March 10, 2020

Cortez Masto Urges Action of Bipartisan Bill to Increase Access to Mental Health and Addiction Treatment

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) released the following statement urging action to advance the Excellence in Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Expansion Act. Introduced by Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), this bill renews and expands a successful pilot program currently operating in eight states, including Nevada, to treat mental health issues and addiction. 

“We have a shortage of behavioral health providers in this country, especially in our rural communities, but there are steps we can take today to address this problem. Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics have already treated hundreds of Nevadans struggling with mental health and substance abuse disorders. The Senate must advance bipartisan legislation to support these clinics and create new ones across the country.”

BACKGROUND:

In 2014, the landmark 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.