CCBHC UPDATE: $200 Million in Expansion Grants Now Available Nationwide

Clinics across the nation are now eligible to apply for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) Expansion Grants, according to new guidelines outlined this week in a funding opportunity announcement by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

The National Council has strongly advocated for increased funding for the Expansion Grant program. We’ve also been a vocal advocate for the nationwide expansion of CCBHCs because the model brings a critical infusion of resources into the mental health and addiction safety net.

The CCBHC program supports clinics in expanding access to a comprehensive array of mental health and addiction services in community-based settings, while improving their ability to coordinate care with other health system partners and collect and report on quality metrics.

Congressional Support for CCBHCs is Growing

The National Council, our members and organizations across the field have been outspoken about the need to increase resources for CCBHCs. Congress heeded our call and appropriated $200 million for Expansion Grants this year, a $50 million increase from 2019. The decision to expand the successful grant program is the latest sign of growing support among members of Congress for our top legislative priority.

SAMHSA’s announcement this week that eligibility for the grants is now nationwide is an important step towards making CCBHCs available in every community. Meanwhile, Congress has repeatedly acted to extend the CCBHC demonstration program, a companion initiative that provides enhanced Medicaid reimbursement to CCBHCs to cover their costs of expanding access to care.

This progress could not have come about without the steadfast advocacy of the CCBHCs and other National Council members. Your voices are being heard!

We also thank Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Representatives Doris Matsui (D-Calif.), Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.), Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), who have provided crucial leadership in efforts to extend funding for CCBHCs and expand the program.

Who’s Eligible for Expansion Grants?

Eligible entities are clinics that already qualify as a CCBHC or can meet the requirements to become a CCBHC within four months of the date of an award. This includes both the participants in the original CCBHC demonstration program as well as the first cohort of expansion grantees (those whose funding was awarded in September 2018). The second cohort of grantees – those who were awarded funding in fiscal year 2019 – are not eligible to re-apply at this time.

Organizations in all 50 states may apply for grants. SAMHSA has indicated that priority will be given to clinics in the 24 states that received CCBHC planning grants in 2016. Those states include: Oregon, Nevada, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Washington, DC, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

When are Applications Due?

SAMHSA has established a March 10 deadline for grant applications. Clinics will be eligible for two-year grants of up to $2 million per year.

Informational Call Coming Soon

The National Council will host an informational call to provide more details about CCBHC status, training opportunities and lessons learned from prior cohorts. Stay tuned for more details.

What if I Have More Questions?

Read the official SAMHSA announcement for more information on the program requirements.

What is the Future of the CCBHC Program?

The latest round of grants is an important opportunity to extend the reach of CCBHCs. But to ensure sustainability for all CCBHCs, the National Council is committed to permanently extending and expanding the CCBHC program. We will be announcing numerous opportunities to join our advocacy efforts over the coming months – please join us!

Our website includes much more information on CCBHCs.

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Guest Author

William Glanz
Senior Writer