Behavioral Health Crisis Response: Findings from a Survey of State Medicaid Programs

Crisis behavioral health services provide access to trained mental health professionals for individuals experiencing mental health or substance use emergencies–an alternative to emergency departments and law enforcement. About three-quarters of responding state Medicaid programs do not cover all three core crisis services for FFS adults, but most states cover at least one core behavioral health crisis service. As crisis response systems continue to grow and expand, states are navigating a variety of concerns—including workforce shortages, training needs, geographic challenges, and uncertainty about sustainable funding.