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MH/BH- HHS Awards $127.7 Million to Expand CCBHC Program

MM Curator summary

The article below has been highlighted and summarized by our research team. It is provided here for member convenience as part of our Curator service.


[MM Curator Summary]: Another round of funding for the program started in 2017. The original round got launched 67 clinics in 8 states; the latest awards went to 128 clinics in 40 different states and Puerto Rico.



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The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), announced on Thursday that it has designated $127.7 million to expand the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs) program across the US.

Under the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA), the awards will enable up to 10 additional states to create state CCBHC programs under Medicaid every 2 years, starting in 2024, providing sustainable funding for CCBHC services to Medicaid beneficiaries.

CCBHCs are required to provide a specified range of behavioral healthcare services, including crisis care 24 hours per day and 7 days a week, as well as routine outpatient care within 10 business days after initial contact.

“CCBHCs serve anyone who asks for help for mental health or substance use, regardless of their ability to pay, and in turn, people being served by CCBHCs experience less homelessness, less illegal substance use, and reduced use of jails, prisons, emergency rooms and hospitals for behavioral health issues,” Miriam Delphin-Rittmon, PhD, HHS assistant secretary for mental health and substance use and the leader of SAMHSA, said in a news release. “This is a model of care that truly works to serve the whole community.”

The first CCBHCs were funded under Medicaid in 2017, with the launch of 67 clinics in an 8-state demonstration program. Currently, there are 500 CCBHCs operating in 46 states, Washington, DC, Guam, and Puerto Rico.

The awarded funds announced on Thursday include 128 grants to health clinics in 40 states and Puerto Rico, with each grantee receiving up to $1 million per year for 4 years. Of the 128 total grants, 63 totaling $62.8 million were designated for assist clinics to establish and implement new CCBHC programs through the CCBHC Planning, Development, and Implementation (CCBHC-PDI) grant. The remaining 65 grants totaling $64.9 million will be used to enhance and support existing CCBHCs through the CCBHC Improvement and Advancement grant program.

The National Council for Mental Wellbeing provides support to stakeholders interested in learning about the CCBHC model or are pursuing implementation. Rebecca Farley David, the National Council’s special advisor of public policy and special initiatives, said the organization was pleased with Thursday’s grant announcement.

“We’re very excited to see the announcement of the grants today—thrilled for all the organizations that received grants,” she told Behavioral Healthcare Executive. “I think this is another exciting step towards the future expansion of this program and one that will help bring CCBHC services to a lot more communities.

“The grant funding is an incredibly helpful source of support for clinics that want to go after a CCBHC status as their states are considering putting CCBHCs into place in Medicaid. And in that way, these 2 programs—the demonstration program in Medicaid and the grant program through SAMHSA—are quite complementary.”


Approaching 60th anniversary of Community Mental Health Act of 1963, the Biden-Harris administration awards nearly $130 million to expand Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics across US. News release. US Department of Health and Human Services. Se

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MH/BH- Biden-Harris Administration Announces More Than $200 Million To Support Youth Mental Health

MM Curator summary

The article below has been highlighted and summarized by our research team. It is provided here for member convenience as part of our Curator service.


[MM Curator Summary]: Lots of new funding for MH/BH and kids announced. 3 major packages out of SAMHSA, ACF and HRSA.



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Builds on unprecedented investment through President Biden’s Unity Agenda to tackle the mental health crisis and support community-based behavioral health care and treatment.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), announced $206 million in grant awards towards youth mental health. Also today, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will make more Medicaid funding available for school-based health services in Virginia, improving health care access, including mental health services. Combined, these awards will help expand access to mental health services for students in schools, bolster the behavioral health workforce, and improve access to mental health prevention and treatment for children and youth in communities across the country. And they represent a key next step in President Biden’s Unity Agenda, which is making unprecedented investments to tackle the mental health crisis and transform how mental health is understood, accessed, treated, and integrated in and out of health care settings.

The investments include the following:

“The Biden-Harris Administration is deeply committed to tackling the mental health crisis facing America, particularly among our young people. Expanding mental health care services to ensure that everyone who needs help can access care when and where they seek it is a key element of President Biden’s Unity Agenda,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “We are transforming mental health and substance use treatment across the country by providing equitable access to services for all Americans. These tools and resources will help families struggling to meet the mental health care needs of their children.”

Recent data confirms that young people need more support to address their mental health and substance use disorder challenges. The most recent Youth Risk Behavior Survey found that nearly three in five U.S. teen girls felt persistently sad or hopeless in 2021 – representing a nearly 60% increase over the past decade. It also found that 22% of high school students seriously considered attempting suicide during the past year.

“These awards reflect the extraordinary commitment of the Biden-Harris Administration to addressing youth mental health,” said Deputy Secretary Andrea Palm. “The tools and resources that we are providing will help children who are struggling by meeting them and their families where they are, and ensuring there is no wrong door to behavioral health care.”

