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DBHDS Awards Virginia Community Service Boards Same Day Access Funds

May 1, 2017 | Richmond, VA
Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) Interim Commissioner Jack Barber, M.D., today announced the first community services boards (CSBs) to receive funding to implement Same Day Access under the recent requirements and funds passed by the 2017 General Assembly. 

Same Day Access is a program that allows a person who calls or appears at a CSB to be assessed that same day instead of potentially waiting weeks for a mental health appointment.  Based on that assessment, the person is then scheduled for appropriate initial treatment within ten days. This best practice virtually eliminates “no show” appointments, increases adherence to follow-up appointments, reduces the wait time for appointments, and makes more cost-effective use of staff resources. 

Funding allocated last Session will allow up to 18 CSBs to implement Same Day Access, with the remaining CSBs to be funded next year.  The following CSBs will be the first to receive their allocations on July 1, 2017:

  • Alleghany Highlands Community Services Board – Covington, Virginia
  • Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare – Roanoke, Virginia 
  • Chesterfield Community Services Board – Chesterfield, Virginia
  • Harrisonburg Rockingham Community Services Board – Harrisonburg, Virginia 
  • Henrico Area Mental Health and Developmental Services – Glen Allen, Virginia
  • Mount Rogers Community Services Board – Wytheville, Virginia 
  • Rappahannock-Rapidan Community Services Board – Culpeper, Virginia 
  • Valley Community Services Board – Staunton, Virginia 

These eight CSBs were chosen to be the first recipients of the funding because they have already implemented a version of Same Day Access or are diligently working towards implementation. Also using the first year funding, another ten CSBs will be awarded funds in the coming months that have either taken some initial steps to implement Same Day Access or were a part of a 2015-2016 federal grant process that planned for developing specific best practice services, including Same Day Access. It is anticipated that funds for the remaining 22 of Virginia’s total 40 CSBs will be provided by the General Assembly next year. 

“Same Day Access is the best lever to begin shifting care away from crisis response when individuals are more at risk to themselves and to others and towards preventative care when symptoms are more manageable,” said Dr. Barber. “Once all 40 CSBs have implemented Same Day Access using the same processes and tools, this program will be available to citizens consistently across every Virginia community and will be one of the most significant improvements for mental health services in Virginia’s recent history.” 

The 2017 General Assembly provided $4.9 million for an initial group of CSBs to implement Same Day Access.

It also provided $4 million to support the expansion of the Governor’s Access Plan or “GAP,” increasing eligibility from 80 to 100 percent of poverty, which should help to offset the need for additional general fund support to CSBs for Same Day Access. Exact amounts for each CSB have not yet been determined but this first group of eight will be able to access their new funding on July 1, 2017 with the start of the new fiscal year.

Same Day Access is the first step in DBHDS’ System Transformation Excellence and Performance (STEP-VA), an innovative initiative for individuals with behavioral health disorders featuring a uniform set of required services, consistent quality measures, and improved oversight in all Virginia communities. The next phases of STEP-VA include completing the work required for all of Virginia’s CSBs to implement Same Day Access, the installment of primary care screening and tight linkages to medical providers in all CSBs, addressing existing gaps in outpatient services, including medication assisted treatment for substance use disorders, and improving targeted case management services for children.  

Virginia has 40 locally-run community services boards (CSBs) that provide public services including mental health, substance-use disorder and developmental disability services.