HHS Funds Support Efforts to Certify Community Behavioral Health Clinics

Twenty-four states have received grants to improve the behavioral health of their citizens by providing community-based mental and substance use disorder treatment.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), in conjunction with CMS and the Assistant Secretary of Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), has awarded $229 million in planning grants to help states throughout the nation to improve the behavioral health of their citizens by providing community-based mental and substance use disorder treatment. Twenty-four states have received grants ranging from $728,054 to $982,373.

The grants will help states strengthen payment for behavioral health services for Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) beneficiaries, and will help those with mental and substance abuse disorders get the healthcare they need to maintain their health and well-being, said Vikki Wachio, deputy administrator of CMS and director of the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services.

The populations to be served are adults with serious mental illness, children with serious emotional disturbance, and those with long-term and serious substance use disorders, as well as others with mental illness and substance use disorders.

The planning grants are part of a comprehensive plan to integrate behavioral and physical healthcare, use evidence-based practices more consistently, and improve access to high-quality care. The grants will be used to support states’ efforts to certify community behavioral health clinics and establish prospective payment systems for demonstration reimbursable services, and prepare applications to participate in the demonstration program.

The planning grants are the first phase of a two-phase process. When the planning grant phase ends in October 2016, grant awardees will have the chance to apply to participate in a 2-year demonstration program that begins January 2017. Through the demonstration program, up to eight states with certified community behavioral health clinics will provide behavioral health services to eligible beneficiaries and be paid using an approved prospective payment system.