Thousands face loss of mental health coverage in the US


Thousands face loss of mental health coverage in the US

Matthew Taylor

29 December 2018

Behavioral health clinics in eight states that administer addiction and mental health services under a pilot program authorized by the federal government in 2014 face a shutdown due to Congress’ failure to renew funding for the program. Approximately 9,000 patients will lose coverage and three thousand jobs will be eliminated, according to the Washington Post .

The legislation passed in 2014, titled the Excellence in Mental Health Act, established a Medicaid-reimbursed program wherein Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs) could provide a range of services including mental health and addiction services, free screening, assessment and diagnosis, individual and family-centered treatment plans, psychiatric rehabilitation services, outpatient mental health services, and outpatient primary care screening and monitoring of key health indicators and health risk.

The program was aimed at providing mental health services at an earlier stage then Medicaid-eligible patients usually receive it and encouraged participating states to search out innovative methods to administer treatment to the most vulnerable members of society, including children placed in foster care and new inmates in jails and prisons.

Integration of various forms of treatment and coordination between different providers aimed to “provide a comprehensive collection of services needed to create access, stabilize people in crisis and provide the necessary treatment for those with the most serious, complex mental illnesses and substance use disorders,” according to a document released by the National Council for Behavioral Health.

By integrating various treatments and services under a single program, the…

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