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GOBHI Providers Behavioral Health Newsletter January 2023

Updated: Feb 8, 2023

Update From The CEO

Picture of Karen Wheeler, GOBHI CEO

Greetings, providers.

As surreal as it may seem, we are already passing the threshold of January and getting into the busier parts of 2023. This time to refocus is bringing new energy and resolve to not only the behavioral health system, but also the field of healthcare and human services as a whole.

The 2023 Oregon Legislative Session began Jan. 17, and it shows signs of being an important session for behavioral health. New governor Tina Kotek has outlined BH, as well as housing, as a key focus area in her policy platform. Along that same track, the legislature will be discussing healthcare as a component of the overall budget conversation. We are keeping a close eye on these developments and staying in contact with our professional connections in Salem. I am also working with the GOBHI Communications/Operations team to develop fact sheets designed to advocate and educate in areas pertinent to GOBHI’s scope of influence. The first fact sheet will center on the need for expansion of Community Certified Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs).

This month’s edition of the provider newsletter is full of updates that span a wide variety of topics within our sphere of work. Among them are: guidance concerning the new BH qualified directed payments and network development funding opportunities, resources around early childhood screening and OHP benefits, EOCCO SHARE funding recipient announcement, SUD updates, as well as updates from GOBHI’s programs serving older adults and foster youth.

Thank you for your steadfast work serving Eastern Oregon’s vulnerable and priority populations. I look forward to addressing the needs of our community members alongside you, now and in the months ahead


Karen Wheeler, MA CEO, GOBHI / Tribal Liaison, EOCCO


BH Provider Qualified Directed Payments

On January 12th, the Oregon Health Authority received CMS approval on the behavioral health qualified directed payments. GOBHI has created a page on our website for providers to review updates and guidance. Please visit this page for the most current information.

Now that CMS approval has been received, GOBHI will be reaching out for further information from providers and working with providers to amend contracts per the regulations of the Directed Payment program. OHA is updating the information on their behavioral health rate increase web page as well.

The Culturally and Linguistically Specific Services application process is estimated to be ready for providers by Jan. 30. The provider attestation form is available on our website as well as the OHA website. Stay tuned as this is developing quickly! Please reach out to Lisa Chamness at GOBHI for specific questions:


Network Development Funding Opportunity

In 2021, GOBHI developed a Comprehensive Behavioral Health Plan (CBHP) on behalf of Eastern Oregon Coordinated Care Organization (EOCCO). As part of this plan, three priority areas of focus were chosen: Workforce Development, Behavioral Health Network Development, and Housing Stability.

We are excited to announce a funding opportunity in the form of a Request for Proposals (RFP). GOBHI has dedicated $200,000 to fund projects related to network development, and welcomes proposals from eligible providers addressing one or more of the following areas:

  • Strategies or initiatives that increase EOCCO Member access to services;

  • Initiation and/or expansion of Culturally and Linguistically Specific Services (CLSS) and/or providers;

  • Initiation and/or expansion of programs/providers of Substance Use Disorder (SUD) services for adolescents and/or the LGBTQIA2S+ population; and

  • Initiation and/or expansion of programs/providers of dyadic services for zero to five year olds.

Requests for Grant Applications will be announced on a rolling quarterly basis from now until August 2023. Look for the first announcement coming in February on our news page.


Early & Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT)

EPSDT is a benefit that provides comprehensive and preventive health care services for children and youth under age 21 who are enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP).

Early: Assessing and identifying problems early

Periodic: Checking children’s health at periodic, age-appropriate intervals

Screening: Providing physical, mental, developmental, dental, hearing, vision and other screening tests to detect potential problems

Diagnostic: Performing diagnostic tests to follow up when a risk is identified and

Treatment: Control, correct or ameliorate (make more tolerable) health problems found.

EPSDT’s goal is to ensure individual children on Medicaid get the health care they need when they need it – the right care to the right child at the right time in the right setting. These benefits include comprehensive preventive health care services from birth until they turn age 21, such as:

  • Age-appropriate medical exams, screening and diagnostic services and

  • Medically necessary Medicaid-covered services (defined in Section 1905 (a) of the Social Security Act) to treat any physical, dental, developmental and mental health conditions discovered.

Covering EPSDT services for children from birth until their 21st birthday will increase access to the full breadth of preventive, developmental, dental, mental health, and specialty services so that Oregon’s children and youth are supported holistically in their education, growth, development, and health.

Beginning January 1, 2023, OHP must cover any medically necessary and medically appropriate services for enrolled children and youth until their 21st birthday, regardless of:

  • The location of the diagnosis on the Prioritized List of Health Services.

  • Whether it pairs or is a non-pairing service.

  • Whether it is a historically non-covered ancillary service.

  • Whether it is covered under the State Plan.

The Prioritized List remains a guidance tool for identifying services that may require documentation of medical necessity and medical appropriateness (and dental appropriateness, if applicable) for members under age 21. The Prioritized List cannot, however, be used as the basis for denying services under EPSDT. It is important that providers:

  • Do not refuse to render service or refer care based on Prioritized List placement, and

  • Know that medically necessary and medically appropriate services must be covered, regardless of pre-set limits or guidelines.

Materials and additional information are posted to OHA’s EPSDT webpage at


EOCCO SHARE funding recipients announced

Eastern Oregon Coordinated Care Organization (EOCCO) has consistently reinvested in programs and initiatives to support the health and wellbeing of Eastern Oregon Communities. The Supporting Health for All through REinvestment (SHARE) Initiative aims to address social determinants of health while improving housing in Eastern Oregon. We are excited to announce the following SHARE recipients, totaling to $1.5 million in funding.

