Senate Introduces Bill That Would Allow Every State to Join CCBHC Medicaid Demonstration

The Senate has introduced a bill that would allow for the widespread adoption of the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs) Medicaid model. 

Called the Excellence in Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Act of 2021, the bipartisan legislation would allow every state to join the CCBHC Medicaid demonstration. If passed, it would also authorize new investments in the model for current and prospective participants. 

Currently, there are only 10 states in the CCBHC Medicaid demonstration program, which was created in 2014 to help clinics better serve uninsured and underinsured individuals.


Clinics in the demonstration are paid higher Medicaid reimbursements in exchange for offering comprehensive care services to complex patients. Some of those services include 24-hour crisis care, SUD treatment and comprehensive outpatient mental health offerings.

Providers who operate outside of demonstration states can also become CCBHCs by applying for special grants from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). However, Medicaid doesn’t pay those providers for participating; rather, SAMHSA provides them with capped funding that runs out after a certain amount of time. 

If passed, Excellence in Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Act of 2021 would also authorize $500 million in SAMHSA CCBHC expansion grants and establish a technical assistance center for current and prospective CCBHCs within SAMHSA.


The National Council for Mental Wellbeing President and CEO Chuck Ingoglia lauded the proposed legislation in a statement, pointing to the studies that show CCBHCs improve behavioral health access and reduce wait times

“Their resounding success both before and during the COVID-19 pandemic prove that no matter what, CCBHCs rise to meet the needs of their communities,” Ingoglia said. “But far too many Americans still live in communities without a CCBHC, making it critical for Congress to expand this important program. We need swift action to combat the rise in reported mental health conditions, overdose deaths and a shrinking mental health workforce, and CCBHCs are proving to be our best solution.”

Companies featured in this article: