Saturday, June 15, 2024

Expansion of Mental Health Services: 10 New States Join CCBHC Medicaid Program

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Mental health services will be expanded as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and in partnership with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), announces the inclusion of 10 new states in the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) Medicaid Demonstration Program. The states—Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Rhode Island, and Vermont—have developed the necessary state-level infrastructure and collaborated with local providers to meet CCBHC standards. This expansion aligns with President Biden’s Unity Agenda and the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to address the nation’s mental health and addiction crises.

The CCBHC Medicaid Demonstration Program provides states with sustainable funding to expand access to mental health and substance use services. This initiative supports the President’s national strategy to transform the behavioral health system and builds on the Administration’s previous efforts, such as the transition to the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline and the addition of a new mobile crisis benefit to Medicaid and crisis codes to Medicare.

“Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics have significantly improved behavioral health treatment in our country, and today’s announcement will dramatically expand and improve access to equitable, quality care for Americans with serious mental health and substance use treatment needs,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “Thanks to the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, we are adding 10 new states to this groundbreaking demonstration across the country, ensuring our CCBHCs can serve more Americans who need our help.”

Sustainable Funding Expands CCBHCs: 10 New States Join Behavioral Health Program

CCBHCs must provide a comprehensive range of services, including 24/7 crisis services, routine outpatient care within 10 business days, and care coordination. These clinics are designed to serve anyone requesting care for mental health or substance use conditions, regardless of their ability to pay. The sustainable funding ensures that CCBHCs can offer a wide array of services rather than fragmented care.

“Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics serve anyone who requests care for mental health or substance use conditions. With sustainable funding, CCBHCs in participating states will now be able to connect more people to the care they need,” said HHS Deputy Secretary Andrea Palm. “This is another example of our commitment at HHS to transforming behavioral health and ensuring all Americans have access to behavioral health resources.”

The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA), signed into law by President Joe Biden, granted HHS the authority to add 10 new states to the CCBHC Medicaid Demonstration program every two years. The 10 states added today join the existing eight states already in the program: Michigan, Missouri, Kentucky, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, and Oregon.

Mental Health

SAMHSA Awards 15 CCBHC State Planning Grants, Expanding Behavioral Health Services Nationwide

In March 2023, SAMHSA utilized BSCA funding to award 15 CCBHC state planning grants. These grants help states certify clinics as CCBHCs, establish prospective payment systems for Medicaid-reimbursable services, and prepare applications for the four-year demonstration program. A notice of funding opportunity for 15 additional state planning grants is expected to be posted this summer, with awards early in Fiscal Year 2025. Another 10 states will have the opportunity to join the CCBHC Demonstration Program in Fiscal Year 2026. This expansion will increase the number of CCBHCs across the country and support the adoption of this model through SAMHSA’s CCBHC expansion grant program.

“For our communities to thrive, behavioral health, including mental health, needs to be prioritized,” said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure. “That requires an all-hands-on-deck approach, which is why it’s so encouraging to see more states support person- and community-centered solutions like CCBHCs. Aligned with the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to mental health, CCBHCs equip communities with the tools they need to tackle many of society’s most entrenched challenges—from substance use disorders and mental health crises to housing insecurity and public safety.”

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HHS Expands Mental Health Access Nationwide Through CCBHC Medicaid Program

HHS Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use, Miriam Delphin-Rittmon, Ph.D., also expressed enthusiasm about the expansion: “We’re pleased to welcome these 10 states into the CCBHC Medicaid Demonstration Program and look forward to adding more in the years to come. CCBHCs provide a model of care that supports wellness for the entire community and connects people to care. They guarantee access to services to individuals and families regardless of ability to pay.”

CCBHCs have been shown to increase access to crisis and behavioral health care, reduce homelessness and substance use, and decrease emergency room visits and hospitalizations. In September, HHS, through SAMHSA, awarded $127.7 million to expand CCBHCs across the U.S. The CCBHC Demonstration Program reimburses the full cost of services provided by CCBHCs through Medicaid, at higher rates than those previously received by community mental health centers for Medicaid-eligible individuals. This sustainable funding model allows CCBHCs to offer comprehensive services rather than fragmented care driven by separate billing codes.

Created to transform mental health and substance use treatment across the U.S., CCBHCs offer a no-wrong-door approach, serving anyone in need of care regardless of their ability to pay, place of residence, or age. The program began in 2017 with 67 clinics across eight states and has now expanded to over 500 CCBHCs in 46 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, with most supported through SAMHSA’s CCBHC Expansion Grant program.


Resource: Health and Human Services, June 04, 2024

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