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GOBHI Providers Behavioral Health Newsletter July 2023

Update From The CEO

Picture of Karen Wheeler, GOBHI CEO

Greetings, providers,

I hope you had a fantastic July.

Summer is an eventful season. Our teams have been out in the community at many events, such as Pride, Breaking the Stigma, and community fairs. We have enjoyed connecting with community partners and the broader public. GOBHI is also holding its in-person all-staff retreat in The Dalles during the first week of August. We are excited for our staff to connect in person for shared learning experiences and personal connection.

This year’s legislative session brought exciting investments to the behavioral health system. After years of chronic underfunding, these recent strides are allowing us to change the conversation toward bolstering critical services and ensuring financial stability. While not the end of the issue, these legislative successes have certainly reenergized the outlook for behavioral health services.

GOBHI released its 2022 annual report last week. Please give it a read and consider sharing with your partners. A link to the full report may be found later in this newsletter. The report is a high quality publication that explains what GOBHI does, highlights programs and key data, educates the community, offers transparency, and advocates for the importance of behavioral health care and social services.

In closing, thank you for your steadfast efforts and commitment to serving the behavioral health and social service needs of community members in Eastern Oregon.


Karen Wheeler, MA CEO, GOBHI / Behavioral Health Director and Tribal Liaison, EOCCO


BH Legislative Update

*The following is a condensed version of a legislative recap provided by GOBHI’s contracted lobbyist/counsel, Anna Braun.

2023 Legislative Report

BH Bills that Passed:

  • HB 2757, Expands and provides funding for coordinated crisis services system including 9-8-8 suicide prevention and behavioral health crisis hotline.

  • HB 2446 Procurement bill. Extends contracts between CCOs and OHA to December 31, 2026.

  • HB 2513, Amends Measure 110 program – GOBHI participated in the M 110 work group on this bill and submitted testimony in support but encouraged amendments to the bill to explicitly require coordination with CCOs and other entities.

  • HB 2235 Workforce recruitment and retention work groups. Originally this bill, proposed by AFCSME, was going to mandate caseload ratios. It is now a OHA work group in the interim and CCOs have two seats at the table. The bill states that on or before January 15, 2025, OHA must report initial recommendations to the interim Joint Committee on Ways and Means Human Services Subcommittee to inform OHA’s budget for the 2025-27 biennium.

  • HB 2045 Requires health care providers to annually report aggregate frontline worker pay.

  • HB 2048 Directs the Health Licensing Office to issue provisional registration to applicants for behavioral health analysis interventionists.

  • HB 2421 Directs Health Licensing Office to establish guidelines for behavioral health analysis interventionists.

  • HB 3610 Alcohol and drug pricing and addiction services task force. (CCO’s have a seat)

  • HB 3396 Task Force on hospital discharge challenges. Rural hospitals and residential providers have a seat.

  • SB 901 DHS authority for child abuse investigative subpoenas. Senator Gelser Blouin.

  • SB 966 OHA data collection for all claims database. REALD and SOGI. OHA clean up bill.

  • SB 1024 Use of restraints for children in care. Senator Gelser Blouin.

  • SB 1043 Naloxone bill – substance use facilities and hospitals must supply two doses at discharge

  • SB 5525 OHA budget- See details below.

BH Bills that died:

  • HB 2506 – Behavioral health super siting bill

  • SB 624 / HB 2462 Establishes certified community behavioral health clinic program. This bill did not pass but funding for beginning this program is in the OHA budget bill.

  • HB 2544, Increases statewide capacity of licensed residential facilities serving individuals with substance use disorders or mental health concerns.

  • HB 3126, Establishes Emergency BH Services for Children program at OHA.

  • HB 2463/SB 620 Reduce administrative burden. Although the bill is dead, OHA has stated it is working on addressing administrative burden in the interim.

  • HB 1044 The Governor’s Behavioral Health Funding Bill

  • HB 2976 Established Oregon Distilled Spirits Board.

  • SB 823 Child abuse reports.

  • SB 219 and SB 1097 Aid and Assist, addressing mandated population liability (including aid and assist).

  • HB 3205 Pay equity bonus bill.


Rate increases

  • $146 million for behavioral health rate increases.

  • Package 081: Roll up of the 30% behavioral health rates approved in 2021.

988 Crisis

Package 404: 988 Behavioral Health Crisis System:

  • $39.6 million General Fund for call line.

    • $16.9 million General Fund and $24.6 million Federal Funds to support anticipated Medicaid costs for rolling out mobile crisis response teams statewide.

  • Package 429: 988: / Behavioral Health Crisis Payer Parity Provides $191,854 General Fund

Behavioral Health housing investments

Package 801: LFO Analyst Adjustments

  • The carryover of previously approved investments includes an increase of:

    • $19,233,538 Federal Funds to reflect the carryover of one-time America Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to enhance OHA’s Home and Community Based Services, an increase of $20,000,000 million. Other Funds to carryover Lottery bond expenditure limitation for behavioral health housing development projects, and an increase of $51,188,348 General Fund and $29,941,402 Other Funds ARPA limitation to carry over behavioral health facility investments approved in 2021-23 but unlikely to be expended until 2023-25.

