Council of Community Behavioral Health Agencies

CCCBHA Monthly General Newsletter
Representing Nonprofit Community Behavioral Health Agencies Throughout California                                                                                                 July 19, 2017 
This monthly newsletter is provided to inform the public of behavioral health issues that are happening around the Capitol. Our members get an additional biweekly newsletter and detailed policy updates, including opportunities for participating in creating policy that protect and enhance behavioral health interests.
Rusty's Corner
by Rusty Selix, CCCBHA Director Public Policy & Advocacy
Board of Directors
The State Budget has more Good News than Bad, but Federal Uncertainty is Still the Elephant in the Room
    In discussing this year's State Budget, most of our attention has gone to the re-realignment of In-Home Support Services back to counties. That will divert $36 million of realignment funds that otherwise would have gone to mental health, unless there are changes made to this legislation. The amounts diverted will increase in future years and could total as much as $200 million annually after six years. Viewed in total dollars at-risk over the long-term, this action alone makes it a bad budget year for mental health and substance use disorders.  But in terms of advocacy and support we got just about everything else we were seeking, so we have to view the Budget overall in a positive way similar to the press release that the County Behavioral Health Directors Association recently sent out.
    At the start of 2017, CCCBHA's highest priority was to secure funding for the Children's Crisis Care System. This had been approved in the 2016-17 State Budget. But in presenting his 2017-18 Budget, Governor Brown eliminated $17 million in funding for that program, as well as $67.5 million for mental health, substance use disorder services and facilities for people discharged from state prisons. These were two new California Health Facilities Financing Authority (CHFFA) programs that we expected to see started early in 2017... [Read more in Full Blog]

How I See the Situation in Washington
    As we have known since the November elections, the fate of the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid would rest in the hands of Republican senators from states which expanded Medicaid and have Republican governors advocating in support of continuing federal support for healthcare.
    They are each in a difficult political position.  While the overall support for repealing Obamacare or cutting federal Medicaid is very low, there is still much support among Republican voters.  Those senators who fear a Republican primary challenger more than a Democrat when they are next up for reelection are likely to think it is in their best political interest to not come out against the Senate proposal.
    On the other hand, they are likely to recognize the significant damage it would do to their state.  If it never comes up for a vote, they can have it both ways - they don't have a vote on the record that could be used against them, and their state keeps its funding.
    Naturally we are hoping that will be the result, but we can't underestimate the political pressure that Republican leadership will bring to bear on them and the potentially creative new versions that might emerge in the next few weeks.
[Editor's Note:  As of noon on July 18th both the proposal for the AHCA and the new proposal to repeal the ACA and replace it later on are dead in the Senate, as enough Republican Senators have announced they will oppose each.]

AB 1250 Could Destroy Our Current Behavioral Health System - Somehow it Must be Stopped
    All private behavioral health provider organizations have joined counties in opposing this labor-sponsored measure, which makes it virtually impossible for counties to continue to contract out for mental health services - and probably substance use disorder services.
    It includes new standards that counties would have to meet before they could contract out for any services that are currently or customarily provided directly by counties.  While most mental health services and nearly all substance use disorder services are contracted out to private providers, the fact that some services are provided directly by counties means that this proposed law appears to apply to all behavioral health services, as well as related health and human services and homeless programs.
    All behavioral health advocacy groups, including family and consumer groups, should be equally concerned about this proposal.  It would mean that virtually all private behavioral health nonprofit provider organizations would be put out of business. Consumers and families served by these organizations would have to be diverted to newly created providers directly operated by county programs.  Numerous studies over the years have shown that most of the time the private providers offer better services at a better overall cost with better overall outcomes.
    Everyone in behavioral health, the counties and other nonprofit associations, were not aware of this bill when it was in the Assembly until it was too late to do anything about it. Despite a strong and vigorous opposition, it was still approved by the Senate Governance and Finance Committee.  It was then referred to the Senate Rules Committee, which deferred, and it has now gone to the Senate Appropriations Committee. That committee will consider the bill in late August. However, the bill is now in the Suspense file and a public hearing on the bill is not expected. 
    A financial analysis will show that is likely to create hundreds of millions of dollars in new state-mandated county costs that the state would be required to reimburse counties for.  Ordinarily such a bill would have no chance of getting out of that committee. But labor representatives have made this a top priority. They make the argument that these new rules are similar to what the state has to live with. However, there is no parallel in state government for behavioral health services. These are programs which are primarily contracted out to private providers, but also have significant amounts of services directly provided by counties.
    For CCCBHA, this is our top priority of oppose legislation for the remainder of the legislative session. We hope all other mental health and substance use disorder supporters will share this urgent priority.
Erin O'Brien
Community Solutions
President Elect
Christine Stoner-Mertz
Past President
Darrell Evora
Uplift Family Services
Sparky Harlan
Bill Wilson Center
Cynthia Jackson Kelartinian
Heritage Clinic
Vice President
Leon Hoover
Kings View Corporation
Ray Banks
Turning Point of Central California
Carolyn Chadwick
Tessie Cleveland Community Services Corp.
Vitka Eisen
HealthRIGHT 360
Steve Elson
Casa Pacifica
Lorna Jones
Bonita House
Debbie Manners
Scott McGuirk
South Coast Community Services
Camille Schraeder
Redwood Children's Services
Al Senella
Tarzana Treatment Centers
Hugo Villa
The Village Family Services
Executive Director
Paul Curtis
Director, Public Policy & Advocacy
Rusty Selix

