Kansas Joins CCBHC Medicaid Demonstration Program to Enhance Crisis and Behavioral Health Services

By Trish Svoboda

Governor Laura Kelly announced that Kansas has been added to the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHC) Medicaid Demonstration Program. CCBHCs enhance access to crisis and behavioral health care services in communities. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and in partnership with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), added 10 new states to the program. These states successfully developed the necessary infrastructure and collaborated with providers to meet CCBHC standards. The CCBHC Demonstration Program offers Medicaid reimbursement for the full cost of services provided by CCBHCs at more competitive rates than those previously given to community mental health centers. This sustainable funding ensures CCBHCs can offer a comprehensive range of services rather than fragmented services dictated by separate billing codes. CCBHCs must provide access to a wide range of services, ensure care coordination, and use evidence-based practices based on community needs assessments. This includes 24/7 crisis services. They must meet federal standards for the services they provide and offer a no-wrong-door approach, serving anyone who seeks care for mental health or substance use conditions, regardless of their ability to pay, place of residence, or age. In March 2023, Kansas received a $1 million federal planning grant from HHS SAMHSA to support the transition of Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs) to CCBHCs capable of addressing mental health and substance abuse crises through integrated physical-behavioral care. In 2021, Governor Kelly signed Senate Substitute for House Bill 2208, modernizing the state’s mental health system to meet community-specific needs. Kansas became the first state to legislate the CCBHC model as a solution to the mental health and substance use crisis. Since then, KDADS has been transitioning the state’s 26 CMHCs to CCBHCs. Funding for this initiative was provided through the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BCSA), which follows the $12.6 million awarded to Kansas in September 2022 to expand CCBHC access. The BSCA authorized HHS to add 10 new states to the CCBHC Medicaid Demonstration program every two years. Kansas received planning grants in 2022 to address its behavioral health crisis.

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