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Advancing Children’s Behavioral Health During a Time of Transition in DC’s Medicaid Program

To support the District’s continued efforts towards integrating behavioral health into managed care, the Department of Health Care Finance (DHCF) and the Department of Behavioral Health (DBH) recently announced the formation of a Behavioral Health Integration Stakeholder Advisory Group. As stakeholders convene to support DHCF and DBH in making key decisions over the upcoming months, thoughtful attention must be given to the unique behavioral health needs and the related contextual challenges of children and families.In response to a Request for Information on the District’s Medicaid Behavioral Health Transformation from DHCF and DBH in August 2020, several organizations, including The Center for Community Resilience, The Center for Health and Health Care in Schools, Children’s Law Center, Children’s National Hospital, District of Columbia Behavioral Health Association, Early Childhood Innovation Network, Health Alliance Network, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Parent Watch, SPACEs In Action, and Total Family Care Coalition partnered together to share some recommendations for the path forward.Considering the ongoing conversations on behavioral health integration, we want to ensure those recommendations are available for public consideration. Thus, we have published Advancing Children’s Behavioral Health During a Time of Transition in DC’s Medicaid Program.The paper contains a set of preliminary recommendations, which are particularly relevant during the District’s ongoing transition to a fully managed Medicaid program. We know that you are someone who cares deeply about DC’s children, so we encourage you to read our paper and join our efforts to ensure children’s behavioral health needs remain at the center during the upcoming changes to the Medicaid program.