HHS taps 8 states for behavioral health program

Health and Human Services’ goal is to integrate behavioral health with physical health, engage communities, and evaluate the programs based on 21 quality measures.
By Bernie Monegain
09:42 AM
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HHS behavioral health

HHS Deputy Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use Kana Enomoto

The Department of Health and Human Service launched a new behavioral health demonstration program and aligned eight states to participate.

The two-year initiative, dubbed Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic, is designed to improve behavioral health services in each state’s communities.

States selected by HHS are: Minnesota, Missouri, New York, New Jersey, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon and Pennsylvania.

The goal of the program is to boost access to behavioral health services for Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries as part of a broader effort to integrate behavioral health with physical healthcare, increase consistent use of evidence-based practices and improve access to high quality care for people with mental and substance use disorders. 

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“These states and their community clinics have done an incredible job in paving the way for the demonstration program,” Deputy Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use Kana Enomoto said in a statement. “We look forward to demonstrating that by balancing incentives and accountability, an enhanced level of accessible, comprehensive and quality care can be provided to all Americans.”

The participating states will be reimbursed through Medicaid for behavioral health treatment, services and support to Medicaid-eligible beneficiaries.

To qualify for certification, the certified clinics provide core services across the lifespan, utilize evidence-based practices and health information technology, report on quality measures, and coordinate care with primary care providers and hospitals in the community.

Clinics will serve 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 selected states’ demonstration programs will be evaluated based on data from 21 quality measures collected through sources such as program records, Medicaid claims, managed care encounter data, and clinic cost reports. The program will also collect data on quality from interviews with state officials and clinic staff.

These states have until July 1, 2017 to begin their two-year demonstration programs.

Twitter: @Bernie_HITN
Email the writer: bernie.monegain@himssmedia.com


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