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Indiana added to federal program to expand mental health care, access

A medical provider in a white button up shirt with a bowtie, lab coat and stethoscope.
Lauren Chapman
/
IPB News
The program provides funding to establish Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics. The model of care is designed to ensure people can quickly access “coordinated comprehensive behavioral health care,” regardless of age, place of residence or ability to pay.

A federal program could help Indiana increase mental health and substance use disorder resources for Hoosiers.

Indiana is one of 10 states added to a Medicaid demonstration program focused on expanding access to care.

The program provides funding to establish Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics. The model of care is designed to ensure people can quickly access “coordinated comprehensive behavioral health care,” regardless of age, place of residence or ability to pay.

Indiana selected eight pilot sites throughout the state for the program. The state is working to ensure the sites meet the criteria required to provide services in early 2025.

Legislation that took effect in 2023 allowed the Family and Social Services Administration’s Division of Mental Health and Addiction to apply for participation in the program to expand mental health services.

In a statement, FSSA Secretary Dan Rusyniak said the state has made progress in increasing access to crisis care.

“The move toward a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic model will further increase access to quality behavioral health care across Indiana,” Rusyniak said.

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The model of care requires “comprehensive” services to be available so people don’t have to “piece together” support across multiple providers. A key component of the program is care coordination, which is provided to help people navigate mental and physical health care, social services and other systems.

These clinics are also required to provide crisis services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They are also required to provide routine outpatient care within 10 business days.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services runs the program. It is also in partnership with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Under federal law, HHS has the authority to add 10 states to the Medicaid Demonstration program every two years. This is the first round of states being added to the program, joining eight states who were already in the program. States being added have all previously received grants to address the country’s behavioral health “crisis.”

Abigail is our health reporter. Contact them at aruhman@wboi.org.

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Abigail Ruhman covers statewide health issues. Previously, they were a reporter for KBIA, the public radio station in Columbia, Missouri. Ruhman graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism.