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1115 Waiver Initiative

District of Columbia Section 1115 Medicaid Behavioral Health Transformation Demonstration

On November 6, 2019, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approved the District’s Behavioral Health Transformation demonstration with an effective date of January 1, 2020. Most new services authorized under the waiver will be phased in beginning on the effective date. The demonstration allows the District’s Medicaid program to pay for services provided to adults with serious mental illness (SMI)/serious emotional disturbance (SED) or substance use disorder (SUD) residing in an institution for mental disease (IMD). Additionally, the demonstration will add new community-based services designed to improve behavioral health treatment capacity and strengthen transitions from emergency, inpatient and residential treatment.

The demonstration furthers the District’s goals of 1) ensuring that Medicaid provides a broader continuum of behavioral health services and supports for individuals with SMI/SED, SUD, or other behavioral health needs; 2) advancing the District’s goals in the Opioid Strategic Plan, Live.Long.DC., to improve outcomes for individuals with opioid use disorder and other SUDs; and 3) supporting movement towards a more person-centered system of physical and behavioral health care for Medicaid beneficiaries that facilitates coordinated treatment.

Approved services include:

  • Services for non-elderly individuals with SMI or SUD in an IMD setting;
  • Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program Services
  • Mobile Crisis Intervention and Outreach Services
  • Psychiatric Residential Crisis Stabilization Services
  • Transition Planning Services for individuals leaving a hospital, IMD or other facility
  • Recovery Support Services for individuals with SUDs
  • Psychologist and Other Licensed Behavioral Health Provider Services
  • Psychosocial Rehabilitative Services (also known as “Clubhouse” services)
  • Trauma-Informed Behavioral Health Services
  • Supported Employment Services, and
  • Eliminating the $1 copayment for prescriptions for medication assisted treatment (MAT)

The demonstration tests whether the expenditure authority granted under this demonstration, in addition to other concurrent behavioral health delivery system enhancements and re-design efforts, results in increased access to health care services and improved health outcomes for individuals with SUD and SMI/SED.

The proposed demonstration application was submitted on April 12, 2019, and the final draft demonstration application was submitted June 3, 2019. The District held a public comment period from April 12th through and May 13th and the demonstration was available for federal public comment from June 10th through July 11th, 2019. CMS approved the demonstration on November 6, 2019.

For further information, please contact DHCF at [email protected]