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HHS Announces New Funding Opportunity to Strengthen Behavioral Health Services in Nursing Homes and Other Long-Term Care Facilities

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is announcing a funding opportunity of nearly $15 million for a three-year federal grant to establish a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) program that will strengthen the delivery of behavioral health care to residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. Funded by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), this program will establish a Center of Excellence for Building Capacity in Nursing Facilities to Care for Residents with Behavioral Health Conditions (Center for Excellence). This builds on President Biden’s State of the Union emphasis on the critical importance of ensuring residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities receive high-quality care.

The Center of Excellence is expected to improve overall health care in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities by providing direct consultation to staff to increase understanding, improve awareness, reduce stigmatization, and build knowledge and skills for effective resident care. Ultimately, the Center for Excellence will strengthen and sustain effective behavioral health practices and achieve better outcomes for residents who have serious mental illness, serious emotional disturbance, substance use issues, or co-occurring mental health and substance use conditions. It will also ensure accessibility of evidence-based training and technical assistance focused on mental health disorder identification, treatment, and recovery support services.

The program will be funded with CMS’ Civil Money Penalty (CMP) funds, which come from collected CMPs that are imposed against nursing homes and other long-term care facilities when they are not in substantial compliance with one or more Medicare and Medicaid program participation requirements for long-term care facilities. These funds may be reinvested to support activities that benefit nursing home residents and that protect or improve their quality of care or quality of life.

Funding of up to $4,962,223 each year for three years will be awarded to one grantee in late FY 2022. View the COE-Nursing Facilities notice of funding opportunity.

Anyone seeking treatment for mental health or substance use issues should call SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 800-662-HELP (4357) or should visit findtreatment.samhsa.gov.

For the CMS Behavioral Health Strategy, please visit the CMS website.

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