News Releases and Media Advisories

Governor Kelly Announces Kansas Selected to Expand Mental Health and Substance Use Services

For Immediate Release

June 4, 2024

For more information, contact:
Cara Sloan-Ramos

TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly announced today that Kansas has been added to the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHC) Medicaid Demonstration Program. CCBHCs provide greater access to crisis and behavioral health care services in communities.

“The CCBHC model is essential to the resources Kansans need to overcome substance use disorders and improve mental health,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “This announcement strengthens the work my administration is doing to provide these critical services.”

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), in partnership with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), announced 10 new states after they successfully developed the necessary state-level infrastructure and worked with providers in their states to develop programs that meet CCBHC standards.

“Today’s announcement by HHS will allow Kansas to continue to build on the success we’ve seen over the past three years since we began efforts to modernize Kansas’ mental health system utilizing the CCBHC model and since being named as one of the 15 states initially participating in the planning phase,” KDADS Secretary Laura Howard said. “The collaboration this model fosters means the opportunity to further expand and improve access to comprehensive behavioral and mental care.”

The CCBHC Demonstration Program provides reimbursement through Medicaid for the total cost of services that CCBHCs provide at higher, more competitive rates than community mental health centers previously received for Medicaid-eligible individuals. This sustainable funding also ensures that CCBHCs can provide a more comprehensive range of services rather than fragmented services driven by separate billing codes.

CCBHCs must ensure access to comprehensive services, provide care coordination when needed, and incorporate evidence-based practices and other supports based on a community needs assessment. This includes crisis services available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They must meet federal standards for the range of services they provide. CCBHCs offer a no-wrong-door approach because they must serve anyone who requests care for mental health or substance use conditions, regardless of their ability to pay, place of residence, or age.

In March 2023, Kansas received a $1 million, one-year federal planning grant from HHS SAMHSA to support the transition of Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs) to become CCBHCs capable of treating mental health and substance abuse crises through integrated physical-behavioral care.

In 2021, Governor Kelly signed Senate Substitute for House Bill 2208, which laid the groundwork to modernize the state’s mental health system to meet community-specific needs. With that bill, Kansas became the first state to pass legislation identifying the CCBHC model as a solution to the mental health and substance use crisis. Since then, KDADS has been transitioning the state’s 26 CMHCs to CCBHCs.

Funding for this opportunity was made available through the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BCSA), which builds upon the $12.6 million awarded to Kansas in September 2022 for new and existing CCBHCs to expand access. The BSCA gave HHS the authority to add 10 new states to the CCBHC Medicaid Demonstration program every two years. Kansas received planning grants in 2022 to address its behavioral health crisis.