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certified community behavioral health clinics

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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.”

Today, the Senate cleared a short-term spending bill that includes an extension of the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHC) Medicaid demonstration through November 21. The extension is retroactive to September 13. The bill now heads to President Trump for his signature; we will continue to keep you updated.

The latest extension does not impact grantee CCBHCs that are not participating in the demonstration — however, it is an important indication of congressional support for the program and we hope this support will ultimately be translated into an expansion of the program to additional states.

Contact Sarah Eyster, RCPA Mental Health Division Director, with questions.

Prior to the July 4 holiday, the House and Senate passed legislation to extend Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHC) funding from June 30 through July 14. The bill, sent to President Trump for his signature, can be seen here.

RCPA is requesting members to contact their state legislators and ask them to reach out to Governor Wolf and the Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary Teresa Miller, to have them accept the federal extension of CCBHC funding.

The areas in Pennsylvania that have CCBHC facilities are as follows:

  • Philadelphia;
  • Delaware and Montgomery counties;
  • Berks County;
  • Allegheny County;
  • Clearfield, Clarion, and Centre counties; and
  • Bradford County.

Please contact RCPA Director of Government Affairs Jack Phillips with any questions.

(Source: National Council for Behavioral Health, Capitol Connector, June 20, 2019)

On Tuesday, the House voted to pass the “Empowering Beneficiaries, Ensuring Access, and Strengthening Accountability Act of 2019 (HR 3253),” which would extend funding for certain Medicaid programs. Under the provision, funding for the eight-state Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) demonstration program would be extended for another two and a half years until December 21, 2021. There was overwhelming bipartisan support of HR 3253, passing with a vote of 371-46. The bill must now go to the Senate for a vote before the CCBHC demonstration program expires on June 30, 2019. Read more.

The commencement of Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics through Pennsylvania’s Department of Human Services, and the growing movement of individual providers to create medical homes to provide clients with co-located mental health and primary care providers in one facility, holds tremendous promise and opportunity for the coordination and enhancement of delivery of care to clients. These new provider relationships in shared office and facility spaces create new legal issues for providers under the federal Stark law and Anti-kickback statute. Providers must ensure that they do not inadvertently run afoul of these important federal fraud and abuse laws.

RCPA will offer a webinar presented by Renee H. Martin, JD, RN, MSN, a partner in the firm of Dilworth Paxson, LLP. This webinar will describe the legal requirements providers must be aware of under these federal laws and help to apply that knowledge in structuring financial relationships for use of these shared spaces. The webinar is intended for provider organizations’ executive staff, project planners, and legal counsel.

Stark Law and Integrated Health Care Webinar
Wednesday, June 29
12:00 – 1:00 pm
Register today

  • RCPA member registration is $25
  • Non-member registration is $40

Presenter: Ms. Martin exclusively practices health care law and advises both individual and institutional health care providers on regulatory and transactional matters. A significant portion of her practice centers on mental health and substance abuse law, including HIPAA, informational privacy, and fraud and abuse compliance. Ms. Martin has assisted in the formation of regional health information centers and mental health medical homes, working closely with federally qualified health centers and mental health providers.

RCPA will now distribute INFOS and ALERTS covering research, delivery and training models, policy issues, and other topics that will inform our members about collaborative, integrated, and co-located health care. To subscribe to this distribution list, select this link and check “Integrated Care.” This will add to your existing email preference selections.

Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs) are changing the very business of health care. Established by the Excellence in Mental Health Act, CCBHCs are designed to provide a comprehensive range of mental health and substance use disorder services, particularly to vulnerable individuals with the most complex needs. New federal standards for CCBHCs will take effect in 2017 in eight states, ultimately selected to participate in a two-year demonstration.