February 12, 2020

Cortez Masto Supports Bipartisan Bill to Increase Access to Mental Health and Addiction Treatment

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) cosponsored legislation to increase funding available through Medicaid for clinics that treat mental health and addiction. Introduced by Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), the Excellence in Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Expansion Act renews and expands funding for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs) across the country.

“Community Behavioral Health Clinics provide critical support to Nevadans struggling with mental health and substance use disorders. These are one-stop-shops delivering care that ranges from crisis mental health services, screenings and outpatient mental health services, to family support services. For many in our communities, these centers provide the only available access to mental health and addiction services. I’m proud to cosponsor a bill that secures critical funding for community mental health centers and strengthens Nevadans’ access to mental health care.”

In addition to Senators Cortez Masto and Stabenow, U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) also cosponsored the bill.


In 2014, the Excellence in Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Act created a Certified Community Behavioral Health Center (CCBHC) pilot program that provided a competitive process for funding for eight states, including Nevada. There are currently three CCBHCs in Elko, Fallon and Las Vegas, all of which ensure that no one is turned away from services for an inability to pay. These clinics help individuals seeking treatment to enroll in Medicaid and other programs as needed; they also accept insurance and cash. The 2019 bill gives Nevada and other participating states two years of additional funding through Medicaid and increases the number of eligible states from eight to 19.

Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics are transforming the way mental health and addiction treatment services are delivered across the country. These clinics are required to provide a comprehensive set of services including 24/7/365 crisis services, and immediate screenings, risk assessments and diagnoses. They provide outpatient mental health and substance abuse treatment services, as well as coordination of care and partnerships with emergency rooms, law enforcement and veterans groups.

Full text of the bill is available here.