HHS: 10 states join the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic Medicaid Demonstration Program

More states will receive Medicaid funding for all-in-one mental health and substance use clinics that offer 24-hour crisis services.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced Tuesday that a new clinic model, called certified community behavioral health clinics, is now eligible for Medicaid reimbursement in 10 states under the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic Demonstration Program.

“This is a game changer for so many Americans,” Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a call with reporters. “Just as 988 saves so many lives, these new ten additional CCBHCs will save even more lives.”

The demonstration program was created and then applied to a handful of states after passing the Protecting Access to Medicare Act in 2014. But as they faced a raging mental health crisis following the COVID-19 pandemic, the program was then extensive as part of the 2022 Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.  

Now CCHBCs in Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Rhode Island and Vermont can receive Medicaid funding in addition to the original program Member States.  

Starting in July, CCHBCs will be eligible for Medicaid reimbursements in ten more states every two years as part of the expansion of the Safer Communities Act demonstration program.

CCHBCs are intended to provide a range of mental health and substance use services to anyone seeking care, regardless of condition, age, ability to pay, or housing status.

According to the National Council of Mental Wellbeing, a Washington DC-based nonprofit that has helped with CCHBCs, these clinics must work directly or with another organization to provide nine types of services.

Some of these services include offering 24-hour mobile crisis teams, emergency crisis intervention, and outpatient mental health and substance use disorders.

According to the National Council of Mental Wellbeing, approximately 3 million Americans already receive care in a CCHCS.

Nearly 80 percent of clinics report serving more people after becoming a CCBHC, and 87 percent of CCHBCs report offering one or more forms of medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder, compared to 64 percent of substance use treatment facilities in the generally, the nonprofit said.

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