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New Mexico gets federal taxpayer funding to improve behavioral health services

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(The Center Square) – New Mexico is one of 10 states receiving additional funding as part of a four-year Medicaid Demonstration program led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, according to a New Mexico Human Services Department press release.

HHS awarded All Faiths in Albuquerque and Santa Fe Recovery Center $1 million Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) grants each in September 2023, a spokesman for the department told The Center Square via email to prepare for the effort.

“We are proud that New Mexico has been selected as one of the states to participate in this innovative approach to behavioral health,” Kari Armijo, cabinet secretary for the New Mexico Human Services Department, said in the release. “The launch of CCBHCs is a significant step forward in ensuring that all New Mexicans will have access to high-quality, comprehensive mental health and substance use treatment.”

New Mexico will launch certified community behavioral health clinics (CCBHCs) across the state starting next year with some of the $130 million taxpayer dollars to be released in the 10 states..

The state hopes these clinics will improve mental health and substance abuse treatment access by offering Medicaid funding for a wide range of “evidence-based services,” the release said.

“CCBHCs are pivotal to our strategy to expand and improve access to evidence-based behavioral health services in our state”, Dana Flannery, New Mexico Medicaid director, said in the release. “Through a no-wrong door approach, these clinics will offer 24/7 crisis services and comprehensive mental health and substance use treatment for New Mexicans.”

CCBHCs are designated clinics that provide a wide range of outpatient mental health, substance abuse, and primary care screening services for people of all ages.

Such clinics must serve anyone who walks through their door, regardless of their age, diagnosis, or insurance.

“These designated CCBHC providers will deliver high quality and well-coordinated services,” Nick Boukas, director of HSD’s Behavioral Health Services Division, said. “This initiative will bolster our capacity to address behavioral health needs, including substance use disorder in New Mexico.”

Collaborating with the Children’s Youth and Families Department (CYFD), HSD has provisionally certified six providers as CCBHCs, letting them participate in the program. They include these schools, the release said:

University of New Mexico Health System in Bernalillo and Sandoval Counties All Faiths Children’s Advocacy Center in Bernalillo County Carlsbad Life House in Eddy County Families & Youth Innovations Plus in Doña Ana County Santa Fe Recovery Center in Santa Fe and McKinley Counties Mental Health Resources in Curry County

“These providers will be required to meet stringent criteria regarding timeliness, quality, and coordination of services,” the release said.

More information on New Mexico’s initiative is available here.

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