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national council for behavioral health

From the National Council:

Behavioral Health Provider Participation in Medicaid Value-based Payment Models: An Environmental Scan and Policy Considerations

In recent years the drumbeat message has been that healthcare payments as we know it will change. No longer will payments remain strictly fee-for-service, with no accounting for quality of care; instead they will move towards value-based payment models that hinge payments, to one degree or another, on outcomes.

This has certainly been the case for physical health services, but what about behavioral health?

In the spring of 2019, the National Council for Behavioral Health partnered with the Center for Health Care Strategies to conduct an environmental scan of value-based payment models for behavioral health services. The culminating report, Behavioral Health Provider Participation in Medicaid Value-based Payment Models: An Environmental Scan and Policy Considerations, details existing models, where they are being adopted and highlights lessons learned and recommendations for state and federal policymakers.

Check out the report today and join us for a discussion of findings with the lead authors and reactions from panelists within the healthcare delivery system:

Value-Based Payments and Behavioral Health: Results of a Nationwide Environmental Scan
Wednesday, September 11 from 1:00 pm–2:00 pm ET.

The school was one of 35 selected by the National Council for Behavioral Health with support from Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation.

Philadelphia, PA (September 9, 2019) – Pennsylvania was selected as one of the first expanded pilot sites for teen Mental Health First Aid (tMHFA). The program will be hosted at Roxborough High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania this fall. The training is the first of its kind developed for high school students in the US.

“This first-of-a-kind program will truly make a difference in our communities, and we are excited that our state was chosen to introduce teen Mental Health First Aid to local communities,” said RCPA President/CEO Dr. Richard S. Edley, a member of the National Council for Behavioral Health — which represents 3,100 member organizations across the United States. “It is our hope that this training program will encourage students to take action when they spot early signs of a problem and empower them to support a friend who may be in distress or struggling with a mental health or substance use issue, so they can get the help and treatment they need.”

tMHFA is an in-person training designed for high school students to learn about mental illnesses and addictions, particularly how to identify and respond to a developing mental health or substance use problem among their peers. Similar to CPR, students learn a 5-step action plan to help their friends who may be facing a mental health problem or crisis, such as suicide.

The course specifically highlights the important step of involving a responsible and trusted adult. To ensure additional support for students taking the training, Roxborough High School has also trained a number of school staff in Mental Health First Aid for Adults Working with Young People.

“We’re thrilled Roxborough High School is one of the first US high schools to participate in teen Mental Health First Aid,” said Chuck Ingoglia, President and CEO of the National Council for Behavioral Health. “Teens trust their friends, so they need to be trained to recognize signs of mental health or substance use problems in their peers. The number one thing a teen can do to support a friend dealing with anxiety or depression is to help the friend seek support from a trusted adult.”

“With teen Mental Health First Aid, we like to say, it’s okay to not be okay,” said Lady Gaga, co-founder of Born This Way Foundation, as she spoke with 16 students who completed the first tMHFA pilot in eight schools across the country.

“Together, Born This Way and the National Council have put this program in eight schools. I know for certain that I’m not stopping here,” Lady Gaga continued. “I want the teen Mental Health First Aid program in every school in this country.”

“Through this pilot, Roxborough High School is taking an important step towards ensuring their students are able to recognize when a friend or peer might be struggling and to feel confident that they know what to do to help,” said Cynthia Germanotta, president and co-founder of Born This Way Foundation. “Knowing how to spot the signs that someone in our lives is experiencing a mental health challenge and understanding how we can support that person is a basic life skill we all need to have — especially teenagers.”

tMHFA is an evidence-based training program from Australia. The National Council adapted the training with support from Born This Way Foundation and Well Being Trust. The pilot program is being evaluated by researchers from Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health to assess its effectiveness. The training will be made available to the public following analysis of the pilot study. For more information, please contact Shemiah Cooper.

(Message from Chuck Ingoglia, President and CEO, National Council for Behavioral Health)**

After much debate and political back and forth, the House and Senate today passed a short-term extension of the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) Medicaid demonstration program.

As was announced last week, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved legislation to extend the original eight CCBHC demonstration states through December 2021. The legislation passed the House by a vote of 371-46. Despite tremendous bipartisan support in the House, efforts to extend the original eight states and expand CCBHCs to two new states stalled in the Senate. To provide themselves more time, House and Senate members agreed to a two-week extension, continuing the program through the 4th of July recess.

While we cannot guarantee a path forward beyond this short-term extension, we have every reason to believe that upon its return Congress will pass another continuation of the program through the end of September 2019. As we have throughout this legislative process, the National Council will keep you informed and do its very best to make you aware of opportunities for action and advocacy at every turn.

Thank you all for your outstanding efforts these last few years. Through your hard work and advocacy you have expanded access to individuals in need, transformed how these services can and should be delivered in your communities and built a strong network of allies who believe in the promise of CCBHCs and have worked with us to support their continuation.

**NOTE: OMHSAS/DHS are in the process of confirming the full extent of this announcement and its impact on PA CCBHCs moving forward.

