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1115 Waiver Initiative

District of Columbia Section 1115 Medicaid Behavioral Health Transformation Demonstration

On November 6, 2019, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approved the District’s Behavioral Health Transformation demonstration with an effective date of January 1, 2020. Most new services authorized under the waiver will be phased in beginning on the effective date. The demonstration allows the District’s Medicaid program to pay for services provided to adults with serious mental illness (SMI)/serious emotional disturbance (SED) or substance use disorder (SUD) residing in an institution for mental disease (IMD). Additionally, the demonstration will add new community-based services designed to improve behavioral health treatment capacity and strengthen transitions from emergency, inpatient and residential treatment.

The demonstration furthers the District’s goals of 1) ensuring that Medicaid provides a broader continuum of behavioral health services and supports for individuals with SMI/SED, SUD, or other behavioral health needs; 2) advancing the District’s goals in the Opioid Strategic Plan, Live.Long.DC., to improve outcomes for individuals with opioid use disorder and other SUDs; and 3) supporting movement towards a more person-centered system of physical and behavioral health care for Medicaid beneficiaries that facilitates coordinated treatment.

Approved services include:

  • Services for individuals aged 21-64 with SMI or SUD in an IMD setting;
  • Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program Services
  • Youth Mobile Crisis
  • Adult Mobile Crisis and Behavioral Health Outreach
  • Psychiatric Residential Crisis Stabilization Services
  • Transition Planning Services for individuals leaving a hospital, IMD or other facility
  • Recovery Support Services
  • Psychologist and Other Licensed Behavioral Health Provider Services
  • Psychosocial Rehabilitative Services (also known as “Clubhouse” services)
  • Trauma Targeted Behavioral Health Services
  • Supported Employment Services, and
  • Eliminating the $1 copayment for prescriptions for medication assisted treatment (MAT)

The demonstration tests whether the expenditure authority granted under this demonstration, in addition to other concurrent behavioral health delivery system enhancements and re-design efforts, results in increased access to health care services and improved health outcomes for individuals with SUD and SMI/SED.

The proposed demonstration application was submitted on April 12, 2019, and the final draft demonstration application was submitted June 3, 2019. The District held a public comment period from April 12th through and May 13th and the demonstration was available for federal public comment from June 10th through July 11th, 2019. CMS approved the demonstration on November 6, 2019.

To support implementation of the District’s approved Behavioral Health Transformation Demonstration program, DHCF published an emergency proposed rulemaking in the November 29, 2019 issue of the DC Register. An electronic copy of the published notice is available on the Register website and linked below.

To support implementation of the District’s approved Behavioral Health Transformation Demonstration program, the Department of Behavioral Health (DBH) published two (2) emergency and proposed rulemakings in the February 7, 2020 issue of the DC Register. Electronic copies of the published notices are available at the Register here for Supported Employment Services and here for New Specialty Mental Health Rehabilitation Services. They are also linked below.

To support implementation of the District’s approved Behavioral Health Transformation Demonstration program, the Department of Behavioral Health (DBH) published an emergency and proposed rulemaking on Certification Standards for Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Recovery Providers in the February 28, 2020 issue of the DC Register. An electronic copy of the published notice is available here and is linked below.

For further information, please contact DHCF at [email protected]

Waiver-Related Documents: 

Approval Materials
CMS Waiver Approval Special Terms and Conditions 11.6.19 - (pdf)
Press Release Waiver Approval 11.6.19 -  (pdf)

Application Materials
Summary of 1115 Waiver Demonstration Application 6-3-19 - (pdf)
District Letter from DM Turnage to Administrator Verma 6-3-19 -  (pdf)
1115 Draft Demonstration Waiver Application 4.12.19 -  (pdf)
Summary of Draft 1115 Waiver Demonstration Application - (pdf)
1115 Final Demonstration Application 6-3-19 -  (pdf)
Section 1115 Medicaid Waiver Demonstration Press Release 4.12.19 - (pdf)

Waiver-Related Transmittals

Behavioral Health Transformation Demonstration Rates for Transition Planning - (pdf)
Behavioral Health Transformation Demonstration Rates for Crisis Services - (pdf)
Compiled Behavioral Health Demonstration Rates 10.23.20 - (pdf)
Behavioral Health Transformation Demonstration Rates for TREM and TST- (pdf)
Transmittal 19-31- Services Provided in Institutions for Mental Disease for Medicaid Beneficiaries Aged 21-64 -  (pdf)
Transmittal 19-25 Enrollment of New Behavioral Health Provider Types -  (pdf)
Transmittal 19-26 Billing Guidance for Medicaid Section 1115 Behavioral Health Transformation Demonstration Service - (pdf)
Transmittal 19-27 Removal of MAT Co-Pay - (pdf)
Transmittal 19-28 Independent Practice for Psychologists and Other Licensed Behavioral Health Providers (pdf)
Behavioral Health Transformation Demonstration Program Rates 12-09-2019 - (pdf)
Behavioral Health Transformation Demonstration Rates for Supported Employment - (pdf)
Transmittal 20-12 – Behavioral Health Transformation Demonstration Program – HIE Participation Requirements for IMDs - (pdf)

Stakeholder and Meeting Materials
Behavioral Health Tranformation Demonstration Post-Award Stakeholder Forum - WebEx
Presentation for 10.20.20 Post Award Forum - (pdf)
Behavioral Health Transformation Demonstration Program Services Grid - (pdf)
District Medicaid Section 1115 Behavioral Health Transformation Waiver Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) -  (pdf)
Public Hearing #2 Agenda -  (pdf)
Flyer Waiver Kickoff Meeting 11.21.19 -  (pdf)
Agenda for Waiver Kickoff Meeting - (pdf)
Waiver Kickoff Meeting Presentation 112119 - (pdf)

Rulemakings and Other Documents
DBH Chapter 65 Transition Planning Services - (pdf)
DBH Chapter 80 Crisis Services Second Rulemaking - (pdf)
DHCF 1115 Demonstration SUD Implementation Plan - (pdf)
DHCF 1115 Demonstration SMI/SED Implementation Plan  - (pdf)
CMS Approval Letter for DHCF Implementation Plan - (pdf)
DHCF Chapter 86 Demonstration Services Second Rulemaking - (pdf)
DHCF Chapter 86 Demonstration Services First Rulemaking - (pdf)
DBH Chapter 34 Mental Health Rehabilitation Services Provider Certification Standards Rulemaking - (pdf)
DBH Chapter 37 Supported Employment Services Rulemaking - (pdf)
DBH Chapter 63 Rule SUD Providers 070320 - (pdf)
DBH Chapter 80 Crisis Services First Rulemaking - (pdf)

On October 20, 2020, the District held a virtual Post Award Forum on the Behavioral Health Demonstration Forum. The Forum was widely and formally noticed, allowing members of the public the opportunity to provide meaningful comment on the Demonstration. The Forum covered the contents of the Demonstration, summarized implementation of the Demonstration so far, and heard questions and took comments from members of the public. A recording of the October 20, 2020 Forum is available on this website. The District will host a Post Award Forum yearly going forward.

For further information, please contact DHCF at [email protected]