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New Mexico Latest State to Expand Medicaid Behavioral Health Program, Add Mobile Crisis Intervention Program

New Mexico recently became the latest state to receive Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) approval to expand the state’s behavioral health service offerings through mobile crisis intervention teams.


Under its new state plan amendment, among other items, New Mexico will make available mobile (i.e., outside of a hospital or other facility setting) crisis and mobile response and stabilization services for individuals at the location in which they are experiencing a crisis, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days per year. Mobile crisis services include stabilization of the person in crisis, prevention of further deterioration, and provision of immediate treatment and intervention but may also include telephonic follow-up interventions, such as additional intervention and de-escalation services and coordination with other supports and community partners, for up to 72 hours after the initial mobile response. New Mexico also will offer children’s mobile response and stabilization services (MRSS), which are mobile crisis services but specific to child, youth, and families and include up to 56 days of stabilization services.


Mobile crisis and MRSS intervention teams include trained behavioral health professionals and paraprofessionals and each team must (i) be supervised by independently licensed behavioral health professionals who are available to provide real-time clinical assessment to individuals in person or through telehealth; and (ii) include at least two of the following types of professionals: licensed mental health therapists; certified peer support workers; certified family peer support workers; certified youth peer support workers, community support workers; community health workers; community health representatives; certified prevention specialists; registered nurses; emergency medical service providers; licensed alcohol and drug abuse counselors or certified alcohol and drug addiction consultants; non-independently licensed behavioral health professionals; emergency medical technicians; licensed practical nurses; and other certified and/or credentialed individuals.


CMS indicated that it will use provider cost modeling through New Mexico provider compensation studies and cost data as well as rates from similar state Medicaid programs as its methodology to develop rates for these services.


Behavioral health services for Medicaid enrollees, and a total of 14 other states have similarly incorporated community-based mental health and substance use crisis care into their Medicaid programs through President Biden’s American Rescue Plan.


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Pat focuses his practice on advising health care organizations on regulatory, compliance, data privacy, and transactional matters. He is also a Certified Information Privacy Professional–US (CIPP–US).
Kathryn F. Edgerton is a Member at Mintz and a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP-US) who advises hospitals and other health-related organizations on a broad range of transactional, regulatory, and strategic issues. Her clients include physician organizations, long-term and behavioral health providers, telemedicine providers, home health providers, and medical spas.