The first Medicaid mobile mental health service is about to launch in Oregon.

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Dive Brief:

  • Oregon will launch the nation’s first Medicaid-funded mobile crisis intervention program to provide stabilization services to people with mental health or substance abuse problems, including opioid use, HS announced. The program provides immediate assessment, reassurance and support for people in crisis, and coordinates referrals to other social services such as life skills training.
  • Immediate, appropriate behavioral health care can help reduce the risk of injury and the need for expensive inpatient services, says HHS. The initiative allows law enforcement to focus on accountable policing and work that should be done by mental health counselors or social workers, the agency said.
  • Oregon was the first state to apply for and receive approval for the new Medicaid option created through the Biden administration’s Save America plan. HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra In the statement In announcing the approval, he encouraged more states to take advantage of the funding opportunity to expand access to crisis care.

Dive Insight:

The mobile intervention program is part of President Joe Biden’s strategy to address the nation’s mental health crisis, which has worsened over time and become more critical during the COVID-19 pandemic. Biden Extended plans At the beginning of this year, it is part of the national crisis response to strengthen the infrastructure The agenda of the union.

That strategy included the transition to a 988 crisis line in July, which replaced the 10-digit National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Community-based mobile crisis intervention services like Oregon’s are expected to support 988 state and local call centers, according to HHS.

The American Rescue Plan, which became law last year, included $15 million in plan grants to help 20 Medicaid agencies develop crisis care programs.

Oregon is the first of 20 states to receive planning assistance. To qualify for a higher federal Medicaid match 85% over the next three years to pay for mobile crisis services for Medicaid beneficiaries.

Throughout the state, people experiencing a mental health or substance abuse crisis can meet with a behavioral health professional 24 hours a day, according to HHS.

“Prioritizing behavioral health treatment is critical to providing crisis care for many Americans — in Oregon and beyond,” Becerra said.

The Biden administration has allocated $432 million in the 2022 budget to support the 988 transition, increase the capacity of the crisis center and national standby centers, improve response rates and ensure that calls are first routed to local, regional or state emergency call centers. HHS said.

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