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Amida Care Cheers Passage of Historic Excellence in Mental Health Act

March 31, 2014

On March 31, 2014, Congress passed legislation that included $900 million to fund the Excellence in Mental Health Act. This historic measure will launch a two year demonstration program to increase access to community-based mental health and substance use services in eight states. Through the Excellence in Mental Health Act, criteria will be established to designate “Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics” as entities to provide comprehensive behavioral health services to individuals with serious mental illness and substance use disorders. Among the supports specified are 24 hour crisis mental health services, care coordination across various settings and providers (including FQHC’s, inpatient psychiatric facilities, substance use detoxification, post-detoxification step-down services, residential programs, schools and criminal justice agencies), along with intensive, person-centered, outpatient and peer support services. In addition, the Act will improve Medicaid reimbursement for these services. We urge New York State to pursue and plan for this opportunity. Should New York be selected as a participant, will keep you informed on how to apply for certification.