ARPA Project Highlight - Community Response Services Expansion Grant

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February 2022

Project Category: Improve Crisis & Acute Services
Project Name: 2.02. - Expand Behavioral Health Mobile Crisis Teams

The Department received a planning grant through ARPA to design and implement a new Medicaid option for community-based mobile crisis services. The grant will allow the Department to complete an intensive stakeholder and design process. Through the planning process, the team will identify the gaps between the current system and what is required to stand up the Community Response Services Expansion (CRSE) benefit. By July 1, 2023, the Department aims to have the benefit available statewide.

Through June 2021, 87% of all mobile crisis response services provided in Colorado were delivered to Medicaid members (see chart). The Department will utilize the planning grant to address the needs of our members and identify community needs. The CRSE benefit will focus on Behavioral Health crisis response that is integrated into a continuum of care. This will then inform statewide efforts to support the Governor’s Wildly Important Goals of saving Coloradans money on Health Care.

Charts showing mobile crisis services utilizion in FY21

To create a statewide CRSE benefit, communities will need to invest in major staffing and infrastructure changes to meet federal requirements. The service must be available 24/7 and the responding team must include a behavioral health professional. To support local communities standing this up, HCBS ARPA funds will be available as grants to help local crisis teams make the necessary investments to be ready to bill for the benefit and support any Health First Colorado member experiencing a crisis. The total grants awarded will amount to $1.75 million to support these efforts and should be available close to the time of the benefit launch. In addition, CMS has shared their desire to invest in this benefit by allowing a higher match rate of 85% for the first three years of the benefit. With careful planning and investments, Colorado providers will be better able to care for Coloradans experiencing a crisis within the community.

For more information about this ARPA project - please contact John Lentz