Companion Excellence Act Expansion Bill Introduced in the House
On Friday, Representatives Leonard Lance (R-NJ) and Doris Matsui (D-CA) introduced a companion bill to Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Debbie Stabenow’s (D-MI) Expand Excellence in Mental Health Act (S.2525/H.R.4567). The bill would expand the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic demonstration program to include all 24 planning grant states. The National Council applauds the leadership and continued dedication of Representatives Lance and Matsui, as well as Senators Blunt and Stabenow, for their commitment to bettering the lives of those living with mental illness and addictions.
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Excellence in Mental Health Act Expansion Legislation Introduced
On Wednesday, Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) introduced the Expand Excellence in Mental Health Act (S. 2525) – legislation that would expand the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics demonstration program to all 24 planning grant states. The National Council for Mental Wellbeing applauds the introduction of this critical bill and thanks Senators Blunt and Stabenow for their unwavering commitment to expanding Americans’ access to high-quality mental health and addiction treatment services.
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House Democrats Introduce Mental Health Reform Bill
Democratic members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee introduced their own version of mental health reform legislation this week. The bill, which spans nearly 300 pages, touches on many parts of the US mental health system. The bill’s authors said in a statement that their legislation is not meant to compete with Rep. Tim Murphy’s Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 2646); instead they said it is intended to push the conversation forward toward compromise and passage.
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What’s Coming Down the Hill? An Update on Congress in 2016
Over the last several months, Capitol Connector has written over 50 stories about mental health and substance use legislation in the 114th Congress. From bill introductions to committee hearings to votes, every major development has been shared with our readers. And in two weeks, when President Obama submits to Congress the final budget recommendations of his administration, mental health and addictions will again take center stage. So where do all of these bills stand? What should be expected from Congress in the run up to Election Day 2016?
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COCHS, National Council Host Excellence Act, Criminal Justice Summit
Community Oriented Correctional Health Services (COCHS) and the National Council for Mental Wellbeing hosted a summit this week examining the potential of the Excellence in Mental Health Act to fundamentally transform mass incarceration in the US criminal justice system. The summit focused on the potential of the Excellence Act and Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs) to reduce health care silos, ensure continuity of care and avoid unnecessary incarcerations for the behavioral health needs of justice involved individuals.
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CCBHC’s Are Coming to NatCon16
The Excellence in Mental Health Act and Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHC’s) are hot topics heading into 2016 and National Council Conference has all you need to know and more. Join us for NatCon16 in Las Vegas, Nevada, March 7-9 for hours of expert training and intensive workshops, helping to prepare you for success as a CCBHC. Register for NatCon16 today!
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The Call to Congress Continues: Expand the Excellence Act
In the weeks following a national op-ed calling for an expansion of the Excellence in Mental Health Act demonstration, two more statewide op-eds have been published asking Congress to #Fundthe24. The two states – New Jersey and Oklahoma – are among the 24 states across the country currently engaged in the one-year demonstration planning process.
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#Fundthe24: A Grassroots Movement for Excellence Act Expansion
Over the last two weeks, support for expanding the Excellence in Mental Health Act demonstration project has grown in communities and states across the country. This week, a national op-ed – signed by 23 state mental health and substance use associations – will be published in The Hill, calling for the full funding of planning grant states. With the year’s end approaching, there is a time-limited window for a possible expansion – and we need your help to seize this opportunity.
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House Subcommittee Approves Amended Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act
Lawmakers on a key health subcommittee yesterday approved amendments to Representative Tim Murphy’s Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, sending the bill on to consideration by the full House Energy and Commerce Committee.
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SAMHSA Announces Excellence Act Planning Grant Awards Winners
On Monday, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration announced the 24 states that will receive funding as part of the 2014 Excellence in Mental Health Act demonstration program. The National Council for Mental Wellbeing congratulates these states receiving funding as part of the $22.9 million grant announcement. When fully implemented, the Excellence Act will infuse over $1 billion into the behavioral health system, making it the biggest federal investment in mental health and addiction services in generations.
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The CCBHC Monthly Rate Setting Math Problem
States that will be participating in the CCBHC program must select either a Daily PPS Rate or a Monthly PPS Rate method that will be used to pay clinics for CCBHC services provided to Medicaid enrollees. Once a state has selected the Daily or Monthly Rate, it needs to set up a Cost Reporting structure that supports calculating customized rates for each CCBHC. The Cost Report allows a clinic to determine their allowable costs.
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National Council Hosts CCBHC Webinar, Releases State Planning Grant Toolkit
As you may have heard recently, the implementation of the Excellence in Mental Health Act has begun and the clock is ticking for states to apply for planning grant funds by the August 5 deadline. In a continued effort to support states preparing to apply to become Certified Community Behavioral health Clinics (CCBHCs), the National Council, this week, hosted a CCBHC webinar and released its State Planning Grant Toolkit.
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Congressman Tim Murphy Re-introduces Mental Health Reform Bill
Representatives Tim Murphy (R-PA) and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) have reintroduced their bipartisan legislation enacting comprehensive reforms to the U.S. mental health delivery system. The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 2646) was first introduced in 2013; the legislation is the culmination of an ongoing series of hearings Murphy has held as chair of the House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Committee in the wake of the tragic 2012 Newtown shooting.
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Excellence in Mental Health Act: Why Is It Important to Apply?
The planning grant is more than just a prerequisite for being selected as one of the demonstration states for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHC). It is also an opportunity to engage community stakeholders in assessing ways to identify gaps and opportunities for improving care. We know that by expanding the use of evidence-based practices and coordinating care across health, behavioral health, social and legal systems that we can build healthy minds and strong communities — giving people with mental health and addiction disorders a chance to recover and lead productive lives.
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Bundled Payments, Quality Bonuses: Payment for CCBHCs
States will choose between two PPS options: either (1) an FQHC-like daily encounter rate or a (2) monthly rate. Both are triggered by actual encounters with clients – so they are distinct from a capitated or case rate – but will incorporate costs incurred by non-encounter activities (such as care management work). They will also require sophistication on the part of the provider with respect to forecasting the volume and type of services to be delivered for specific populations.
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Are You Ready to be a CCBHC? This Readiness Assessment Will Help You Find Out
The countdown is on to August 5, 2015: the deadline for states to apply for Excellence in Mental Health Act Planning Grants. As states across the country begin preparing to submit applications, MTM Services and the National Council want to make sure you have everything you need to be ready to become a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC).
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Don’t Miss Upcoming Webinars on Excellence Act Implementation
To help with this learning and answer any questions you may have, the National Council as well as the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), are hosting multiple webinars this month to help participants get ready for the August 5 application deadline. The planning grants afford up to 25 states up to $2 million each to start to put together their certification processes and develop their payment methodologies. Only states that receive planning grant funding will be eligible to be a demonstration state – so don’t miss out!
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It’s a Big Day for Behavioral Health: Excellence Act Implementation Begins
For decades, behavioral health and the health care system as a whole have been grappling with the difficult questions of how best to provide care to complex populations living with mental illness or addictions, how to ensure every American in need can access this care, and how to pay for it. For too long, we have failed to provide the federal infrastructure and support needed to sustain a strong behavioral health safety net. With the Excellence Act, that all changes.
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SAMHSA Updates Criteria for CCBHC Certification
Last week, the Substance Abuse and Mental health Services Administration (SAMHSA) gave behavioral health stakeholders a preview to its changes for the certification criteria for Certified Community Behavioral Health Centers (CCBHCs). The National Council is very encouraged by the changes that we heard discussed during last week’s listening session, and think they go a long way towards making this a meaningful and viable program. Some of the more significant changes we heard discussed include:
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National Council Sponsors Two-Day Health Forum at The Atlantic
This week, The Atlantic hosted its seventh annual Health Forum, bringing together physicians, researchers, advocates, legislators, practitioners and health policy thought leaders to examine a wide range of health issues. This two-day event, sponsored in part by the National Council, featured many topics surrounding behavioral health, including: a keynote interview with Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) discussing her Excellence in Mental Health Act, health reform architect Ezekiel Emmanuel and overall trends in behavioral health, and Mental Health First Aid.
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