Coming Soon: HCA Funding to Build BH Integration

One of WCAAP’s top priorities for kids’ behavioral health in the 2022 state legislative session was start-up funding for primary care clinics to build behavioral health integration for children and families. The legislature allocated $2M in funding for one-time grants to help primary care clinics take the steps necessary to establish integrated behavioral health for children and youth.

We have learned the Health Care Authority (HCA) expects to release the grant application to apply for this support during the week of October 24 and clinics will have six weeks to submit their application. We urge you to start having conversations with your clinics now in the event you want to apply for this support.

You can join the following email listservs for updates and information from the HCA:

The budget proviso for this funding reads:

Legislation Provide one-time grants of $200,000 for eligible clinics to establish behavioral health integration in primary care clinics for children and adolescents.

Eligible clinics must have at least 35% of their total patients enrolled in Medicaid and must meet readiness requirements, such as support at the highest levels of leadership and an arrangement for psychiatric consultation and supervision.

Grants may be used for, among other things, training, system development, and IT infrastructure.

It is our understanding that clinic activities that the start-up funds would pay for include:

  • Training to create operational workflows that promote team-based care, and in evidence-based practices, including brief interventions for children with mild to moderate behavioral health challenges.
  • System development to implement universal screening of patients, using standardized assessment tools.
  • Development of a registry to track patient outcomes to determine if patients are improving or need additional assessment/treatment.
  • Behavioral health professional onboarding, to support their salary during the program design and implementation phases.
  • Psychiatric supervision onboarding, to support the salary of the MD or ARNP providing consultation services for the BHI program.
  • IT infrastructure, including EHR adjustments and registry creation.
  • Physical space modifications to accommodate additional staff.

We encourage interested clinics to begin fleshing out your desired program now and to begin to identify the specific investments needed for the infrastructure and build out of your ideal program.

The WCAAP will send an all-member email when the application is released.