CMS proposes that annual screening for depression be covered

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have proposed that Medicare cover annual screening for depression in primary care settings that have staff-assisted depression care supports in place to assure accurate diagnosis, effective treatment, and follow-up, according to a memo by CMS.

The memo states that the evidence is adequate to conclude that screening for depression in adults is reasonable and necessary for the prevention or early detection of illness or disability, and is appropriate for individuals entitled to benefits under Part A or enrolled under Part B.

CMS is accepting public comments before a final decision is made.

(Sources: AHA News Now, http://ahanews.com, July 21, 2011; Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, https://www.cms.gov, July 2011)