The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP) establishes a new state option to provide community mobile crisis intervention services for a five-year period beginning in April 2022. As an incentive to state adoption, the law provides for an 85 percent enhanced federal matching rate for qualifying services for the first three years of state coverage. To further encourage states, ARP also includes $15 million in state planning grants to support efforts to develop a state plan amendment or waiver request (e.g., Section 1115, 1915(b) or 1915(c)) to take up the option.
The new mobile crisis provision arrives just as many states and localities are exploring strategies to address the worsening behavioral health crisis, as well as preparing for implementation of 988, the new national hotline for behavioral health crises. For states and localities reviewing their policing procedures, the new option also could be used to support state efforts to refine the role of law enforcement in responding to behavioral health crises, offering more resources to the police on such calls or, in some instances, even entirely avoiding the need for law enforcement.
In an issue brief for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s State Health and Value Strategies program, Manatt Health examines key state questions around ARP’s new state option to invest in equitable, comprehensive and integrated crisis services that connect individuals in behavioral health crises with specialized and appropriate behavioral health treatment.
Click here to download the full issue brief.