Mental health clinics and similar agencies who provide behavioral health services will receive additional funding from the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS).
These new funds are part of the larger federal CARES Act which is intended to help increase the number and quality of Ohio’s behavioral health professionals.
CARES Act Background:
The overall act was passed by Congress and signed into law on March 27, 2020. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was created to provide immediate economic assistance to workers, families and businesses.
Additional legislation, the Consolidation Appropriations Act, was passed by Congress and signed into law on December27, 2020. The overall goal of the government relief package was to direct funds towards local, state and tribal government entities.
In the past, Ohio has awarded additional financial resources to healthcare clinicians who provide mental health and addiction treatment services. For example, in 2019, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced $7.5 million in funding for behavioral health and addiction treatment programs.
Specifically, the funding was targeted on strengthening substance abuse programs. Much of these financial resources were for the expansion of specialized court programs for drug and alcohol addiction. The goal of these programs was on addiction recovery and not punishment.
The CARES Act allowed the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services to allocate $5 million for behavioral health services. The funding is intended to help the community provider workforce and fill critical staffing shortages. The COVID-19 pandemic placed additional strain on frontline healthcare workers. For certified community behavioral health centers (CBHCs), this additional funding will help.
Recently, The Ohio Council of Behavioral Health & Family Services conducted and released a survey generated from behavioral providers. Their investigation found that clinics and facilities were facing significant staff recruitment and retention challenges.
The survey found that more than 88 percent of reporting practitioners had challenges maintaining qualified and experienced employees. In 2021, the top reasons for this were:
- A lack of applicants.
- A lack of qualified applicants.
- Salary/pay expectations.
A Great Need:
The Ohio CARES Act will fund retention bonuses, peer recovery supporters and more. The behavioral health workforce retention incentive awards $50,000 to over 115 certified Ohio behavioral health agencies.
Individual community behavioral health center workers who benefit from this funding are eligible for up to
$2,500. However, they are required to work for the mental health practice or addiction treatment center for a minimum of one year. This one year time span is from the date of the individual receiving the CARES Act generated funding.
A primary goal is to develop and maintain a workforce pool of experienced and skilled behavioral health professionals. This includes education programs, psychiatry, suicide prevention as well as residency programs. It has also expanded the number of trained medical clinicians who can administer medication-assisted treatment programs which are crucial for treating opioid addiction.
Recruiting and maintaining an effective behavioral health and addiction treatment workforce is essential for the well-being of Ohio’s communities and towns. A skilled workforce is needed to provide crucial and valuable community behavioral health care.
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As an Ohio-based company, they also provide software tools, EVV and billing services for Medicaid waiver provider agencies that provide supports for the Ohio I-DD community.
To learn more, email or call them at 614-890-9822.