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DHCS Stakeholder News January 6, 2023

Justice-Involved Pre-Release Medi-Cal Application Process

All counties are now required to implement a Pre-Release Medi-Cal Application Process as codified in Assembly Bill 133 (Chapter 143, Statutes of 2021) to ensure all eligible inmates and youth who are released from county correctional facilities (county jails) and county youth correctional facilities have Medi-Cal coverage upon release. Additional information can be found in All County Welfare Directors Letter (ACWDL) 22-27.

Medi-Cal Mental Health Services Screening and Transition Tools

After working with stakeholders for more than a year, DHCS finalized the standardized, statewide Adult and Youth Screening and Transition of Care Tools for Medi-Cal Mental Health Services. Under CalAIM, DHCS streamlined the mental health screening process and improving patient care by creating standardized, statewide tools to guide referrals of adult and youth members to the appropriate Medi-Cal mental health delivery system and ensure that members requiring transition between delivery systems receive timely and coordinated care. The tools are available on DHCS’ Screening and Transition of Care Tools for Medi-Cal Mental Health Services webpage.

Community Assistance, Recovery, and Empowerment (CARE) Act Update

DHCS is working with the California Health & Human Services Agency and the Judicial Council of California to provide consistent communication and develop trainings for CARE Act stakeholders. The CARE Act creates a new pathway to deliver mental health and substance use disorder services to the most severely impaired Californians who too often suffer in homelessness or incarceration without treatment. DHCS will launch initial training and technical assistance to county behavioral health agencies to support the implementation of the CARE Act in the spring of 2023. Seven counties will implement the program beginning October 1, 2023, and the remaining counties no later than December 1, 2024. 

Mobile Crisis Services Benefit

On December 19, DHCS released BHIN 22-064  providing guidance for implementation of the Mobile Crisis Services Benefit on January 1. Mobile crisis services are a community-based intervention designed to provide de-escalation and relief to individuals experiencing a behavioral health crisis wherever they are, reducing unnecessary law enforcement involvement and emergency department utilization. Mobile crisis services are provided year-round by a multidisciplinary team of trained behavioral health professionals in the least restrictive setting. Mobile crisis services include screening, assessment, stabilization, de-escalation, follow-up, and coordination with health care services and other supports. 

Recovery Incentives Program – California’s Contingency Management (CM) Benefit:

In the first quarter of 2023, DHCS will pilot Medi-Cal coverage of CM in select Drug Medi-Cal Organized Delivery System (DMC-ODS) counties through the Recovery Incentives Program. As part of CalAIM, California became the first state in the nation to receive federal approval to cover CM services for substance use disorders (SUD). CM is an evidence-based, cost-effective treatment for SUD. DHCS intends to use the pilot as a basis for informing the design and implementation of a statewide CM benefit through the DMC-ODS program, pending budgetary and statutory authority. 

MAT and California Hub and Spoke (CA H&SS) Awards

On January 9, DHCS will award $52 million to 105 entities providing MAT services to implement the CA H&SS from January 1, 2023, to June 30, 2024. Each entity will receive between $100,000 – $1,848,000 annually to fund prevention, assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and recovery from opioid and substance use disorders. This funding opportunity will be used to further the development and implementation of regional “Hubs” (Regional Centers of Excellence in MAT) and “Spokes” (any federally approved DATA-2000 waiver prescribers who prescribe or dispense buprenorphine) to collectively enhance the opioid and substance use continuum of care. The project is funded by the State Opioid Response (SOR) III grant, awarded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and is administered by Advocates for Human Potential, Inc. (AHP). For more information, please visit the MAT website.

CalAIM Screening and Transition of Care Tools Webinar
When: January 19, 2023, from 3:00-4:00 PM

Description: DHCS will hold a webinar about the Adult and Youth Screening and Transition of Care Tools (advance registration required) for the Medi-Cal Mental Health Services initiative. This initiative is focused on implementing statewide Screening and Transition of Care Tools for both adults and individuals under age 21 for use by Medi-Cal MCPs and County Mental Health Plans (MHPs). The webinar will include an overview of the purpose of the initiative, a review of final guidance and tools, and responses to frequently asked questions. Time will be reserved at the end of the webinar for a questions and answers session. For more information, please visit the Screening and Transition of Care Tools webpage.

Advisor for Homelessness and Housing Position
DHCS is hiring a Policy Advisor for Homelessness and Housing within the Health Care Delivery Systems program. The Policy Advisor leads and coordinates the planning, development, and implementation of new homelessness and housing-related Medi-Cal policies across DHCS programs.