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Rebecca Farley

Director, Policy & Advocacy, National Council for Behavioral Health

SAMHSA Releases Registration, Comment Details for Excellence Act Listening Session

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Following up on last month’s announcement that it would hold a November 12 listening session on the Excellence in Mental Health Act, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has released registration details and additional information for the event.

The listening session will take place from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the SAMHSA headquarters in Rockville, Maryland. Attendees will be able to share input on how SAMHSA should interpret the act’s certification criteria for “Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics” or CCBHCs. The law outlined several broad categories of criteria and instructed the Department of Health and Human Services to provide further details through the rulemaking process. In states that are selected for the Excellence Act demonstration program, CCBHCs will be eligible for an enhanced payment rate based on their actual cost of providing services.

For remote viewers, the listening session will also be webcast live. Online registration for the in-person session and the webcast is available here and will be open until November 5 or until maximum capacity is met.

Interested individuals may also submit written comments to SAMHSA by November 26, according to these instructions.

The National Council will be submitting written comments and will make our comments available to all members as a template for submitting your own. To develop our comments, we are asking members to share your ideas with us! Please take a look at the guiding questions SAMHSA has drafted for the listening session, and email Nina Marshall with your thoughts. Please send us your thoughts by November 5 so that we may have time to disseminate our template comments well before the comment deadline.