New Mexico Medicaid to Offer Mobile Crisis Intervention Teams

Feb. 9, 2024
State is 15th to win CMS approval to provide Medicaid services through mobile crisis teams by connecting individuals in crisis to a behavioral health provider 24 hours per day, 365 days a year

New Mexico is the latest state to get approval from Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to provide community-based mobile crisis intervention teams. With this approval, the state will be able to provide Medicaid services through mobile crisis teams by connecting eligible individuals in crisis to a behavioral health provider 24 hours per day, 365 days a year. 

CMS noted that providing fast, appropriate care to someone in crisis saves lives while reducing the need for costly inpatient services later. New Mexico’s new mobile crisis intervention program expands access to behavioral health professionals for someone in crisis. New Mexico’s state plan amendment adds mobile crisis response and crisis planning, facilitation of in-person handoffs between healthcare team members, referrals to ongoing supports, and follow-up check-ins for individuals experiencing a mental health or substance use disorder crisis. 

“We are excited to roll out community-based mobile crisis intervention teams in New Mexico. This significant milestone demonstrates New Mexico’s unwavering commitment to expanding access to crucial mental health and substance use crisis care,” said Kari Armijo, cabinet secretary for the New Mexico Human Services Department, in a statement. “The deployment of this innovative approach will enable us to better serve New Mexicans in crisis, ensuring that they receive the timely and comprehensive support they require. We are committed to leveraging these resources to bolster our state’s behavioral health care landscape and to continue working toward a healthier and more resilient community for all.” 

Through this approval, New Mexico becomes the 15th state to leverage resources allocated by the federal American Rescue Plan Act in furthering access to community-based behavioral health services. Then other states are Alabama, California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Montana, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. 

The approved proposal enables the state to design a system to ensure Medicaid customers are seamlessly connected to mobile crisis teams, comprised of trained behavioral health professionals and paraprofessionals, who provide rapid response, assessment, stabilization, and de-escalation in local communities. 

“Today, New Mexico is joining 14 other states in taking an important step forward in making help accessible to those in behavioral health crises when they most need these services,” said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, in a statement. “We applaud New Mexico for saving lives by meeting people where they are.”

New Mexico’s approval also includes five evidence-based services aimed at expanding children’s behavioral health services: 
• Enhanced rates for Multi-Systemic Therapy (MST) 
• Functional Family Therapy (FFT)
• Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
• Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
• Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)


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