The new Medicaid option, created under President Biden’s plan to save America, will strengthen behavioral health care and make our communities safer by ensuring that law enforcement can focus more on responsible policing and less on jobs better suited to mental health counselors or social workers.
Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced approval of Oregon Health Services’ proposal to include mobile crisis intervention services in the Medicaid community. Under President Biden’s plan to save America, the new first amendment to the Medicaid state plan will allow Oregon to provide community-based stabilization services to individuals experiencing mental health and/or substance abuse crises statewide, connecting them to a behavioral health professional 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
The new Medicaid option became available to states in 2022. March. and is part of HHS’s latest effort to implement President Biden’s comprehensive national strategy to address the nation’s mental health crisis. The option also supports the Secretary’s national mental health tour, launched the day after the State of the Union, to address mental health issues that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, including substance abuse, youth mental health. health and suicide.
Finally, this opportunity fuels the President’s call to action for state and local leaders to allocate and provide more funding for America’s Rescue Plan to make our communities safer. Too often, law enforcement has to be mental health counselors or social workers, which takes away from their police work. By bringing together mental health and substance abuse professionals to respond to people experiencing mental health or substance use crises, this intervention eases the burden on law enforcement and allows them to do the important work of responsible policing.
Oregon is the first state to seek and receive approval for this new Medicaid option, and the department is urging other states to follow Oregon’s model in expanding access to these vital crisis care services. Helping states integrate behavioral health services into their Medicaid programs is a critical component of building a stronger and more sustainable continuum of crisis care. That’s why America’s Rescue Plan also provided $15 million in planning grants to help 20 state Medicaid agencies develop these programs.
“Making behavioral health treatment a priority is critical to providing crisis care to more Americans, in Oregon and beyond,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “Addressing our nation’s mental health crisis is a top priority of the Biden-Harris administration, and thanks to President Biden’s America’s Rescue Plan, Oregon can better provide its residents with the support and stabilization services they need during this crisis.” I urge all states to seize this opportunity and work with us to expand access to these critical health care services.
“I am pleased to approve Oregon’s plan to provide vital resources to people in crisis and connect them to the care and support they need for long-term recovery,” said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure. “With this approval, Oregon will be able to connect people to a qualified health professional who will be the first port of call for people in crisis, ensuring they get the care they need when they need it.”
The new Medicaid option allows states to support community-based mobile crisis intervention services for people on Medicaid, including those with mental health and substance use disorders, such as opioid use. Mobile crisis intervention services aim to ensure that individuals experiencing mental health and/or substance use crises are screened and assessed; community stabilization and de-escalation; and coordination with health, social, and other services (eg, life skills training, education about the effects of medications), if necessary, by a trained behavioral health professional or paraprofessional. Immediate and appropriate assistance to a person in crisis helps not only to reduce the chance of injury, but also to reduce the need for expensive inpatient services.
The new Medicaid option is one of many key steps HHS has taken in recent months to build a stronger and more sustainable continuum of crisis care. July 16 The US has moved the 10-digit National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to 988, an easy-to-remember three-digit number for 24/7 crisis care. 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline (988 Lifeline) is a network of more than 200 state and local call centers supported by HHS through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). 988 Lifeline, which is also affiliated with the Veterans Crisis Line, is a three-year joint effort between the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). to make crisis care more accessible to people who need it. Factual information about 988 is included on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) online 988 FAQ page.
From 2021 month of January. The Biden-Harris administration has made unprecedented investments to support the 988 transition, investing $432 million in FY22. provide specialized services, including a subnet for Spanish speakers, to ensure that all Americans have access to help during mental health crises. To 432 million USD includes 105 million. $100,000 in grants to states and territories under America’s Rescue Plan to improve response rates, increase capacity to meet future demand, and ensure that calls originating in states or territories are directed first to local, regional, or state crisis call centers. Prior to this investment, 988 Lifeline, which has been in existence since 2005, had been underfunded and under-resourced for a long time.