October 21, 2015

Warner, Kaine Announce Nearly $1 Million In Funding For Behavioral Health Clinics In Virginia

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) announced that Virginia has been awarded nearly $1 million in federal planning grants to strengthen and improve community behavioral health clinics for mental and substance use disorder treatment. The grants, which are authorized under the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014, will improve the quality and access to behavioral care, strengthen payment options, and better utilize evidence-based practices on a more consistent basis.  These clinics serve 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. The federal planning grants will be used solicit input from stakeholders, establish prospective payment systems for reimbursable pilot programs, and prepare applications to participate in the demonstration projects.

“These grants will help Virginians with mental and substance abuse disorders receive the services they need,” Sen. Warner said. “It’s incredibly important that we work closely with community clinics to better integrate behavioral services with physical services, and work together to improve quality and access to care.”

“Prescription drug and heroin abuse is impacting communities across Virginia – from parents worried about whether their children will overdose, to law enforcement facing increases in drug-related crimes, to employers struggling to find workers who can pass a drug test. Meanwhile, mental health treatment continues to be underfunded and underutilized,” said Sen. Kaine. “I’m pleased to join Senator Warner to announce this funding because I believe we must treat drug abuse and mental health as urgent public health challenges and provide needed resources for the community health clinics, drug courts, and other programs that are making a difference in our communities. I’m also grateful the President is addressing the drug abuse crisis today in West Virginia and I look forward to working with the White House and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle as we take steps to end this epidemic. ”

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), in conjunction with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Assistant Secretary of Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), awarded grants to support states to better integrate behavioral health with physical health care, strengthen payment options for behavioral services for Medicaid and CHIP, utilize evidence-based practices, and improve access to high quality care. Additionally, the grants allow states to prepare an application to participate in a two-year demonstration program that will begin January 2017.  

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