The Washington Post hosted an event recently, focused on the mental health and addiction crisis in America, where Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) joined actress and mental health advocate Glenn Close to speak about the importance of expanding Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCHBCs). See video excerpts below:

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RCPA is recognizing Mental Health Awareness Month. Visit this web page for some helpful resources from the National Council for Behavioral Health to use in promoting awareness of mental health issues.

Below are some Mental Health Awareness Days taking place; be sure to post your own activities on social media, share on the RCPA Facebook page — and please tag us @paproviders!

Monday, May 6, 2:30 to 3:30 pm, Pennsylvania State Capitol Rotunda, Harrisburg, PA, guest speakers including:

  • Teresa Miller, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services;
  • Ruth Fox, CEO of Allegheny Family Network;
  • Kaitlyn Arrow, a 17-year-old experienced speaker; and
  • Donnell Brown, adult in recovery

At this time the Dennis Marion Award for Service will be given.

Wednesday, May 8, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, Strawberry Square, Harrisburg, PA, over 40 vendors will be present to discuss services that are available to young people, their families, professionals and service professionals.

Visit this link for more information.

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At this point, you’ve probably heard about the move toward value-based payment (VBP) models.

The promise – better quality care at a lower cost. But, what does this mean for behavioral health providers? With all the uncertainty around if, when and how VBP will be implemented, what is the best way to proceed? And, what can you do to influence the policy decisions being made in your state?

Join the National Council on Thursday, November 15 from 2 to 3 p.m. ET for VBP: Adoption Rates, Policy Pitfalls and Provider Readiness to get the answers to these questions and more. During this webinar, speakers will discuss trends and current approaches in adopting VBP models, lessons learned from a state’s past and what behavioral health organizations can do to adopt a culture of value amid uncertainty.


  • Nina Marshall, Assistant Vice President of Healthcare Finance, National Council for Behavioral Health
  • Richard Edley, President and CEO, Rehabilitation and Community Providers Association (RCPA)
  • Echo Shumaker-Pruitt, Vice President of Quality Improvement and Data Analytics, The Mental Health Association of Westchester

Register today and walk away with concrete actions you can take to shape the policy discussions in your state and prepare for VBP.

The National Council for Behavioral Health is helping to connect some of our members with some researchers. Western Michigan University is conducting an NIH-sponsored study to better understand the usefulness of evidence-based program registries in behavioral health care.

Are you an executive or senior staff member who is involved in selecting and/or implementing behavioral health care interventions at your agency? If so, the study would like to conduct a short telephone interview with you. If not, we are asking that you forward this email to an appropriate colleague at your agency.

The interviews are confidential; no individual or agency names will be associated with responses. In appreciation, you or your agency can receive a $25 Amazon gift certificate, as allowable.

To schedule a telephone interview and/or for more information, please email
eval-nihstudy@wmich.edu and include your agency’s name and state. Responses will come from one of the study’s collaborating organizations: The Evaluation Center, Kercher Center, Rady Hospital, or DSG Inc.

NatCon18 – National Council for Behavioral Health’s Annual Conference

Connect with the people and organizations that are driving the future of health care with innovations and revolutionary ideas. NatCon18 celebrates the diversity of our community as we’re reminded of the aspirations that unite us. And RCPA members receive $225 off with code 18MemberPA.

Experience the insight of unequalled speakers. NatCon brings you the most thought-provoking speakers to enlighten, inspire, and challenge you.

Meet the innovators of today and tomorrow at the Solutions Pavilion. Overflowing with more than 350 organizations, get the solutions you need to tackle today’s challenges.

Dig deep into the issues you care most about. Hear from innovators in practice improvement, finance, technology, public policy, integrated care, marketing, and workforce development.

Earn continuing education credits. Fulfill your licensing requirements at the same time you enrich yourself or your staff.

It’s all at NatCon18, the National Council Conference.

Register today and use code 18MemberPA for $225 off registration, until 11:59 pm EST on Monday, February 12!


The Senate has released its version of the American Health Care Act and it is worse than we feared. The Senate bill will cut Medicaid even more than the House bill in the future, putting tremendous pressure on safety-net services and providers.

But there is still time to act! The Senate is gearing up for a vote in the coming days, so NOW is the time to speak up and protect Medicaid.

unite-4-bhTaking action is easy:

  1. Dial this number: 202-224-3121
  2. Ask for your Senator.
  3. Share with them this message:
    • Your Message: I am calling to ask the Senator to vote NO on the Better Care Reconciliation Act. Cutting Medicaid and rolling back the Medicaid expansion will have a devastating effect on people with mental illnesses and addictions who rely on Medicaid for lifesaving treatment. Please vote NO. I’m calling from [city, state, and zip] and my name is [first and last name].
  4. Call your other Senator and share the same message!

Thank you to all who have taken action on this issue so far this year. We appreciate your hard work and dedication and ask that you continue to mobilize and advocate on this critical issue! Together, we can protect and preserve Medicaid for millions of Americans in need.


Questions, contact Jack Phillips.