Community Counseling Solutions

Columbia River Bunkhouse (Morrow County)

This project will assist in the renovation of a 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom transitional living house. CCS will also provide care services at 3 hours/week, to assist with grocery shopping, education and management and other needs as well as provide referrals for higher level care.

Northeast Oregon Compassion Center

Compassion Center Assistance Program (Baker County)

This project aims to provide access to computers for telehealth and education for women and children who reside in this center and may be struggling with substance use, mental health, domestic violence, houselessness and criminality.

Eastern Oregon Center for Independent Living (EOCIL)

Cultivate Emergency & Transitional Housing Project - buildout/remodel (Malheur County)

Supports renovations to build seven units for low-barrier housing for up to 26 EOCCO members living with HIV in Ontario. The core components of the projects include outreach and enrollment in services (EOCCO), move-in and rental assistance, and resource connection.

Northeast Oregon Network on Behalf of Housing Matters Union County

From Houseless to Housed: A Pathway to Community Health (Union County)

Northeast Oregon Network and Housing Matters Union County will establish a new long-term location for a new warming station, develop a year-round resource center, establish a land trust to serve 9 of 13 EOCCO counties, provide homeownership trainings, develop 2 single family dwellings for permanent affordable housing, and support two families to own the land trust.

Pendleton Children’s Center

Childcare Center Building Project (Umatilla County)

This project will use funding to help construct a new childcare and early learning hub in Pendleton. The funds will be used to fund an indoor play area, ADA accessible restroom, a new kitchen and breakroom.

Eastern Oregon University Head Start

Expanding and Enhancing Early Childhood Services (Union County)

Supports the construction of 3 age-inclusive playgrounds, implements an ADA accessible bathroom at the EOUHS Odyssey location, a social-emotional engagement plan, a kitchen remodel, and purchase of a hybrid vehicle to deliver healthy foods.

Oregon State University

Food Hero Cooking Kit Program (Morrow & Umatilla Counties)

Reduce food insecurity across Morrow and Umatilla counties through food education and budget friendly recipes using their Food Hero program.

Take Root Parenting Connection

Take Root Parenting Connection Services (Lake County)

Provide trainings and parent-connection over topics such as social-behavioral regulation, k-readiness and more. Funding will support 12 parent-centered workshops per year (20 participant maximum) and 6 group series in 2024 and 2025.

Grant County CyberMill

Grant County CyberMill (Grant County, John Day location)

This project aims to improve access to tele-behavioral health services and online educational opportunities by offering access to a free computer lab for John Day residents.

Dayville Fire Department

Dayville Fire Department Project (Grant County)

The Dayville Fire Department seeks to upgrade and replace fire and safety equipment.


Project ECHO groups

With the passing of House Bill 2086 (2021), Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has been making changes to close the gap in providing integrated Co-occurring Disorder services. In order to meet the needs of Oregon Health Plan members (Medicaid), OHA is offering:

Project ECHO Groups

  • Information on Program Application and Approval Process. (The application will be available as an active webform once the OAR 309-019-0145 is finalized.)

  • A Program Development Snapshot Tool

  • Links to DDCAT and DDCMHT Tools

  • Link to free training for Integrated Co-Occurring Disorders Problem Gambling Specialists

  • Billing Guide for Fee for Service and CCO’s

This information can be accessed through:


SUD Waiver reminder

Background: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) approved Oregon’s Substance Use Disorder 1115 Demonstration waiver, effective April 8, 2021, through March 31, 2026. This SUD specific waiver helps build a full continuum of care for Medicaid members with substance use disorders. The following is part of a series of updates from GOBHI helping to keep you informed about the waiver and its related requirements.

  • As Of Jan. 1, 2022 OHA has opened up several new SUD reimbursement codes. OHA has updated the Medicaid Management Information System (MMIS) with these changes. Providers can now bill for these new rates and services for dates on or after Jan. 1, 2022.

  • Please refer to the CMS approval letter:

For more information, visit our SUD 1115 Waiver Website, which is updated on an ongoing basis. For questions, contact Michelle Brandsma at GOBHI,


QPR Training series

The GOBHI Older Adult Behavioral Health Initiative team is providing a QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) Suicide Prevention Workforce Training series.

QPR is an evidence-based suicide prevention training. After participating in this training, you will learn strategies to: recognize the warning signs of suicide; talk with someone who may be at risk for suicide and persuade them to get help; refer at-risk individuals to appropriate resources for help. Click here to register.

This training will be offered virtually several times in 2023, from 12pm - 1pm PT on the following dates:

  • General Workforce training: March 7, May 23, August 24

  • Older Adult Workforce training: May 2, September 14

  • Veteran Workforce training: November 9


Program highlight - Foster Care

Foster homes for youth are greatly needed in Eastern Oregon!

The GOBHI Therapeutic Foster Care program provides full-time/part-time services and care to youth in foster homes with foster parents certified and trained by GOBHI. Youth are involved with the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS), Child Welfare Division.

Please visit our website to learn more about the program and how you can help by sharing information, promoting the importance of foster care, and referring individuals who are able to support this critical effort.

Help us build a network of caring homes to support youth across our state. For more information about referral incentives and how you can support foster home recruitment efforts, see this flier or contact a member of our Foster Care Team.


Questions? Topics?

Invitation: County Highlights

This newsletter is published during the last week of each month.

One of our ongoing sections is a “spotlight” of each county. Each month, we invite updates from the 12 counties in our service area. We invite content from you for this section: 3-4 sentences (or ~150-300 words) about news in your county, such as staff, building, and success story content. Please contact Pat Mulvihill to sign up for one of the 12 months. Aside from sign-ups, we will reach out to you to help gather the content. Thank you for your support.

Submission due dates for comments and submitted write-ups: the second Friday of each month, at 4 p.m. Next due date is Feb. 10.

Helpful Links:


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