National Council for Behavioral Health

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Your source for the latest updates from Capitol Hill. We translate policy into practice so you can learn how policy trends will affect your work and how best to prepare.

Shelley Starkey

CCBHC Demonstration Extended Through May

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As part of the Fiscal Year 2020 funding package, the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) demonstration program currently operating in 8 states has been extended through May 22, 2020. The bill also provides a $50 million increase to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s CCBHC expansion grants, thanks in large part to Sen. Roy Blunt’s (R-MO) efforts. The National Council thanks Congress for its passage of the longest CCBHC funding extension to date and will continue our work advocating for further funding for this critical program.

Although the National Council is disappointed to learn that a proposed 2-year extension and 11-state expansion of the program were not included, the latest deal is still an important sign of progress. There remains significant bipartisan support for a longer-term extension and expansion. CCBHCs have been packaged with other health care program extensions, with the expectation that spending on these policies must be offset by cuts elsewhere. Unfortunately, Congress has not yet reached agreement on the offset, meaning that the whole package of extenders has been pushed to May to give negotiators time to work out a deal.

Meanwhile, as CCBHC Expansion Grantees enter into the final year of their grants, we are pleased to see funding for these grants increased. The National Council continues to advocate for current grantees’ funding to continue beyond two years so that no CCBHC will experience a funding cliff.

CCBHCs have demonstrated great success so far, and the next five months will give us time to continue to bring data and success stories to the Hill to advance our cause. Stay tuned to Capitol Connector each week for further advocacy opportunities to maintain and expand CCBHC funding.