HHS Announces Additional Planning Grants for State Behavioral Health Clinics

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An additional $15 million will be allocated to states for planning grants related to behavioral health clinics as announced on October 18, 2022, by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”). This funding stems from the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which was passed in June 2022.1 States are eligible to apply for up to $1 million to develop a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (“CCBHC”). CCBHCs receive reimbursement through Medicaid for the full cost of services they provide at higher, more competitive rates than community mental health centers currently receive.

Ten states including Michigan, Missouri, Kentucky, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Pennsylvania have previously received one-year planning grants to develop these clinics. The original demonstration phase took place in 2016 with expansions in 2019 and 2020 responding to increased need for these community services. The remaining 40 states and D.C. are eligible to submit applications for planning grants to develop CCBHCs in their states. Applications for these grants are due on December 19, 2022. In early 2023, up to 15 states will be awarded grants of up to $1 million. After reviewing the plans, HHS will select up to 10 states to participate in the demonstration starting in 2024.

CCBHCs are becoming a large part of the behavioral health care system and community. These clinics provide crisis services that are available 24/7 and service a particularly vulnerable population, including those with serious mental illnesses, severe substance use disorders, children and adolescents with serious emotional disturbance, and those with co-occurring mental, substance use, or physical health disorders. CCBHCs are required to meet federal standards for the range of services that they provide relating to (1) staffing; (2) availability and accessibility of services; (3) care coordination; (4) scope of services; (5) quality and other reporting; and (6) organizational authority.2 The results from these clinics have shown a positive impact on hospitalization rates, jail time, homelessness, and emergency department visits.3

These planning grants build off a previous award of nearly $300 million announced in September to establish new CCBHCs and expand existing ones. These awards continue to support the focus on access to mental and behavioral health and improving health outcomes.4

For more information, please contact AGG Healthcare attorneys Hedy Silver Rubinger and Nicole Wemhoff.


[1] Press Release, Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Biden-Harris Administration Announces Millions of Dollars in New Funds for States to Tackle Mental Health Crisis (Oct. 18, 2022), https://www.samhsa.gov/newsroom/press-announcements/20221018/biden-harris-administration-announces-funding-states-tackle-mental-health-crisis.

[2] Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Criteria for the Demonstration Program to Improve Community Mental Health Centers and to Establish Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (2016), https://www.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/programs_campaigns/ccbhc-criteria.pdf.

[3] National Council for Mental Wellbeing, Transforming State Behavioral Health Systems: Findings from States on the Impact of CCBHC Implementation (2022), https://www.thenationalcouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Transforming-State-Behavioral-Health-Systems.pdf?source=email.

[4] Press Release, The White House, Statement by President Joe Biden on New Mental Health Funding (Oct. 18, 2022), https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2022/10/18/statement-by-president-joe-biden-on-new-mental-health-funding/.

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