California Council of Community Behavioral Health Agencies
CCCBHA Monthly General Newsletter
Representing Nonprofit Community Behavioral Health Agencies Throughout California                                                                                                 May 10, 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.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month
Mental Health Awareness Month has been observed in May in the United States since 1949, reaching millions of people in the United States through the media, local events, and screenings.
Mental Health Matters Day is on May 24 at the Capitol Building on the East Side.

CCCBHA is a partner for this event.  This is the first year Substance Use Disorders are to be included in the information provided to legislators, and we want to give a special thanks to our SUDs Agency Members who provided their expert knowledge.  For more information, visit:  Mental Health Matters Day
Rusty's Corner 
by Rusty Selix, CCCBHA Public Policy and Advocacy Director
Board of Directors
AHCA Approved By House
What does its passage mean in California?
Last week the House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act by the narrowest of margins, with all Democrats and 20 Republicans voting no.  It succeeded because of amendments to satisfy the so-called "Freedom Caucus" of very conservative Republicans, who objected to the bill in March, because it left too much of the Affordable Care Act intact.
The key amendment was to allow states to eliminate pre-existing condition protections, and replace them with high risk pools that could be subsidized with federal funds.
The main focus of the media was on pre-existing conditions, which will include and adversely affect, people with mental illnesses and substance use disorders. Both would be considered pre-existing conditions, even if the only treatment was one or two visits to a therapist, or a single prescription for an antidepressant. MORE
Not Likely To Pass In Senate Without Major Changes
At least for this year it seems unlikely that a bill that goes this far will be enacted.  Several Senate Republicans are on record opposing cuts in Medicaid, with at least one stating that Medicaid expansion is essential in fight the opioid epidemic.
Accordingly, experts in Washington give the bill no chance of passage in the Senate in its current form. Whether there is some type of compromise that would generate the sufficient votes in the Senate is impossible to predict at this time.  In any event, we in California will have no direct influence over the handful of Senate Republicans in whose hands our fate presently seems to rest.
All 14 California Republicans Voted For The Measure
We have 14 House Republicans in California that are neither in the conservative block nor the moderate block of Republicans who were opposed to the bill last month.  Last week it appeared as though several of them had reservations about the bill; at least one congressman (Jeff Denham) was opposed before the final amendment that added funding to the high risk pools.
All 14 voted for the measure, including the seven representing congressional districts carried by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. This has been interpreted to mean that they were convinced that the political advantages of fulfilling the promises made to repeal Obama Care, and the opportunities presented by remaining in good graces with the President and House leadership, as well as their own political base, outweighed the risks of offending the many constituencies who may work against their reelection next year. MORE
Develop A Relationship And Tell Your Story
Our role at this time is to continue to build relationships and educate others about how behavioral health problems affect all of us, and how important it is to have insurance coverage and federal funding to address these issues.
If you are a consumer or family member, your personal story is extremely powerful and important. You don't need to have a story like Jimmy Kimmel's baby to make the point about a pre-existing condition. Simply state what you have been through and the amount of care that has been, and will be, required.
Make sure to cover the fact that most adults with severe mental illness lose their jobs and employer-provided insurance and must depend on Medi-Cal, which this law significantly cuts.
If you are a provider, talk about the success you've had with the people you serve. Tell them how many fewer of them you'd be able to serve if millions of people lost their public or private health insurance. MORE
Governor's May Revise Budget Will Be Out On May 11
In most years, we have a pretty good idea of what the revised budget will do, as it usually continues the trend that existed in January.  However, this is a very unusual year.  April tax collections were below expectations, but we also had the major IPO from Snapchat. That was bigger than the one from Google 10 years ago, which was credited with balancing the state budget all by itself and could mean increased revenue forecasts for 2017-18.  We also don't know how cautious the financial forecast will be, based upon fears of cuts in federal funding.  Had the House failed to pass a health care measure, those fears likely would've been significantly reduced.  Its passage could lead to a continued cautious forecast, even though Senate passage is unlikely.
A more optimistic budget forecast could lead to restoration of the $17 million in Youth Crisis funding that was cut in the Governor's January budget, as well as other budget priorities such as the realignment of In-Home Support Services that would reduce County mental health funding by $25 million in 2017-18, and increasing annual amounts thereafter.
A cautious budget puts these funds at risk and requires an all-out effort to get legislative leaders to make these the top priority in their negotiations with the Governor. We will have a special update sent to our members and an advocacy request if that looks necessary when we see the May Revise.

Erin O'Brien
Community Solutions
President Elect
Dave Pilon
Mental Health America of Los Angeles
Past President
Darrell Evora
Uplift Family Services
Sparky Harlan
Bill Wilson Center
Cynthia Jackson Kelartinian
Heritage Clinic
2nd Vice Presidents
Ken Berrick
Seneca Family of Agencies
Leon Hoover
Kings View Corporation
Carolyn Chadwick
Tessie Cleveland Community Services Corp.
Vitka Eisen
HealthRIGHT 360
Steve Elson
Casa Pacifica
Lorna Jones
Bonita House
Debbie Manners
Camille Schraeder
Redwood Children's Services
Christine Stoner-Mertz
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.

 CCCBHA Meetings
Payment Reform Readiness Learning Community
We will be launching a year long interactive webinar learning opportunity on July 10th with an in-person kick-off!
  • Need to understand the clinical, operational and financial benchmarks and processes that align with sustainable financing models?
  • Want to develop relationships that support pay-for-performance financing models while continuing to serve your clients?
  • Looking to create synergy among the payer, provider and policy community?
An announcement will go out soon with details including the timeline, bios on the expert faculty, and unique opportunities included in the registration for you and all of your staff!

CCCBHA is hosting the Payment Reform Readiness Learning Community in conjunction with the National Council for Behavioral Health.
Cost of Untreated Mental Illness

Message from Valant
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and this year, in addition to promoting the importance of general awareness, we  wanted to highlight the consequences of foregoing care.
Untreated mental illness has a significant impact on families and communities in a social sense, but there is a real monetary stake as well. In January we created an infographic outlining The Cost of Untreated Mental Illness. In the spirit of Mental Health Awareness Month, we thought it important to revisit.
 Upcoming Events
CCCBHA Spring Policy Forum & Advocacy Day 2017 
National Council for Behavioral Health
Hill Day 2017

May 24-25, 2017

This Policy Forum will cover current behavior health policies and issues, at both the state and federal level. There will be board and committee meetings, including the Children's Policy Committee, Adults and Older Adults Policy Committee and the Substance Abuse Disorders Policy Committee. Following a membership luncheon, there will be elections and a few presentations. One of the highlights is the Membership Dinner where members can relax and enjoy each other's company.

The day after the Forum, members will visit their legislators at the State Capitol during CCCBHA's Advocacy Day. In the morning, members will have an orientation and be given tools, information and handout packets to use that day while advocating for behavioral health at the Capitol.

If you are a behavioral health agency and are interested in becoming involved, email [email protected] for information. 
October 2-3 , 2017

With major changes being proposed to Medicaid, there has never been a more critical time to advocate in support of mental health and addiction priorities. 

Join us October 2-3 in Washington, DC for two days of face-to-face advocacy and collaborative learning!

Hill Day 2017 attendees will:
* Gain special insights into the federal behavioral health policy including the latest on changes to Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act and the federal budget
* Meet with your Members of Congress and their staff to speak up for our field's priorities
* Network with other advocates from your state

We can't wait to have you with us here in Washington, D.C.

News from the National Council of Behavioral Health
Upcoming Events

Special Announcement: National Council Releases Statement on Passage of the AHCA
"The National Council for Behavioral Health is outraged that the House passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which puts the lives of those who rely on Medicaid for lifesaving addiction and mental health care in jeopardy. The final amendments did nothing to mitigate its disastrous effects. We urge the Senate to do what the House of Representatives did not - stand up for what is right and ensure that the millions of Americans facing mental illnesses and addictions who currently get care under the Affordable Care Act are not left out in the cold."

Read the National Council's full statement on the passage here and a summary of the AHCA's impacts in Capitol Connector. To learn how you can raise your voice in support of mental health and addiction treatment visit our 
Unite4BH webpage .
How to Effectively Implement Telebehavioral Health in Primary Care - A Dialogue with Experts

Thursday, June 15, 2017, 3:00 PM ET/12:00 PM PT
Register for free:  HERE
Telebehavioral health is known by many names - telepsychiatry, telemedicine, telemental health, e-care, telecare. By any name, the use of technology to expand your capacity to offer mental health and substance use disorder services is a key component in ensuring underserved communities have access to these critical services. More Info

Want to learn more about CCCBHA?

For an application and information on joining,  
please contact 
Sara Kahoalii, Member Services 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.