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School-Based Mental Health Care Payment Model Change and Concerns

By July 7, 2021No Comments
The Comprehensive School and Community Treatment (CSCT) program is a school-based mental health program. As described in the 2017 Montana Children’s Bureau presentation, “CSCT Services make up over 80% of all school based Medicaid Services.”
The report further describes CSCT as “A Mental Health Center service under contract with a public school district.” ACSCT treatment team includes a Licensed or supervised In-training Practitioner and a Behavioral Specialist (Aide). Once a youth is admitted into the program, they may receive services at the school, the home, or in the community.
The program has been facing dramatic changes for a few years and they are coming to a head this summer. The article below from Holly Michels of the Helena Independent Record is an amazing analysis of this complicated and fast-changing issue that involves the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, Montana Office of Public Instruction, the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, local school districts, local mental health centers, and Montana families.
We will keep you posted as this difficult issue continues to develop.

Schools Worry About Paying for Behavioral Treatment Program

Holly Michels, Helena Independent Record
There’s uncertainty about the program that provides in-school behavioral health treatment for Montana students with serious emotional disturbances, and one district may halt its services while the funding questions are clarified.
“It really helps, especially in the summer, for these kids who have working parents,” said Belgrade parent Darcy Saffer, whose two teenagers have received services through the Comprehensive School and Community Treatment Program.
“Without it, kids would sit home a lot. This way they don’t have this gap in care for June, July and August. (Counselors) don’t want to lose track of the kids they’re working with.”
The CSCT program connects a licensed or supervised in-training practitioner from a mental health center and behavioral health aides with children who can get services at school, in their homes or in the community.
Providing services to kids in schools is a huge help to parents who might not be able to afford a therapist or transport their child to a counselor during the workday, Saffer said, and it also helps students navigate the school day when they need additional support.
On June 25, Saffer got an email from the Belgrade School District saying it would stop CSCT services because of unanswered questions about how much districts would be on the hook for paying.
Read the full article at this link.