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Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic Funding Extension Reintroduced

March 14, 2019

A bipartisan, bicameral group of federal lawmakers today held a press conference to announce the introduction of the Excellence in Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Expansion Act—legislation that would extend and expand the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) initiative. The legislation—sponsored by Senator Debbie Stabenow (D–MI), Senator Roy Blunt (R–MO), Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D–CA), and Congressman Markwayne Mullin (R–OK)—would extend the CCBHC initiative in the original eight participating states by two years and expand the groundbreaking program to 11 others states for two years.

The press conference also featured remarks from a wide range of stakeholders—a city official, CCBHC provider, law enforcement officer, and a consumer who receives care at a CCBHC—each of whom discussed the success of the current CCBHC initiative.

Established by 2014’s bipartisan Excellence in Mental Health Act, CCBHCs provide a comprehensive range of primary physical care, addiction, and mental health services to vulnerable individuals, adults, and children with serious mental illnesses and substance abuse disorders, in one location—removing barriers that often exist across physical and behavioral health systems. Pennsylvania is one of eight states (along with Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, and Oregon) selected to participate in the original two-year federal pilot program and receive new federal funding for community-based mental health and addiction services. The pilot is set to expire mid-2019, ending federal funding for the delivery model.

Currently, seven CCBHCs provide services in Berks, Clearfield, Jefferson, Philadelphia, Allegheny, Montgomery, and McKean counties, expanding access to mental health and substance abuse services for individuals with complex care needs.

CCBHCs meet rigorous requirements to provide comprehensive, science-based, high-quality care for treatment of serious mental illness and addiction. In exchange, CCBHCs receive Medicaid reimbursement rates based on their anticipated costs of expanding services to meet patients’ needs. CCBHCs are responsible for providing or partnering with a variety of health system entities to direct the following services:

  • Crisis mental health services, including 24-hour mobile crisis teams, emergency crisis intervention, and crisis stabilization
  • Screening, assessment, and diagnosis including risk assessment
  • Patient-centered treatment planning or similar processes, including risk assessment and crisis planning
  • Outpatient mental health and substance use services
  • Outpatient clinic primary care screening, and monitoring of key health indicators and health risk
  • Targeted case management
  • Psychiatric rehabilitation services
  • Peer support, counselor services, and family supports
  • Intensive, community-based mental health care for members of the armed forces and veterans, particularly those members and veterans located in rural areas

HAP supports efforts to increase access to effective mental health and substance abuse services and better integrate behavioral and physical health care services. HAP is engaging in advocacy to continue support for the CCBHC demonstration, through an extension of the program by Congress or other mechanisms to support the model.

To learn more about HAP’s advocacy strategy regarding this issue, please contact Jennifer Jordan, HAP’s vice president, regulatory advocacy.

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