The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), in conjunction with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Assistant Secretary of Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), Monday awarded a total of $22.9 million to support states throughout the nation in their efforts to improve behavioral health of their citizens by providing community-based mental and substance use disorder treatment.
Vikki Wachino, deputy administrator of CMS, and director, Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services said:
“The planning grants will help states strengthen payment for behavioral health services for Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries, and will help individuals with mental and substance use disorders obtain the health care they need to maintain their health and well-being.”
Authorized under Section 223 of the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014, the planning grants are part of a comprehensive effort to integrate behavioral health with physical health care, utilize evidence-based practices on a more consistent basis, and improve access to high quality care, HHS said.
According to HHS, the planning grants will be used to support states to certify community behavioral health clinics, solicit input from stakeholders, establish prospective payment systems for demonstration reimbursable services, and prepare an application to participate in the demonstration program.
HHS explains that the criteria used to certify community behavioral health clinics emphasize high quality and evidence based practices. 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.
“We see this program as a game changer in our efforts to improve care, quality, and access to services,” said SAMHSA Acting Administrator Kana Enomoto.
“Today’s awards will assist states in working closely with community clinics to bring together essential behavioral health services, integrate primary care services and improve quality and data reporting systems.”