Supporting at Risk Youth and Families

$131.7 Million from SAMHSA to Support At-risk Youth and Families

  • $5.7 million for Planning and Developing Infrastructure to Promote the Mental Health of Children, Youth and Families in American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) Communities,
  • $5.5 million for Cooperative Agreements for School-Based Trauma-Informed Support Services and Mental Health Care for Children and Youth,
  • $2.4 million for Linking Actions for Unmet Needs in Children’s Health (Project LAUNCH), $16.4 million for Healthy Transitions: Improving Life Trajectories for Youth and Young Adults with Serious Mental Disorders Program,
  • $41.2 million for Grants to Expand Substance Abuse Treatment Capacity in Adult and Family Treatment Drug Courts,
  • $48.3 million for Grants for Expansion and Sustainability of the Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children with Serious Emotional Disturbances (System of Care SOC Expansion and Sustainability),
  • $1.8 million for Preventing Youth Overdose: Treatment, Recovery, Education, Awareness and Training,
  • $8.7 million for Behavioral Health Partnership for Early Diversion of Adults and Youth, and
  • $1.7 million for Family Counseling and Support for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex+ Youth and Their Families.

Expanding Access to Youth Mental Health Care

$55 Million from HRSA for Expanding Access to Youth Mental Health Care:

  • $25 million to 77 HRSA-funded health centers to create new and expand existing school-based health centers,
  • $19 million to 25 states and territories to train pediatricians in mental health care and provide real-time teleconsultation for pediatricians to get expert support from psychiatrists and other mental health providers to help them care for their patients’ mental health needs,
  • $11 million to 23 organizations to train more behavioral health providers focused on serving children, adolescents, and young adults in underserved and rural areas.

Center to Support Mental Health Services in Child Welfare

$20 Million from ACF to Launch First National Center to Support Mental Health Services in the Child Welfare System:

  • $20 million to the National Center to Support Mental Health Services in the Child Welfare System to provide technical assistance and evidence-informed training to strengthen coordination and capacity among child welfare and mental health professionals and systems to improve the quality of mental health services they provide to children, young adults, and their families who are involved in the child welfare system and who have experienced adoption.

Expanding School-Based Health Services

If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat

To learn how to get support for mental health, drug, and alcohol issues, visit

Anyone seeking treatment for mental health or substance use issues should call SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 800-662-HELP (4357) or visit

For more information on ACF’s behavioral health initiatives and resources, please visit:

Reporters with questions for SAMHSA should email, for HRSA should email, for ACF should email, for CMS should email

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MH/BH- Joe Biden’s taking on insurers to address America’s mental health crisis

MM Curator summary

The article below has been highlighted and summarized by our research team. It is provided here for member convenience as part of our Curator service.


[MM Curator Summary]: It’s great to see someone suggest we enforce MH parity laws on the books for years- but I’m not sure fines of $100 a day are going to move the dial on companies making billions a month.



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Health Care

The administration says insurance companies are using loopholes to deny mental health care. Insurers say that’s not the case.


“We always hope for collaboration, but the rule has sticks as well,” Neera Tanden, head of President Joe Biden’s domestic policy council, told POLITICO. “We hope insurers will change their behavior going forward without the sticks, but we will continue to fully enforce the parity law.”

Those sticks include fines of $100 per policyholder per day if insurers don’t close loopholes the administration says they’re using to limit what they pay for mental health care. The administration says those ploys include requirements that doctors seek insurers’ approval before delivering care, lower reimbursement rates for providers who treat mental illness and deliberate efforts to limit the number of in-network physicians available to patients.

Insurance companies say Biden is scapegoating them and that they are already doing their best to lean on technology like telehealth to boost access to care, expand their provider networks and increase what they pay those providers. They’re also trying to better integrate mental health in primary care.

“Nobody has a magic wand to create the number of mental health providers to match the number of physical health providers,” said Craig Smith, partner at law firm Hogan Lovells and former general counsel for Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration. “You can promulgate regulations. You can pass statutes. No amount of government oversight or enforcement can magically solve the challenge.”

The real issue, the insurance companies argue, is the lack of qualified mental health care providers. Nearly half of the U.S. population lives in an area with a mental health worker shortage, according to health policy research group KFF.

Still, the White House points to a 2022 report to Congress from the Health and Human Services, Labor and Treasury departments, which found that not one of the 156 insurance plans and issuers studied were following rules requiring them to measure their compliance with the 2008 law.

The problem is actually quite simple, advocates of the Biden rules say.

“The insurers are cracking down on mental health reimbursement in order to save money,” said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.).


Health Care

Biden to crack down on ‘junk’ health insurance

By Adam Cancryn and Robert King | July 06, 2023 01:43 PM

A decadeslong campaign

On Capitol Hill, Democrats and Republicans are alarmed at the state of their constituents’ mental health. Some lawmakers are even opening up about their own struggles.

The Covid-19 pandemic brought the issue to the fore as anxieties about the disease and the social isolation of government lockdowns exacerbated mental health conditions and substance use disorders.

More than a third of adults said they had symptoms of anxiety or depression during the pandemic, and 90 percent of U.S. adults think the nation is in a mental health crisis, according to KFF.

Suicide rates jumped the most they have in decades, up to 14.1 per 100,000 people in 2021, according to the most recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.

Yet access to care has lagged.

Estimates vary, but the latest data from HHS indicates that more than half of adults with mental illness don’t get treatment. Treatment levels may be even lower for substance use conditions like opioid use disorder — just 1 in 5 U.S. adults got medication treatment for it in 2021, according to the latest National Institute on Drug Abuse data.

And while barriers to mental health and substance use disorder treatment vary by condition, stigma is a common throughline, experts say.

The U.S. health care system historically treated mental and physical health care differently. Insurers didn’t typically cover mental health care until after World War II. Insurance coverage was originally fragmented and separated from the broader system, said Colleen Barry, dean of Cornell University’s Brooks School of Public Policy.

“For so long, mental health was a dirty stepchild of health care,” said Maureen Maguire, the American Psychiatric Association associate director of parity implementation and enforcement policy. “There was a lot of shame involved in it. People didn’t want to get help. If you couldn’t find help, you didn’t want to say you couldn’t find help.”

Administrations going back decades have made improving access to care a priority.

John F. Kennedy was the first president to take significant steps to achieve parity for mental health in 1961. He called for the health insurer for federal employees — which offered limited mental health care — to cover it at the same levels of other care.

From then until the 1990s, efforts to expand parity were largely at the state level, according to Barry’s research.

The Mental Health Parity Act of 1996, signed by former President Bill Clinton, required plans to cover mental health equally, but only in terms of annual or lifetime benefit maximums.

In 2008, then-President George W. Bush signed the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, whose chief House sponsor, then-Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) used his own struggles with mental illness to convince colleagues to support it.



The law mandated that deductibles and co-pays, as well as treatment limitations, be equivalent to those for physical health care, and enactment was seen as a landmark win.

Since opting not to seek reelection in 2010, Kennedy, the youngest child of former Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), has worked to ensure his law is working.

“The more insidious fight over the years, which is why these rules are so important, is around discriminatory medical management practices by payers,” he said. “It’s a lot more challenging to wrap your arms around the myriad ways that insurance companies can limit access.”


White House

White House closely watching McConnell amid health scare

By Jennifer Haberkorn and Jonathan Lemire | July 27, 2023 05:20 PM

Biden’s plan

The new proposed regulations, from HHS and the Treasury and Labor departments, are open for public comment until Oct. 2.

If finalized, they would mandate that insurers analyze their coverage to ensure equivalent access to mental health care based on outcomes.

The companies would have to look at how they respond to requests from doctors to authorize treatments for mental illness, compared with physical ones, as well as audit their provider networks and examine how much they reimburse providers out of network.

“This is something that you would have expected the issuers and plans to be doing as part of their own internal analysis to ensure compliance,” said JoAnn Volk, co-director of the Center on Health Insurance Reforms at Georgetown University.

One major problem Biden’s proposal targets is that of “ghost networks” — inadequate numbers of mental health providers who take insurance — forcing subscribers to go out of network and pay more.

The rule would also establish when health plans can’t require doctors to obtain prior authorization to prescribe a medicine or procedure, or otherwise put up roadblocks for patients seeking mental health, as well as substance use treatment.

Insurers could face fines of up to $100 per day per patient for failing to offer comparable coverage for mental health.

But enforcement could be a challenge, and it’s unclear how aggressive the administration would be. Previous enforcement has largely been collaborative, not punitive.

The Department of Labor has had limited resources to enforce the existing regulations, prompting Murphy to seek more in new legislation.

Insurers’ ally

Insurers say they agree that access to mental health care should be equivalent to that of physical health care.

But AHIP, the lobbying group for insurers, says the situation is more complicated than Biden makes out, and that workforce shortages are what’s behind barriers to care.

“Access to mental health has been, and continues to be, challenging primarily because of a shortage and lack of clinicians, which is why for years, health insurance providers have implemented programs and strategies to expand networks and increase access,” AHIP spokesperson Kristine Grow said in a statement.

The group said those include boosting telehealth coverage and integrating physical and mental health care. And it points to rising mental health care usage since the 2008 law as evidence that the law is working.

The insurers also have a key ally in making their case: the companies that buy insurance plans.

Last month, the ERISA Industry Committee, which represents large employers’ benefit interests and counts among its members some of America’s largest corporations, joined AHIP in writing to administration officials to ask that the comment period on the proposed rules be extended.

The companies and their insurers warned that the rules could create “unnecessary burdens” for providers, insurers and patients, and “unintentionally” impede access to care.