Behavioral Health Package

Package 803: Behavioral Health Package: Provides $37,100,000 General Fund and $46,000,000 Other Funds expenditure limitation to address behavioral health issues, including the following investments:

  • $6,000,000 General Fund for case management of patients exiting the Oregon State Hospital who are at risk of becoming houseless;

  • $7,000,000 General Fund to increase funding for community mental health program services related to civil commitments;

  • $15,000,000 General Fund to increase substance use disorder facilities for children and adults with substance use disorders;

  • $6,000,000 General Fund and $6,000,000 Other Funds to expand and diversify the behavioral health workforce through the Healthcare Provider Incentive Program;

  • $3,100,000 General Fund for programming to increase the child psychiatrist and developmental pediatrician workforces focused on children’s behavioral health needs; and

  • $40,000,000 Other Funds from opioid settlement proceeds fund the harm reduction clearinghouse, which provides naloxone and other harm reduction supplies to organizations in the community to reduce the risk of overdose.

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) shall continue to administer the certified community behavioral health clinic (CCBHC) demonstration program and submit a report concerning its administration.

SUD accreditation

OHA shall review the June 2021 recommendations of Substance Use Advisory body (2019) on accreditation of substance use treatment providers.

Measure 110

OHA shall make available through a public dashboard the revenues, actual expenditures, planned expenditures, and any balances, including reserves, in the Drug Treatment and Recovery Services Fund (DTRSF) for the current biennium.

IMPACTS grants

OHA’s budget includes funding for jail diversion programs that are designed to keep individuals with behavioral health needs out of the criminal justice system by supporting community-based mental health, substance use disorder (SUD), employment services, and housing services.

Budget Note: Jail Diversion and IMPACTS Grants

OHA and CJC shall collaborate on a report that clarifies the shared characteristics and unique elements of their respective programs, an overview of the budgets and funding structure for both, and recommendations for the most efficient way for Oregon to move forward with supporting community-based efforts to keep individuals with behavioral health and SUD challenges to stay out of the criminal justice system.

Budget Process Change

The Oregon Health Authority shall take steps to separate the Health Systems – Programs appropriation into Medicaid and non-Medicaid appropriations in the building of the 2025- 27 budget prior to the Governor’s 2025-27 budget recommendation.

Oregon State Hospital

The recommended total funds budget is 2.9 percent higher than the 2021-23 LAB as of December 2022. The General Fund budget increased 87.4 percent over the 2021-23 LAB as the result of one time federal ARPA funds being used to replace General Fund in OSH’s budget in 2021-23.

A number of policy concepts, ideas and fixes will be discussed in the interim prior to the next full legislative session in 2025. GOBHI will continue stay abreast of these conversations and work to promote the best interests from rural and frontier Oregon.


GOBHI Annual Report

GOBHI has just released its 2022 annual report. This publication shares an overview of GOBHI and details our impact in the diverse communities we serve. The report highlights our many initiatives and partnerships serving health and wellness in rural and frontier Oregon. We are thankful for our workgroup that allows us to create such a high quality publication in-house.

Please find the full report on our website.

Thank you for taking time in reviewing information about GOBHI. If you would like additional information, please do not hesitate to reach out to Pat Mulvihill,


988 Crisis Line Update

It has been nearly one year since the nationwide launch of the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. An OHA analysis showed that crisis call centers answered more than 53,000 calls, texts and chats between July 2022 and June 2023. Also, the federal government announced the addition of Spanish text and chat services. People who speak Spanish can now connect directly to Spanish-speaking crisis counselors by calling 988 and pressing option 2, texting “AYUDA” to 988 or chatting online at or

While this tool is just one piece of the behavioral health crisis services system, it is an important resource to be aware of, and the expansion of Spanish will be a benefit to our members in Eastern Oregon.


Network Development RFP

*GOBHI Network Development Request for Proposals – Please note the submission deadline for proposals is 9/30/23.

In 2021, GOBHI developed a Comprehensive Behavioral Health Plan (CBHP) that details projects and endeavors related to the EOCCO region. As part of this plan, GOBHI chose three priority areas to work on: Workforce Development, Behavioral Health Network Development, and Housing Stability.

GOBHI has dedicated funds to further the goal of expanding its behavioral health provider network in the EOCCO region. GOBHI welcomes proposals that will address one or more of the following areas related to network expansion.

For eligibility and application information, visit the GOBHI funding opportunities webpage for more information.

Upcoming dates:

● September 30, 2023: RFP Closure Date - Final Deadline for All Submissions.

● January 1, 2024: RFP Awardees Project Start Deadline


Member redetermination materials

EOCCO now has member-facing materials to help explain eligibility changes to Medicaid. Also known as the redetermination process, this refers to the post-COVID 19 Public Emergency changes happening to Medicaid eligibility. We are committed to ensuring as smooth of a transition for members as possible.

The key points:

  • What is Medicaid redetermination?

  • Medicaid redetermination is when the state of Oregon checks to see if members still qualify for Medicaid.

  • Before the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, this eligibility review would happen every year which is a process called redetermination. Redetermination was paused during the COVID-19 pandemic, and most people kept their Medicaid plan regardless of changes in employment or income. Oregon has restarted this process and is sending redetermination notices to everyone on Medicaid between April 2023 and January 2024. The intent is to help as many members keep their coverage as possible.

Please share the following Q&A with members who have questions about their eligibility.


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. Providers can 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,


Program update - 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.


BH Campaign


Questions? Topics?

Invitation: County Highlights

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

Have information to share? Submission due dates for comments and submitted write-ups: the second Friday of each month, at 4 p.m. Next due date is Aug. 11.

Helpful Links:


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