HHS Announces Over $120 Million In Funding Opportunity for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics Providing Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Care Across the Country
Note to reporters and editors: Video b-roll of a CCBHC is available for download and use in reporting, courtesy of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), announced two funding opportunities for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) expansion, totaling $123.6 million. The CCBHC Planning, Development, and Implementation (CCBHC-PDI) grant aims to assist clinics to establish and implement new CCBHC programs, and the CCBHC Improvement and Advancement (CCBHC–IA) grant seeks to enhance and support existing CCBHCs that currently meet the CCBHC Certification Criteria. Today’s announcement builds on the progress the Biden-Harris Administration has made in tackling the country’s mental health crisis and beating the opioid epidemic by expanding access to mental health and substance use services – key priorities outlined in President Biden’s Unity Agenda.
CCBHCs were created to transform mental health and substance use treatment across the country and provide sustainable funding for robust community outpatient mental health treatment. CCBHCs are required to provide a range of services, including crisis services that are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
“The expansion of Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics is part of President Biden’s commitment to expand and strengthen equitable access to behavioral health services for all Americans,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “These clinics serve anyone who requests care for mental health or substance use, regardless of their ability to pay, and connect people to the care they need.”
“CCBHCs are transforming behavioral health systems in this country, and we know that the model of care works,” said Miriam Delphin-Rittmon, Ph.D., HHS Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use and the leader of SAMHSA. “Data show in the first six months of receiving care, CCBHCs decrease homelessness, decrease the amount of time spent in correctional facilities, decrease the time spent in emergency rooms for behavioral health issues, decrease inpatient hospitalization for mental health treatment, and decrease the use of illegal substances.”
In 2017, the first CCBHCs were funded under Medicaid, with 67 operating in eight states. Today, there are more than 500 CCBHCs, in 46 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico.
Last week, with funding made possible through the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, HHS awarded 15 states each with $1 million, one-year CCBHC planning grants, the first time these planning grants have been available since the program began in 2015. In 2024, up to 10 of those will participate in the CCBHC Medicaid demonstration program and receive enhanced Medicaid reimbursement. The full CCBHC demonstration program provides reimbursement through Medicaid for the full cost of services that CCBHCs provide, at higher, more competitive rates than community mental health centers previously received. This sustainable funding also ensures they can provide a more comprehensive range of services rather than fragmented services driven by billing codes. The President’s FY24 budget proposes to make this demonstration model permanent, thereby expanding access to behavioral health services for all Americans and calls for historic funding to support the expansion of mental health and substance use care.
CCBHCs are required to meet federal standards for the range of services that they provide and are required to connect people with care quickly. CCBHCs must see people in crisis immediately and provide routine outpatient care within 10 business days after an initial contact to prevent people from languishing on waiting lists. CCBHCs must also ensure access to a comprehensive range of services, providing care coordination when needed and incorporating evidence-based practices and other supports based on a community needs assessment. Equally important, CCBHCs are required to serve anyone who requests care for mental health or substance use conditions, regardless of their ability to pay, place of residence, or age, including developmentally appropriate care for children and youth.