Mission: The California Council of Community Behavioral Health Agencies (CCCBHA) promotes comprehensive, responsive and integrated service systems by enhancing the ability of nonprofit member agencies to provide mental health services that empower the people we serve to lead full and productive lives.

A membership with CCCBHA means an automatic membership with the National Council for Behavioral Health. 
By joining both, not only will you get important California representation, but you'll also get critical national news.

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 CCCBHA Announcements
Payment Reform Readiness Learning Community Kick-Off
CCCBHA launched the year long interactive webinar learning opportunity, in partnership with the National Council, with an in-person kick-off in Sacramento  on July 10th ! Participation was  more  than we hoped for, with 20 agency and county teams joining.  
Kristin Woodlock, Steve Ramsland and Beth Tschopp facilitate the agency assessments, while Paul Curtis takes questions. [Photo by: David Mineta, Momentum]
SAMHSA's  Program to Achieve Wellness 
DHCS Presentation: Implementation of Managed Care Regulations
Recognition of Excellence in Wellness
Incorporating Wellness into Recovery

What: Through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA's) Program to Achieve Wellness, organizations and communities will be recognized for their exemplary wellness efforts that improve the cardiovascular health of those living with mental illness and/or substance abuse disorders.

When: Apply by July 28 to showcase how your organization or community improves wellness outcomes for people with mental and/or substance abuse disorders, including individuals living with serious mental illness.

Goal: The goal of the "Recognition of Excellence" is to identify and showcase programs and practices that put the concept of wellness into action. Recognized programs will be those that:
  1. Create meaningful improvements in the lives of people in recovery from mental and/or substance abuse disorders, including those living with serious mental illness (for example, improving cardiovascular health, decreasing blood pressure, decreasing risk factors for chronic diseases) 
  2. Effectively work to address the rates of chronic illness and premature death experienced by this population

For more information, visit the Program to Achieve Wellness webpage.

September 11, 2017 10 am - 3 pm
St. Anne's - Foundation Room
Los Angeles, California  90026
Link to Register
Presentation Summary:
On May 6, 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued Final Rule CMS-2390-P which primarily amends and expands the requirements of Title 42, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 438, pertaining to Medicaid Managed Care (MMC). CMS' intent was to modernize the MMC regulatory structure to facilitate and support delivery system reform initiatives resulting in improved health outcomes and improved beneficiary experience, while effectively managing costs. One of CMS' primary goals with the revised rule is to align MMC with other federal health care programs.

California's Medi-Cal Specialty Mental Health Services (SMHS) program is unique in its design and delivery system; as such, the effort it will take to achieve CMS' new requirements will have a significant impact on the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), the 56 county Mental Health Plans (MHPs), SMHS providers, and the overall SMHS delivery system.

