Oregon’s Behavioral Health System Will Receive A Huge Investment For The First Time In The State

The Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, and Governor Kate Brown made the announcement today that Oregon’s Medicaid state plan amendment (SPA) to provide qualifying community-based mobile crisis intervention services to Oregonians had been approved. Since the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) was passed into law, this will be the first Medicaid SPA to be approved.

With this green light in hand, the Oregon Health Authority will be able to collaborate with local organizations to ensure that people in the state who are suffering a mental health crisis have access to consistent and prompt crisis and treatment services. Each and every one of the 365 days in a year will find this program accessible at any time.

A behavioral health crisis calls for a behavioral health response, and that’s what Oregon’s model for community-based mobile crisis intervention teams is all about, according to Governor Kate Brown. “This funding will be a game-changer for our state, allowing us to expand access to culturally, linguistically, and developmentally appropriate mental health treatments throughout all of Oregon’s communities. We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to our federal partners for their assistance and funding during the development of our statewide mental health crisis response infrastructure.

According to Oregon Health Authority Director Patrick Allen, “this government funding will enable us to offer effective, compassionate, and culturally relevant care to those experiencing a behavioral health crisis in communities all across Oregon.”

Oregon's Behavioral Health System Will Receive A Huge Investment
Oregon’s Behavioral Health System Will Receive A Huge Investment

Crisis mitigation and crisis defusing are the goals of community-based mobile crisis intervention services. Included are interventions like de-escalation as well as crisis preventive activities tailored to the individual’s needs, as well as any other assistance or therapy that may be required to respond to a crisis in a timely manner. No specific area or time of day is off limits for 988 call centers to request assistance from community-based mobile crisis intervention services teams.

Short-term flexible services support, and coordination is provided to individuals and their families as part of stabilization services. These programs help individuals and families with things like learning life skills and comprehending the side effects of medications. According to the ARPA’s section 9813, CMS will pay service providers for their work.

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