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N.M. Delegation Announces State’s Selection for National Medicaid Demonstration Program

New Mexico will receive new resources to expand access to mental health and substance use services as one of 10 states selected for program

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) and U.S. Representatives Teresa Leger Fernández (D-N.M.), Melanie Stansbury (D-N.M.), and Gabe Vasquez (D-N.M.) are welcoming the U.S. Department Health and Human Services’ (HHS) selection of New Mexico into the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) Medicaid Demonstration Program. The program provides states with funding to expand access to mental health care and substance use services. 

The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, legislation negotiated and championed by Senator Heinrich, gave HHS the authority to add New Mexico, one of the first 10 states, into the CCBHC Medicaid Demonstration Program. 

“The mental health and substance use crisis in New Mexico demands action now,” said Heinrich. “As one of the lead negotiators of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, I am so proud to have secured New Mexico’s entry into this program. This will give more New Mexicans access to the mental health care and substance use treatment they need to live healthy and happy lives in their communities.”

“Mental health challenges and substance use disorder impact far too many New Mexicans and Americans across the country. We must continue to find ways to get people the treatment they require to recover and live full, happy lives,” said Luján. “That's why I helped pass the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act that created the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics. I’m proud to welcome this critical investment from the Biden administration to help expand access to mental health and substance use treatment, ensuring New Mexicans have better access to life-saving care and resources.”

“To live a healthy life, we must take care of the mind, body, and soul. I voted for the Safer Communities Act, which funds this program coming to New Mexico, to bring much needed mental health and rehabilitation resources to rural states like New Mexico,” said Leger Fernández. “The Biden Administration continues to show its commitment to the wellbeing of communities at home and across the country. Everyone deserves access to quality affordable healthcare, regardless of their zip code.”

"Everyone who needs mental health services should have easy access to these life-saving resources," said Stansbury. "Rural communities in New Mexico, like those in my district, must not be forgotten, and the Biden Administration is ensuring people living outside of our city centers receive the services they need. Wide-reaching programs are critical for helping those experiencing homelessness and substance abuse in our state."

"Mental health services should be available to everyone, that's why I’m proud to have requested funding for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics during the Appropriations process. And now, I’m excited to announce that their Medicaid Demonstration Program is expanding to New Mexico,” said Vasquez. “Our rural communities are severely impacted by the mental health crisis and are the most in need of this support. This program will provide critical, timely services to ensure that all New Mexicans have access to quality care and will help bring us one step closer to ending homelessness and substance abuse epidemics in our state.”

New Mexico successfully developed the necessary state-level infrastructure and programs that meet CCBHC standards. In the FY23 Appropriations Bills, Heinrich, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, secured a $450,000 Congressionally Directed Spending (CDS) grant for Family and Youth Innovations Plus (FYI+) in Las Cruces to become the first CCBHC in New Mexico– which was instrumental in helping New Mexico eventually qualify for the CCBHC Medicaid Demonstration Program. 

CCBHCs have been shown to reduce homelessness and substance use among the people they serve and decrease use of emergency rooms and hospitalization.

For more information on this CCBHC Medicaid Demonstration Program expansion, click here


Heinrich has been committed to ensuring New Mexicans have access to comprehensive mental health care and substance use treatment. 

In the FY24 Appropriations Bills, Heinrich secured new language directing the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to further remove barriers to access for opioid use disorder medications—like buprenorphine. This came after Heinrich led a bipartisan group of senators to call on the DEA to remove barriers to buprenorphine. The push was in response to prescribers and patients in New Mexico and nationwide reporting difficulty filling buprenorphine prescriptions, despite recent passage of the Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment (MAT) Act in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023, which increased the number of medical professionals authorized to prescribe buprenorphine.

In June 2023, Heinrich led the introduction of the bipartisan Mental Health Workforce and Language Access Act of 2023, legislation to ensure community health centers have the resources to hire skilled clinicians with the knowledge to treat individuals fluent in a language other than English.

In May 2023, Heinrich cosponsored the Pursuing Equity in Mental Health Act to address growing issues of suicide and mental health facing young people, particularly in socially and economically disadvantaged communities.

In March 2023, Heinrich co-led the introduction of the Bipartisan Increasing Mental Health Options Act, which would update the Medicare program to ensure Medicare beneficiaries can access clinical psychologists directly for mental health services.

Heinrich is also a cosponsor of the Mental Health for Latinos Act, legislation that recognizes the unique mental health challenges of the Latino community, aiming to reduce cultural stigma and rectify the health care disparities that prevent people from receiving life-saving mental health services.

Additionally, Heinrich joined over 100 Democratic Senate and House members toreintroduce the bicameral Comprehensive Addiction Resources Emergency (CARE) Act, to fight the substance use disorder crisis. The CARE Act would provide state and local governments with $125 billion in federal funding over ten years, including nearly $1 billion per year directly to Tribal governments and organizations.