Senators are pushing for the expansion of community mental health clinics

Sensors Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) And Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) Are urging lawmakers to expand Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs) across the country.

“This is an important moment to unite and finally treat neck health in the same way as neck health,” the senators wrote in a USA Today publication.

CCBHCs, which operate as non-profit organizations or part of local government, provide a range of mental health services and substance use disorders and are particularly targeted at helping the vulnerable.

Blunt and Stabenov helped set up a Medicaid demonstration program in eight states in 2014 to provide the centers with increased reimbursement rates to cover the increased costs.

The centers are required to provide nine types of services to be identified as a special type of provider in Medicaid, including 24-hour crisis care and integration with physical health services.

“This approach is already changing people’s lives – and saving communities money – in states where mental health and addiction treatment are funded in the same way as other health care,” Blunt and Stabenov wrote.

The CARES Act – the $ 2 trillion coronavirus relief package signed by then-President Trump in March 2020 – extended the demonstration to two other states, allowing Kentucky and Michigan to participate. Congress also provided grants from 2018 in support of the CCBHC.

Funding has led to more than 430 CCBHCs currently operating in 42 states and the District of Columbia and Guam, according to the National Board of Mental Well-Being.

But these grant-funded centers do not receive improved Medicaid reimbursements. Blunt and Stabenov last year introduced legislation to expand the Medicaid demonstration across the country.

“When the grant expires, health care ends,” the senators wrote.

“Imagine being told that your heart attack cannot be cured because the grant has expired,” they continued. “It happens to people with mental illness and addictions all the time and it doesn’t make sense.”

President Biden has included extending the model to any state that wants to participate in his request for a budget for the 2023 fiscal year.

“Let’s provide all Americans with the mental health services they need,” he said in a statement on the state of the Union in March. “More people to turn to for help and full equality between physical and mental health care.”

The two senators called Biden’s support for enlargement “so significant”, citing data from the Ministry of Health and Human Services (HHS), which showed that patients in CCBHCs had fewer visits to the emergency department for behavioral health problems. homelessness and spend less time in correctional facilities.

“Expanding certified behavioral health clinics across the country is not the only victory for bipartisan behavioral health in the president’s budget,” the senators wrote. “This will double funding for children’s mental health and the development of the behavioral health workforce and provide more mental health care for veterans and the elderly.

Researchers have raised concerns about mental health problems exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

A recent national study by The Harris Poll on behalf of the National Mental Welfare Council found that 43 percent of adults in the United States who needed substance use or mental health care did not receive it.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that drug overdose deaths also increased during the pandemic, growing by 30 percent from 2019 to 2020 and growing by 15 percent next year to close 108,000 deaths a year.

The Institute of Educational Sciences also recently found that seven out of 10 public schools have seen an increase in children seeking mental health services since the pandemic began, and a survey published in April found that three-quarters of young adults believe they believe that the country is in a mental health crisis.

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