being contracted with the health plans prior to this change, it will significantly reduce the length of time for new providers joining your practice in 2023 to start treating families and patients in need. 

Experience less delays when hiring & scaling your practice 

If you are a BCBA or ABA Practice Owner in California and accept health insurance, request a demo using the form below to see how this new bill can help your practice, or contact us with any questions you have about the new bill.

Request a Demo

Share with your community

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Sign up for our Newsletter

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter on the latest industry updates, Rethink happenings, and resources galore. Simply follow the link to the footer and enter your email.

Related Resources

NEW YORK, Nov. 21, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — RethinkFirst, the leading software and solutions provider in behavioral health, today...
Webinar
Register for Webinar About this Webinar December 15th, 2022 @ 1 pm EST  In this...
Webinar
Enroll in Course Eligible for 1 free General CE  About this Free CE Webinar Dr....

Learn more about Rethink

African American male and Caucasian woman working on laptop drinking coffee
RethinkCare logo

Take care of your people with RethinkCare’s evidenced-based solutions that support the well-being your entire employee base in all aspect of their lives - from personal to parenting, and professional

For Employers ›
School learning with diverse middle school students
RethinkEd logo

Build strong school communities and healthy, safe learning environments for all your students with RethinkEd’s evidence-based strategies and technology solutions across SEL, Special Ed, Behavioral & Training

For Educators >
Doctor helping girl with psycho pedagogical intervention
RethinkBH For Providers logo

Start, grow and manage your practice with Rethink’s workflow automation and evidenced-based clinical best practice tools that help you optimize outcomes and operations

For Providers >
African American women talking while seated
RethinkBH For Health Plans logo

Support your members and your provider networks with Rethink’s solutions that support autism care management across your network while offering unique value-added services to your members.

For Health Plans >
logo rethinkfirst white

Together We’re Powering Potential

Transforming the Behavioral Health landscape requires scalable platforms that address a broad range of mental, emotional, and wellness needs. At Rethink First we are proud to work across the continuum of care to help individuals and the people they care about live healthier, happier and more fulfilling lives.

New call-to-action

The leading behavioral and mental health enterprise platform to support working parents, caregivers and their families.

For Employers ›
New call-to-action

Award-winning solutions empower districts and their educators to improve outcomes and wellness for all tiers of students and to build healthy and safe learning environments.

For Educators >
New call-to-action

Fully integrated workflow automation and evidenced-based clinical tools help behavioral health organizations optimize outcomes and operations.

For Providers >
New call-to-action

Patent-pending clinical solutions and member engagement services streamline autism care management processes and support outcomes for health plans, providers, and members.

For Health Plans >