Advocacy Alert

Urge Your Lawmakers to Support Essential Health System Designation

Washington, Montana Expand Access to Crisis Care

Faridat Animashaun
October 23, 2023

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has approved mobile crisis state plan amendments (SPAs) for Washington and Montana.

Under the SPAs, states can provide 24/7 Medicaid services to eligible individuals experiencing a behavioral health or substance use crisis. Mobile crisis intervention teams aim to provide rapid response, individual assessment, and crisis de-escalation by trained behavioral health professionals and paraprofessionals. According to CMS, this option will help states integrate these services into their Medicaid programs.

Nine states and Washington, D.C., now have expanded access to community-based mental health and substance use crisis care through the state plan authority established by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) in 2021. These states include Arizona, California, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Montana, North Carolina, Oregon, Washington, and West Virginia.

Contact Director of Policy Rob Nelb, MPH, at rnelb@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.

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