Mental Health

Tablet on a desk - Questions and Answers

The Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) has released an updated version of the Intensive Behavioral Health Services (IBHS) FAQ. Additionally, there will be another FAQ update in early January. Please review the new version as the inquiries include OMHSAS responses on staff training / qualifications, licensing parameters, service delivery, and other key feedback brought forth by stakeholders. The new IBHS FAQ can be found here.

We have been informed that there will be new OMHSAS IBHS bulletins released in December, regarding the prior authorized services in the fee-for-service delivery system and the medical necessity guidelines. All new IBHS information provided will also be reviewed by the RCPA IBHS Work Group.

As the IBHS implementation moves forward, we ask that RCPA Children’s Division Director Jim Sharp be included on questions sent to the IBHS RA account or directly to OMHSAS regional offices. We will continue to maintain our own member inquiry repository. If you have any questions or feedback, please contact Jim Sharp.

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On Friday, leaders of the Senate Finance Committee reached an agreement on a 2-year extension and more than doubling the current program by adding 11 additional states to the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic Medicaid program. This agreement was announced by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR), the two lead negotiators on a year-end package of health care bills.

While this is an exciting development, there is still work ahead before this legislative package becomes law. The package must still be voted on by both the House and Senate before going to President Trump for his signature.

The National Council thanks its dedicated advocates for their work in building nationwide support for CCBHCs. Your voices have been heard!

Please see below for a statement on today’s announcement from National Council President and CEO Chuck Ingoglia.

“We applaud the members of Congress who worked so hard on this agreement to fund and expand our nation’s Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics. Extending and expanding this successful program is vitally important to people who rely on the mental health and addiction services provided by CCBHCs. It’s crucial that the delivery of care not suffer from disruption, and this agreement would ensure programs and services continue uninterrupted.

“Just as importantly, expanding the program means more people in more states will benefit from access to high quality care provided by CCBHCs. In a nation reeling from an opioid and suicide crisis, that is welcome news. While the mental health and addiction crisis continue to devastate the lives of people across the country, CCBHCs represent our nation’s best response. Expansion of the program is both a fiscally responsible decision and a compassionate response from lawmakers who understand the impact CCBHCs provide in communities across the country. Expansion represents a profound opportunity to help people and heal communities.

“We understand there are many hurdles to overcome before this agreement to provide funding and expand the CCBHC program becomes a reality, but we want to applaud the leadership of those responsible for championing the CCBHC program – Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Representatives Doris Matsui (D-Calif.), Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.), Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and Frank Pallone (D-N.J.).

“We also want to thank our partners in the field who joined forces with us in this shared mission. The National Alliance on Mental Illness, Mental Health America, National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors, the National Association for Behavioral Healthcare and many others have served as leaders in championing this vital program.”

As we approach the conclusion of the Governor’s Council on Reform public comment period on December 16, 2019, RCPA would like to ensure that each member has the materials for providing their public comments, feedback, and support. RCPA will be submitting commentary within each policy director’s purview, and we strongly urge your agency to submit your thoughts to the Council, including areas and issues that may not be represented in the current recommendations.

If you would like to send your submissions to your respective policy director for inclusion in the RCPA public comment, please have them submitted by close of business on Wednesday December 11, 2019.

Below you will find the links to important documents relating to the Council on Reform, including the Public Comment Submission Form. If you have further questions, please contact your respective RCPA Policy Director.

  1. Governor’s Executive Order
  2. November 1 Press Release
  3. Recommendation Document
  4. Public Comment Form

Thank you for your efforts and partnership to bring these recommendations to the forefront of your work.

The Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) is sponsoring our second annual training series, “Supporting Transgender Clients,” in partnership with the Gender and Sexuality Development Clinic at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Training dates/locations for in-person trainings will be coming soon; once the dates are announced, RCPA will send out an Alert. Dates for the webinar series are available here. Webinar slots are limited; if multiple staff from one location wish to participate, please consider viewing jointly. If you have questions, or would like additional information, please email Jill Stemple or RCPA Children’s Director Jim Sharp.

On Wednesday, November 20, the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) conducted its most recent WebEx, outlining several key areas to the Intensive Behavioral Health Services (IBHS) implementation. The materials for the presentation can be found here.

This presentation provided an overview of the following:

  • Written Orders;
  • Assessment;
  • Training Approval Process;
  • Current Department Approved Trainings;
  • Family Outreach;
  • Medical Necessity Guidelines;
  • Licensing;
  • Enrollment/ Billing; and
  • Rates.

This link will direct you to the IBHS Website on the HealthChoices server. At the bottom of the page is the repository of information on these topics as well as the updated FAQ. The RCPA IBHS Work Group will be reconvening in early December to continue to address implementation issues in conjunction with OMHSAS. If you have any questions or feedback, please contact RCPA Children’s Division Director Jim Sharp.