During the presentation, participants will learn about critical changes in federal requirements that will affect local operations at the provider level. DHCS will present an overview of the Final Rule and highlight the provisions, which will have the most significant impact to the SMHS program.
News from the National Council of 
Beha vioral Health
Upcoming Events
Be a Lifeline: 
Join the National Effort to Prevent Suicide
For every person that dies by suicide, more than 250 think seriously about it but do not die. It is possible to prevent suicide and save lives by connecting at-risk individuals to support in their area. Every year, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline's crisis center network provides crisis counseling and local resources to over 1.5 million callers across the country. These crisis centers are critical to suicide prevention, but as we continue to serve more people in crisis, we need more centers. Your organization can make a difference - become a member of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline today. For more information on how your organization can become a Lifeline member, email Sarah Flinspach at

The National Council's 13th Annual Hill Day will take place October 2-3, 2017 in Washington, D.C. Are you a first time Hill Day attendee? Been to Hill Day in the past, but need a refresher on what to expect? Here are some of the most frequently asked questions and answers about Hill Day.
Follow this link for answers to: Frequently Asked Questions
Hill Day 
October 2-3, 2017
Washington, DC
23-24, 2017
Hilton Costa Mesa, CA
July 20: National Day of Action to Protect Addiction Care
Dear Partners, 
We're on the verge of beating back Senate repeal of the Affordable Care Act, but we can't let the pressure up yet! Join us
tomorrow   (July 20) to defend the ACA with a National Day of Action to Protect Addiction Care

The Senate plans to vote next week to repeal the ACA without a replacement. While it doesn't look like they have the votes, President Trump is pressuring senators to repeal. We need to shore up Senate opposition. Repeal would strip health coverage from 32 million people and leave our communities without prevention services or life-saving addiction treatment and supports. That's unconscionable.

We call on senators to abandon a narrow partisan approach and work to improve access to health coverage and critical health services for everyone, especially for people with substance use disorders.

Click here for advocacy tools and a list of: Things to do for the July 20 Day of Action

Thank you for your efforts!
Community Catalyst's Substance Use Disorders Team 
Legal Action Center - Drug Policy Alliance

COMIO: Council on Mentally Ill Offenders
"It's a very corrosive system that's way bigger than just locking people up and returning them home with criminal records." -Alice Goffman, urban ethnographer and University of Wisconsin-Madison assistant professor

COMIO is starting to produce a series of informational handouts and info-graphics, such as the one linked here:

A glimpse of the staggering statistics in the flyer:
*In state prisons, prevalence of mental illness is 2-4 time higher than in the community. What happens to them when they reenter society?
*72% of those in jails or prisons suffering from a serious mental illness also have substance abuse disorders. 
Find more information and news on their website:
Suit Alleges Blue Shield Improperly Denied Treatment Claims
Blue Shield Improperly Denied Mental Health, Drug Treatment Claims, Suit Alleges California Healthline

Blue Shield of California and its claims administrator wrongly restricted patients' access to outpatient and residential mental health treatment, a class-action  lawsuit says.

Initially filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, the complaint comes from two parents who allege their teenage children were repeatedly denied coverage under their employer-based plans despite serious mental and substance abuse problems. In June, a federal district judge granted a request for class-action status, meaning that patients whose claims were rejected under similar circumstances may join as plaintiffs. [ Full Article]
Want to learn more about CCCBHA?

For an application and information on joining,  
please contact 
Sara Kahoalii, Member Services and Communications Manager at: 

By becoming a member of CCCBHA, you will join the combined strengths of many health providers. The association was formed to accomplish the following:
  •  Improve the current community-based behavioral health system through interaction with legislators and
    government officials
  •  Increase the participation of community-based nonprofit agencies in both the improvement of the behavioral health system and the delivery of direct services in the community
  •  Provide a unified approach for mutual consultation to improve management efficiency, clinical services and
    information exchanges
  •  Ensure that services respond to the needs of the communities
  •  Provide a focal point for the review and development of policies which will further the provision of a full spectrum of modalities and high-quality behavioral health care at the community level for all individuals
Consider joining our efforts and help strengthen our voice!

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California Council of Community Behavioral Health Agencies 

455 Capitol Mall, Suite 315, Sacramento, CA 95814

(916) 557-1166

Leaders in the partnership that developed and promoted Proposition 63.