Adult Behavioral Health Workforce

Supporting and building the HCBS workforce is a cornerstone of Rhode Island’s Covid-19 pandemic recovery strategy.  The support that direct care workers and licensed health professionals provide to Medicaid enrollees who have physical or behavioral support needs helps to promote individual wellness and self-determination, allowing enrollees the choice to remain in their homes and communities and avoid unnecessary acute care or facility-based care.  The pandemic has exacerbated challenges in meeting consumer demand for HCBS services due to workforce shortages.

Rhode Island EOHHS will invest approximately $15M in recruitment and retention for adult behavioral health programs through the following mechanisms:

  1. Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs), Community Mental Health Organizations (CMHOs), and Certified Peer Recovery Providers:  Significant temporary fee for service rate increases for qualifying services from December 1, 2021 through March 31, 2022 to improve HCBS workforce recruitment and retention, and will have between December 1, 2021 and March 31, 2023 to expend the funds. 

  2. Substance Use Residential Rehab and Detoxification Programs, and Opioid Treatment Programs (OTP):  State directed payment for eligible service codes, paid as a rate enhancement flowing through managed care organizations (MCOs) to BHDDH Provider Agencies.  The operational details of the state directed payment (timing, etc.) are in development and subject to CMS approval.  EOHHS anticipates that the BHDDH Provider Agencies will have between December 1, 2021 and March 31, 2023 to expend the funds.