Virginia Medicaid members now have more options for behavioral health treatment

Health

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – Young Americans are facing a mental health crisis, but help has arrived for Virginia Medicaid members.

As of Dec. 1, 2021, Virginia Medicaid members have access to six new behavioral health services that strengthen crisis response, address a national emergency in children’s mental health care and provide new supports for individuals with developmental disabilities.

The new services covered by Medicaid are:

  • Multisystemic Therapy: Intensive family and community-based treatment for youth ages 11-18 with significant disruptive behaviors and substance use disorders.
  • Functional Family Therapy:  Short-term treatment for youth ages 11-18 with significant disruptive behaviors who have received referrals from juvenile justice, behavioral health, school or child welfare systems.
  • Mobile Crisis Response: 24/7 rapid response, assessment and early intervention for individuals experiencing a behavioral health crisis.
  • Community Stabilization: Short-term support for individuals who recently required crisis services or who need assistance to avoid escalation to more intensive treatment models.
  • 23-Hour Crisis Stabilization: Up to 23 hours of crisis stabilization services in a community-based setting for individuals experiencing an acute behavioral health emergency.
  • Residential Crisis Stabilization Unit: Short-term, 24/7 residential evaluation and intervention for psychiatric and substance use crises. This new service enables some individuals to avoid inpatient admission and offers stepdown support for others who require hospitalization.

Related coverage: Marcus Alert systems reforming response to mental health crises launch in five regions

The services are key steps in Virginia’s response to rising rates of mental health concerns and suicide among young people. Last month, the American Academy of Pediatrics declared children’s mental health a national emergency.

“These critical services will transform the way Virginians get care when they’re in crisis,” Governor Ralph Northam said. “When people can get the treatment, especially in their own communities, they are less likely to reach a crisis point, and less likely to need hospital care.”

The six new services, along with the Marcus Alert launched in parts of the state Tuesday, are part of a broader plan to transform the behavioral health system in Virginia.

Medicaid members interested in learning more should contact their primary care provider or behavioral health specialist.

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