Latest Medicaid Provider Relief Funding Strategy from HHS and HRSA is Deeply Flawed, Further Jeopardizes the Viability of the Nation’s Behavioral Health System

In response to today’s announcement from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) regarding distribution of additional Provider Relief Funds to Medicaid eligible providers, the National Council for Mental Wellbeing issued the following statement from President and CEO Chuck Ingoglia in response:

While we applaud the Administration’s intention to get relief funding to Medicaid-eligible providers, the latest effort to distribute funds is deeply flawed by deeming organizations that received any Medicare funds previously as ineligible to apply. This will result in catastrophic outcomes for mental health and substance use disorder providers serving some of the nation’s most vulnerable individuals. In contrast to other types of health care providers, behavioral health organizations have received very little CARES Act funding to date – on average less than one percent of their annual operating budget. Quite simply, behavioral health providers have been left behind. Time is running out to remedy the problem and ensure equity in the distribution of provider relief funding. If the administration does not act quickly and deliberately, I fear the behavioral health safety net will collapse.  If that is allowed to happen, the nation will surely face a secondary and devastating public health catastrophe.  In the strongest possible terms, I urge the Administration to immediately fix the funding process …  while there is still time to make a difference.


About the National Council for Mental Wellbeing

The National Council for Mental Wellbeing is the unifying voice of America’s health care organizations that deliver mental health and addictions treatment and services. Together with our 3,326 member organizations serving over 10 million adults, children and families living with mental illnesses and addictions, the National Council is committed to all Americans having access to comprehensive, high-quality care that affords every opportunity for recovery. The National Council introduced Mental Health First Aid USA and more than 2 million Americans have been trained.

About The National Council

Founded in 1969, the National Council for Mental Wellbeing is a membership organization that drives policy and social change on behalf of over 3,300 mental health and substance use treatment organizations and the more than 10 million children, adults and families they serve. We advocate for policies to ensure equitable access to high-quality services. We build the capacity of mental health and substance use treatment organizations. And we promote greater understanding of mental wellbeing as a core component of comprehensive health and health care. Through our Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) program, we have trained more than 3 million people in the U.S. to identify, understand and respond to signs and symptoms of mental health and substance use challenges.