April 13, 2021
The Office of Mental Health will be hosting feedback sessions designed to gather information and ideas from system stakeholders regarding how it should utilize supplemental block grant and enhanced FMAP funds associated with the December 2020 federal deal that included COVID relief resulting in increased allocations of federal funds to SAMHSA, as well as enhanced FMAP rates to eligible states, Additional MH block grant funds are being provided to best meet unmet prevention, treatment and recovery needs for New Yorkers with or at risk of serious mental illness or serious emotional disturbance.Please note that there will be additional funds (beyond the funding available through the December 2020 deal – discussed below)) via the American Rescue Plan that passed in early February 2021. OMH anticipates additional funds from that deal that will surpass the funds available from the first deal.
These meetings are an important opportunity for our members to weigh in and provide concrete suggestions that align with the rules regarding how these funds can be used.
Please see the links towards the bottom of this announcement (see information under the red highlighted area) and plan to attend one of the regional forums being offered beginning on April 19 in the Hudson River region from 2-4 pm.
Supplemental Block Grant and FMAP Opportunities
NYS Office of Mental Health
Recent federal legislation provides supplemental funding to mental health services through time-limited expansions of:
* Community Mental Health Services (CMHS) Block Grant
* Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) share of funds for Medicaid programs
The Office of Mental Health (OMH) will be working with community stakeholders to identify opportunities for these funds to best meet unmet prevention, treatment, and recovery needs for people with or at risk of serious mental illness or serious emotional disturbance.
OMH will hold public feedback sessions to receive input on the use of these funds.
Community Mental Health Services Block Grant Supplements
On March 11, 2021, New York State OMH received notification of award for a CMHS Block Grant supplemental amount of $46 million for the period March 15, 2021-March 2023 (from the December 2020 COVID Relief deal).
The notice <https://omh.ny.gov/omhweb/planning/docs/samhsa-mhbg-ltr.pdf> from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) indicates that funds must be used in accordance with standard CMHS program requirements, however waivers may be requested.
SAMHSA has indicated aims for this funding to address unmet need and capacity growth, with an emphasis on crisis services including:
* Children’s mental health including crisis service needs and school disruption and reentry related supports
* Operation of crisis lines to address mental health access, including 988 implementation
* Training of staff and equipment and start up for mental health crisis response
* Mental health awareness training
* Enhanced outreach and peer support workforce investments
* Prison and jail reentry and discharge from inpatient settings to reduce risk of COVID-19 transmission
* COVID-19 related expenses for SMI/SED populations
Additional funds beyond the $46 million will become available pursuant to the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which provides $1.5 billion to states for further expansion of CMHS Block Grant awards. These funds will be awarded to states in the future and must be expended by September 30, 2025. As of early April, 2021, notice of award has not yet been issued, nor is the amount of New York State’s share yet known.
Federal Medical Assistance Percentage Rate Increase
Another source of federal relief will include opportunities for enhanced FMAP of 10% for Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) and rehabilitative services beginning April 1, 2021 and ending March 31, 2022. CMS has not yet identified the process for this allocation and how it may be distributed to NYS Medicaid mental health services. OMH will provide more guidance as it becomes available.
To ensure these resources are applied toward the areas of highest need under CMHS and CMS guidelines, OMH has and will continue to engage with stakeholders to allocate and track these funds.
Stakeholders including service recipients, healthcare providers and members of the public are invited to provide feedback at an initial series of meetings beginning in April 2021.
Regional (as defined by OMH Field Office Regions<https://omh.ny.gov/omhweb/aboutomh/fieldoffices.html>) feedback sessions have been scheduled for the following dates:
Hudson River Region, April 19, 2021, 2:00PM – 4:00PM: Register Here<https://meetny.webex.com/meetny/onstage/g.php?t=a&d=1855694025>
Long Island Region, April 20, 2021, 12:00PM – 2:00PM: Register Here<https://meetny.webex.com/meetny/onstage/g.php?t=a&d=1855023235>
New York City, April 26, 2021, 9:00AM – 11:00AM: Register Here<https://meetny.webex.com/meetny/onstage/g.php?t=a&d=1852367604>
Western New York Region, April 29, 2021, 2:00PM – 4:00PM: Register Here<https://meetny.webex.com/meetny/onstage/g.php?t=a&d=1851630510>
Central New York Region, April 30, 2021, 12:00PM – 2:00PM: Register Here<https://meetny.webex.com/meetny/onstage/g.php?t=a&d=1855451464>
Note: Stakeholders are invited to attend any session that meets their schedule availability.
Stakeholders are also invited to submit written feedback on CMHS or FMAP opportunities. OMH cannot acknowledge nor respond to each submission, however we will use this input to develop plans for these funds as they become available.
CMHS Letter from SAMHSA to New York State Office of Mental Health<https://omh.ny.gov/omhweb/planning/docs/samhsa-mhbg-ltr.pdf>
CMHS Response Letter from the New York State Office of Mental Health to SAMHSA<https://omh.ny.gov/omhweb/planning/cmhsbg-fmap/supplemental-cv19-mhbg.pdf>