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April 23, 2024

NYS Governor Hochul Announces Final RFP for New Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics

One component of NYS Governor Kathy Hochul’s billion-dollar investment in the behavioral health delivery system is a commitment to expanding access to Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs) by tripling the number of CCBHCs from 13 to 39. Toward this end, a request for proposals (RFP) was issued in July 2023, culminating in the announcement of 13 new clinics in December 2023. On March 26, 2024, the NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH), Office of Addiction Supports and Services (OASAS), and Department of Health (DOH) announced a new RFP for the final 13 CCBHCs.

CCBHCs are integrated programs designed to provide access to coordinated comprehensive behavioral health care. They are required to serve anyone (including children and adolescents) who requests care for mental health or substance use disorders and must do so regardless of their ability to pay, place of residence, or age. The core purposes of a CCBHC include:

  • To help people improve their health by making it easier to access treatment
  • To keep people from going into the hospital when they don’t need hospital care
  • To build better relationships between hospitals and community health care providers
  • To pay community providers working in underserved areas more money through enhanced Medicaid payments
  • To blend mental health, substance use disorder, and physical health treatment services

CCBHCs are in essence integrated, dedicated care networks, structured around a community clinic program at an existing clinic certified by the OMH pursuant to Article 31 of the Mental Hygiene Law.1 The CCBHC contracts with other provider organizations, called Designated Collaborating Organizations, to provide nine types of required services:

  1. Crisis mental health services, including 24-hour mobile crisis teams, emergency crisis intervention, and crisis stabilization
  2. Screening, assessment, and diagnosis, including risk assessment
  3. Patient-centered treatment planning or similar processes, including risk assessment and crisis planning
  4. Outpatient mental health and substance use services
  5. Outpatient clinic primary care screening and monitoring of key health indicators and health risk
  6. Targeted case management
  7. Psychiatric rehabilitation services
  8. Peer support, counselor services, and family support services
  9. Intensive community-based mental health care for members of the armed forces and veterans

The current opportunity will result in the development of five CCBHCs downstate, defined as NYC and Long Island, and eight upstate CCBHCs. Awarded agencies will receive one-time start-up funds and programmatic support to grow existing operations to reach program standards by July 1, 2025, and will expend all funds by June 30, 2026. The following is a summary of key dates for this RFP:

March 26, 2024               RFP Release Date    
April 24, 2024                  Questions Due by 4:00 p.m. EDT 
May 16, 2024                   Questions and Answers Posted on Website    
May 30, 2024                   Letters of Intent Due    
July 1, 2024                      Proposals Due by 1:00 p.m. EDT    
August 7, 2024                Anticipated Award Notification    
October 1, 2024              Anticipated Contract Start Date    

It has been said that CCBHCs are the wave of the future. The reality is that they are the wave of the now. They provide integrated care in a way that may not be universal at the moment, but will be someday. Behavioral health providers considering adding the CCBHC model to their service array should be aware that this is the last round of RFPs for new CCBHCs, based on Governor Hochul’s current strategic plan.

If you have any questions regarding the content of this alert, please contact Keith Brennan, of counsel, at kbrennan@barclaydamon.com, or another member of the firm’s Health & Human Services Providers or Health Care Controversies Teams.
                                                                           

1NYS OMH licensed Article 31 clinics are now named mental health outpatient treatment and rehabilitative services providers (MHOTRS). 

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