CSAC Bulletin Article

DHCS Submits Request for Federal Approval of Section 1115 Demonstration

October 26, 2023

On October 20, the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) submitted to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) a new Section 1115 demonstration request, entitled the California Behavioral Health Community-Based Organized Networks of Equitable Care and Treatment (BH-CONNECT) demonstration and a proposed amendment to the California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal (CalAIM) Section 1115 demonstration related to transitional rent services.


The BH-CONNECT demonstration builds on investments and policy changes currently underway in California that are designed to expand access to community-based behavioral health care and improve outcomes for Medi-Cal members living with the most significant behavioral health needs.

The BH-CONNECT demonstration seeks to standardize and scale evidence-based models so Medi-Cal members with the greatest needs receive upstream, field-based care delivered in the community; avoid unnecessary emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and stays in inpatient and residential facilities; reduce involvement with the justice system; and report improved status.

To achieve these goals, the BH-CONNECT demonstration includes some components that will be implemented on a statewide basis and other components that will be implemented on a county opt-in basis that are subject to specified requirements.

CalAIM Transitional Rent Amendment

DHCS is seeking an amendment to the CalAIM Section 1115 demonstration to provide up to six months of transitional rent services to eligible individuals who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and transitioning out of institutional levels of care, congregate residential settings, correctional facilities, the child welfare system, recuperative care facilities, short-term post-hospitalization housing, transitional housing, homeless shelters or interim housing, as well as those who meet the criteria for unsheltered homelessness or for a Full Service Partnership (FSP) program.

Transitional rent services will be available for a period of no more than six months; must be cost-effective; and will be provided only if it is determined to be medically appropriate using clinical and other health-related social needs criteria. Transitional rent services will be voluntary for Medi-Cal managed care plans to offer and for Medi-Cal members to use.

More information is available on the DHCS BH-CONNECT webpage and DHCS CalAIM 1115 Demonstration & 1915(b) Waiver webpage.

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