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PLATTSBURGH — Behavioral Health Services North and St. Joseph’s Addiction Treatment & Recovery Services have each been awarded $3.8 million in grand funding over two years through The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

The funding will help provide comprehensive access to community-based mental and substance use disorder services; treatment of co-occurring disorders; and physical health care in a single location regardless of one’s ability to pay, according to a news release.

The two agencies join Citizen Advocates, which has been a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) since 2017, to make the North Country a region with one of the highest per capita providers of CCBHC services in the state.

EXPANDED ACCESS

Under the New York State DSRIP Initiative, BHSN was awarded an integrated license to expand access and to provide mental health, substance, and primary care services five years ago.

That initiative paved the way for expanded access to care management, crisis services, and primary care services at the BHSN Center for Wellbeing in Morrisonville.

In an effort to build upon this momentum, BHSN, in early 2020, applied to The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to be included in their expansion of the CCBHC Program.

“We are proud of what we have accomplished over the past few years in regard to building an integrated model of care under the DSRIP program. This new CCBHC funding will allow us to build upon that work and expand the services and care we provide to the community.” Mark Lukens, president and CEO of BHSN, said.

IMPROVE ACCESS, QUALITY

In early 2020, The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) began accepting applications for fiscal year 2020-21 CCBHC Expansion Grants.

The purpose of this program is to increase access to and improve the quality of community mental and substance use disorder treatment services through the expansion of CCBHCs.

CCBHCs provide a comprehensive collection of services that create access, stabilize people in crisis, and provide the needed treatment and recovery support services for those with the most serious and complex mental and substance use disorders.

CCBHCs integrate services to ensure a comprehensive approach to healthcare, the release said. CCBHCs provide services to any individual, regardless of their ability to pay or their place of residence.

BHSN and St. Joseph’s will be awarded a total of $3,999,782 each over the two-year award period. CCBHCs must also meet requirements related to quality reporting, governance, staffing, access to care and care coordination.

Unlike the pilot program, this expansion program does not include the enhanced Medicaid payment rate and is instead based upon one to two years of funding to build the system of care and create a model for future sustainability, the release said.

TYPES OF SERVICES

CCBHCs are responsible for directly providing (or contracting with partner organizations to provide) nine types of services to create a comprehensive care environment.

The service selection is deliberate, expanding the range of care available.

CCBHCs integrate additional services to ensure an approach to health care that emphasizes recovery, wellness, and physical-behavioral health integration.

Comprehensive care includes, but is not limited to, the following criteria:

• 24/7/365 crisis services to help people stabilize in the most clinically appropriate, least restrictive, least traumatizing and most cost-effective settings.

• Immediate screening and risk assessment for mental health, addictions and basic primary care needs to ameliorate the chronic co-morbidities that drive poor health outcomes and high costs for those with behavioral health disorders.

• Easy access to care with criteria to assure a reduced wait time so those who need services can receive them when they need them, regardless of ability to pay or location of residence.

• Tailored care for active duty military and veterans to ensure they receive the unique health support essential to their treatment.

• Expanded care coordination with other health care providers, social service providers and law enforcement, with a focus on whole health and comprehensive access to a full range of medical, behavioral and supportive services.

• Commitment to peers and family, recognizing that their involvement is essential for recovery and should be fully integrated into care.