NYAPRS Note: Please see below information about a funding opportunity for State Peer Awards for Health Care Reform Education through SAMHSA’s Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy (BRSS TACS) project. A copy of the Request for Applications (RFA) can be found at http://brsstacs.center4si.com/State_Peer_Awards.doc.
Applications are due by 5pm EST on February 29.
These grants are for peer organizations in the 29 states that have HHS Health Insurance Exchange Establishment Grants as follows: Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia.
Dear Peer-Run Organization:
Please find attached a letter (http://brsstacs.center4si.com/State_Peer_Awards.doc) announcing the opportunity to apply for a contract subaward under SAMHSA’s Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy (BRSS TACS) initiative.
The BRSS TACS State Peer Awards for Health Care Reform Education will enable peer-run organizations in the 29 States with HHS Health Insurance Exchange Establishment Grants to undertake outreach and dissemination efforts to educate people in recovery from behavioral health conditions (i.e., mental health and/or substance use disorders) and service providers about health care reforms initiated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010.
Information about the BRSS TACS State Peer Awards for Health Care Reform Education application, expectations of awardees, and activities, may be found at the following address – http://brsstacs.center4si.com/State_Peer_Awards.doc.
Questions about the Request for Application (RFA) must be submitted by February 24, 2012 to Rebecca Stouff, by electronic mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by U.S. mail to Rebecca Stouff, Center for Social Innovation, 200 Reservoir Street, Suite 202, Needham, MA 02494.
Questions about BRSS TACS may be directed to the SAMHSA Project Officers, Catherine Nugent, at email@example.com or 240-276-1577 or Kevin Malone at firstname.lastname@example.org or 240.276.2239.
Excerpts from Request for Applications
Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy (BRSS TACS), a Project of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
Request for Applications
2012 State Peer Awards for Health Care Reform Education
Optional Letter of Intent: February 15, 2012 5:00 pm EST
Complete Application: February 29, 2012 5:00 pm EST
February 2, 2012
February 15, 2012
Written intent to apply (optional)
February 16, 2012
Application period opens
February 29, 2012
Applications must be received by 5:00 pm Eastern Standard Time
March 19, 2012
April 1 – October 1, 2012
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy (BRSS TACS) is accepting applications for 2012 BRSS TACS State Peer Awards for Health Care Reform Education. BRSS TACS is operated by contract with The Center for Social Innovation.
The purpose of the BRSS TACS State Peer Awards for Health Care Reform Education is to enable peer-run organizations in the 29 States with HHS Health Insurance Exchange Establishment Grants (see Appendix 1) to undertake outreach and dissemination efforts to educate people in recovery from behavioral health conditions (i.e., mental health and/or substance use disorders) and service providers about health care reform initiated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010. Health Insurance Exchanges (or “Affordable Insurance Exchanges”) will provide individuals and small businesses with a “one-stop shop” to find and compare affordable, quality health insurance options. Health Insurance Exchange Establishment Grants help States continue their work to implement this key provision of the Affordable Care Act.
This Request for Applications (RFA) invites peer-run organizations/recovery community organizations in States with Establishment Grants to propose activities that develop learning networks that build the capacity of peer organizations to increase public awareness about ACA programs, understand the services offered through the Affordable Insurance Exchanges and the Medicaid benchmark plan, begin to develop strategies for providing outreach and enrollment assistance, and readiness to participate in Exchange Navigator programs.
Education activities undertaken by awardees must be tailored to specific audiences and address changes in services, eligibility, and enrollment prompted by health care reform. Successful applicants will receive subcontract awards in the amount of $25,000 from the Center for Social Innovation. SAMHSA intends to fund eight BRSS TACS State Peer Awards for Health Care Reform Education in 2012.
Technical assistance (TA) and training will be provided to grantees, and will include information about coverage of mental health and substance use disorder (MH/SUD) services in the Affordable Insurance Exchange and the Medicaid program, changes in eligibility criteria and enrollment procedures, and facilitation of contacts with key individuals in grantee’s State Medicaid, CHIP, Affordable Insurance Exchange, Department of Insurance, and other key State agency and other programs. Ongoing TA will include consultation sessions, training, webinars, and an online learning community to support organizations as they implement their projects throughout the award period.
About BRSS TACS
In 2011, SAMHSA funded BRSS TACS to promote the widespread adoption of recovery concepts and practices throughout the U.S. BRSS TACS serves as a coordinated effort to facilitate the adoption and implementation of recovery concepts, policies, practices, and services, leveraging previous and current accomplishments by SAMHSA and others in the behavioral health field.
Bringing recovery supports and services to scale requires the participation of peer-led organization across the country in developing and implementing new approaches to policy development, funding, infrastructure, service design and delivery, and workforce development. The purpose of the BRSS TACS State Peer Awards for Health Care Reform Education is to enable peer-run organizations in the 29 States with HHS Health Insurance Exchange Establishment Grants undertake outreach and dissemination efforts to educate people in recovery from behavioral health conditions (i.e., mental health and/or substance use disorders) and service providers about health care reform initiated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010.
