Rhode Island Selected for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) Demonstration Grant


Rhode Island one of ten states to receive competitive grant  


PROVIDENCE, RI – Governor Dan McKee, the Rhode Island Executive Office of Health & Human Services (EOHHS), Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals (BHDDH), and Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) today announced that Rhode Island is one of 10 states chosen for a federal demonstration program that will help the state in its transition to a new system of behavioral healthcare that provides care for people of all ages, regardless of their ability to pay. 


The grant allows Rhode Island to receive Medicaid reimbursements at higher rates for services provided at what are known as Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs), helping to reduce the costs borne by the state. The CCBHC model is a national set of standards for comprehensive behavioral health care that is jointly supported by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Rhode Island was one of 25 states that were eligible for a demonstration grant after winning federal planning grants that helped states work with behavioral health providers to further develop plans for the CCBHC model. 


“As part of my administration’s Rhode Island 2030 Plan, we are building a state health system that better supports affordable and accessible services to maximize health outcomes for all Rhode Islanders,” said Governor Dan McKee. “The CCBHC model will allow our state to better support those who need mental health services.”

“This designation and the accompanying federal funding will strengthen the state’s network of mental health care and substance use treatment centers. It will ensure more Rhode Islanders – especially those experiencing severe mental health issues or addiction disorders – can access the timely support and treatment they need,” stated Senator Reed, Senator Whitehouse, Rep. Magaziner, and Rep. Amo in a joint statement. “The state can use this federal funding to help expand access to integrated, evidence-based addiction and mental health services to meet the needs of people in our communities.”


Funding is based on utilization, but the state estimates approximately $15 million in additional federal funding for state fiscal year 2024 and $26 million in additional federal funding for 2025. 


“The need for accessible, quality mental health care is more important than ever before,” said EOHHS Secretary Richard Charest. “CCBHCs represent the future in behavioral healthcare, assuring access to care while also reducing the need for hospitalizations as they help states move toward true parity between physical and mental healthcare.” 


“The CCBHC model represents a generational shift in our approach to behavioral healthcare, and for Rhode Island to be one of the cohort of 10 new states added to the national demonstration program is a huge accomplishment,” said Richard Leclerc, BHDDH Director. “CCBHCs provide 24/7 mobile crisis response and a wide range of evidence-based services for anyone who needs help with mental health or substance use conditions, and this grant will help Rhode Island transition more quickly toward that model, improving access to care for people who need help.”


“DCYF is deeply committed to the mental health and wellbeing of our youngest generation and so is very excited about the CCBHC demonstration grant,” said DCYF Director Ashley Deckert. “Now more than ever, it is imperative that we expand access to high-quality, innovative behavioral health services that can serve children, youth, and their families holistically, and the CCBHC model represents an important opportunity to do that.”


Rhode Island’s application was prepared by an interagency team from the Executive Office of Health and Human Services/Medicaid, the Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals, and the Department of Children, Youth and Families.


“This funding sets Rhode Island up to make great improvements to the behavioral health system in our state,” said Medicaid Program Director Kristin Sousa. “We greatly appreciate our federal partners and our Congressional Delegation for their continuing support.”  


This funding will support the eight CCBHC sites scheduled to open on October 1, 2024, and two new sites.


·     Community Care Alliance – serving Burrillville, Cumberland, Lincoln, North Smithfield, and Woonsocket;  

·     Family Services of Rhode Island – serving Providence;  

·     Gateway Healthcare Pawtucket – serving Pawtucket and Central Falls;  

·     Gateway Healthcare Johnston – serving Cranston, Foster, Glocester, Johnston, North Providence, Scituate, and Smithfield;  

·     Gateway Healthcare South County – serving Block Island, Charlestown, Exeter, Hopkinton, Narragansett, North Kingstown, South Kingstown, Richmond, and Westerly 

·     Newport Mental Health – serving Jamestown, Little Compton, Middletown, Newport, Portsmouth, and Tiverton;  

·     The Providence Center – serving Providence; and  

·     Thrive Behavioral Health – serving Coventry, East Greenwich, West Greenwich, Warwick, and West Warwick. 


The providers cover a catchment area that reaches 91% of Rhode Islanders. The state is working to bring additional CCBHCs online in the following year for 100% coverage. Two additional sites, Amos House and East Bay Community Action Program, are actively pursuing certification to join the CCBHC program beginning October 1, 2025.


“This is great news for all of Rhode Island, and I am grateful for the efforts of all the people who contributed to the grant application and who have worked and are working to develop the CCBHC model to make it a reality,” said Thomas Martin, Director of BHDDH’s Division of Behavioral Healthcare. “We all know that the needs are great, and being part of the Demonstration Program puts Rhode Island in a better position to meet those needs.”


EOHHS will be implementing its CCBHC across most of the State on October 1, 2024. With its partial-year implementation in SFY 2025, EOHHS anticipates that Rhode Island’s participation in the CMS Demonstration will provide $15 million in state savings.


When measured on an annual basis and potential expansion for new providers, overall spending on what is a critical component of Rhode Island’s behavioral health safety net is anticipated to increase from less than $70 million in SFY 2024 to nearly $240 million in SFY 2026. With $26 million in enhanced federal financing provided by the CMS Demonstration, the unprecedented investment of $170 million into its behavioral health system will cost $40 million in new state spending.


For more information about Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics in Rhode Island, please visit the EOHHS CCBHC webpage.


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