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States Get $22.9 Million to Integrate Behavioral Health

States this week received $22.9 million in federal grants to support planning efforts to certify community behavioral health clinics, with a goal of better integrating behavioral health and primary care services and improving quality and data reporting systems.

The grants are intended to help states strengthen payment for behavioral health services for beneficiaries of Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and increase access to health care for people with mental and substance use disorders.

Administered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and the Assistant Secretary of Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), the planning grants are the first of two phases for the Section 223 Demonstration Program for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics. The 24 current awardees will be able to apply for a two-year demonstration program in October 2016 to provide behavioral health services to eligible beneficiaries under an approved prospective payment system.

Nearly one in four Americans have a behavioral health condition, which often co-occur with other health problems. Often, these conditions go untreated due to stigma, lack of detection, and lack of access to appropriate services. America’s Essential Hospitals recently published a research brief that explores some of the key barriers and subsequent solutions to successful behavioral health and primary care integration at essential hospitals.

If you have questions or concerns, contact Director of Policy Erin O’Malley, at or 202.585.0127.


About the Author

Matt Buechner is the policy and advocacy associate for America's Essential Hospitals.

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