Illinois Snags Chunk of $22.9 Million Federal Community Behavioral Health Grants

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(Springfield, IL) – The federal government last Tuesday awarded $22.9 million to boost community-based mental and substance use disorder treatment in 24 states, including Illinois.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), in conjunction with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), announced yesterday that the money in the form of planning grants will support states, including Illinois whose Department of Human Services is to receive $982,373, to begin a long-term process that would certify community behavioral health clinics as federally qualified operations.

“The planning grants will help states strengthen payment for behavioral health services for Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries, and will help individuals with mental and substance use disorders obtain the health care they need to maintain their health and well-being” said Vikki Wachino, deputy administrator of CMS, and director, Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services.

The planning grants are part of a federal effort to integrate mental health care and substance abuse treatment with physical health care.

“The federal government is pushing the integration of health care and wants behavioral healthcare providers to be part of that push,” said the Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association CEO Sara Moscato Howe. “The feds want behavioral healthcare providers who receive Medicaid funding to utilize evidence-based practices on a more consistent basis, and improve access to high quality care.”

When the planning grant phase ends in October 2016, state awardees will have an opportunity to apply to participate in a two-year, $8 million demonstration program that will begin January 2017.

“Under the demonstration program, no more than eight states will develop certified community behavioral health clinics that will provide behavioral health services to eligible beneficiaries and be paid using an approved prospective payment system,” said Howe. “This new payment system would likely improve financing for mental health and addiction treatment services and those dollars would improve care for individuals.”

Populations to be served are adults with serious mental illness, children with serious emotional disturbance, and those with long term and serious substance use disorders, as well as others with mental illness and substance use disorders.

“We see this program as a game changer in our efforts to improve care, quality, and access to services,” said SAMHSA Acting Administrator Kana Enomoto. “Today’s awards will assist states in working closely with community clinics to bring together essential behavioral health services, integrate primary care services and improve quality and data reporting systems.”

For more information on the Planning Grants for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics, visit: and

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