New CMS Guidance and Funding for Behavioral Health Continuum of Care


On December 28, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released new guidance on the scope of and payments for community-based mobile crisis services authorized by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. This guidance encourages mobile crisis providers to form partnerships with relevant community partners and child-serving agencies, including behavioral health and primary care providers. Mobile crisis intervention services help ensure people with mental health conditions and substance use disorders (SUD) are connected to behavioral health services. In situations of mental health and SUD crisis, behavioral health professionals and paraprofessionals provide real-time rapid response, individual screening and assessment, stabilization and de-escalation, and coordination with and referrals to health services and social supports.

 In support of the Executive Order on Strengthening Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act, CMS has also committed $49.4 million for grassroots community organizations that can reach eligible children, parents, and pregnant individuals and enroll and retain them in healthcare coverage through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. This funding opportunity can help improve access to healthcare for uninsured and underinsured children, parents, and pregnant women, including those with mental health conditions or SUD.

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