About the 2012 BRSS TACS State Peer Awards for Health Care Reform Education
In anticipation of the implementation of the ACA’s provisions, SAMHSA included Health Reform as one of eight Strategic Initiatives outlined in Leading Change: A Plan for SAMHSA’s Roles and Actions 2011–2014. SAMHSA’s activities under this initiative include providing recommendations to key policy makers regarding mental health and substance abuse services that should be included in the essential health benefit. Other activities include enrollment marketing for 18-25 year old men, innovative eligibility re-determination strategies for populations at high risk for churn, enrollment assistance best practices technical assistance, and provider-assisted enrollment best practices. The BRSS TACS State Peer Awards for Health Care Reform Education are intended to expand this initiative by enabling peer-run organizations/recovery community organizations to increase literacy about the ACA among providers and people in recovery from behavioral health conditions.
SAMHSA supports a prominent role for peer-run organizations/recovery community organizations in the new health care environment. For instance, these organizations can play a vital role in educating their constituents and others regarding the Essential Health Benefits offered in their State. As indicated in the HHS December Bulletin, States will have the opportunity to select among a variety of commercial insurance products within their State or the federal Employee’s Health Plan to determine Essential Health Benefits. To assist their constituents and collaborators in understanding the effect these determinations have on behavioral health services, peer-run organizations/recovery community organizations will need to:
- Understand the different types of insurance products (federal employee, state employee, large HMO and small plans).
- Understand the MH/SUD coverage that is offered under the different types of insurance products within their State.
- Work with their State mental health and/or substance abuse director as they analyze their options for their States.
- Use available information to educate constituents and others regarding the different options in their State regarding coverage of mental health and substance use services in publicly funded insurance plans.
In anticipation of the expansions in eligibility for Medicaid and the Affordable Insurance Exchanges, changes in eligibility determination, enrollment, and redetermination systems, and the development of new community-based enrollment assistance programs, peer-run organizations/recovery community organizations can help people with behavioral health conditions learn about health care coverage. Peer-run organizations/recovery community organizations are especially well positioned to pursue these activities because of their expertise in State health care programs; awareness of cultural, linguistic, and geographic needs of their constituencies; and experience working with low-income and marginalized groups. Peer-run organizations/recovery community organizations are also well suited to form alliances with other peer-run and non-peer run organizations so that an efficient and effective network exists for sharing information and knowledge about the ACA implementation in their State. In developing proposals, applicants should consider the collaborative infrastructure and knowledge they already have in place to support outreach strategies and provide education resources for people with behavioral health conditions or in recovery from mental and substance use disorders.
SAMHSA’s goal for the BRSS TACS State Peer Awards for Health Care Reform Education is to develop learning networks that build the capacity of peer organizations to increase public awareness about the ACA programs, especially coverage of services for mental and substance use disorders under the Essential Health Benefits as well as how to provide outreach and enrollment assistance.
SAMHSA recognizes that every State is different. Therefore, applicants should propose activities that are responsive to the context in which they operate. Applicants will find it helpful to review the demographic and health coverage information contained in their State’s Health Insurance Exchange Establishment Grant application. Contextual factors include:
- Service Coverage: the various options that a State will need to choose from in selecting coverage among Qualified Health Plans.
- Service Needs: the MH/SUD services that individuals who are uninsured may typically need to address their recovery.
- Eligibility: the current eligibility criteria for enrollment in State Medicaid/CHIP plans.
- Demographics: the numbers of enrolled and un-enrolled eligible individuals in racial and ethnic minority groups within a designated geographic area.
- Prevalence: The prevalence of substance use and/or mental disorders among the uninsured population within a designated geographic area (e.g., people with mental or substance use conditions; people with co-occurring disorders).
- Enrollment Systems: the current status of enrollment and recertification systems, and projected status for 2014 when the ACA fully goes into effect.
- Outreach and Public Literacy: history of efforts to inform and educate people in or seeking recovery from behavioral health conditions, and their support networks, including family members, allies and service providers, on health care reform implementation efforts.
Proposals should include a detailed plan for activities that address the project’s goals in light of specific contextual factors in their State. Some examples might include:
- Applicants could propose how they will work closely with other organizations to understand the coverage of MH/SUD services in Qualified Health Plans and the expanded Medicaid program.
- For a State with many uninsured people with mental and/or substance use disorders, activities may be focused on outreach and engagement aimed at educating eligible people about health care reform and the effect of ACA on their eligibility for Medicaid.
- For a State with significant number of individuals experiencing churn among the eligible population, activities may be focused on helping clients track eligibility status, complete necessary re-determination documents in a timely manner, and maintain continuous coverage.
- Applicants could identify and promote communication or public education products that link high-risk populations with health insurance benefits or educate people about resources that may be available to them as a result of the ACA.
Activities should be innovative and focus on the needs of people in recovery from mental and substance use disorders. In addition, awardees should educate and disseminate information in ways that are easily accessible to people with behavioral health conditions and their support networks including family members. Applications should also include outcomes for proposed activities, along with an evaluation plan to determine whether and how those outcomes are achieved. In all cases, applicants should consider how their proposed activities align with SAMHSA’s Strategic Initiatives (Health Reform and Recovery Support), Working Definition of Recovery, and Guiding Principles of Recovery.
[i] The National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors and the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors are currently working with each State to analyze the benchmark options proposed in the December HHS Bulletin.