Behavioral Health Home (BHH) services - January 2020 newsletter

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Behavioral Health Home (BHH) services

Quarterly newsletter

January 2020

In this issue:

This newsletter has been sent to all authorized representatives on each BHH services team. Please forward to other BHH services staff at your organization.

Quarterly updates

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News, programmatic updates, and useful information.

State plan amendment update

The BHH services team is excited to announce that the state plan amendment (SPA) update has been approved and the changes to the BHH services statute are now effective. In spring 2019, the State Legislature approved changes to revise the statute authorizing behavioral health home (BHH) services. The changes became effective upon federal approval of the state plan amendment update, which the Department of Human Services (DHS) obtained from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on December 10, 2019. The SPA update included the legislative changes approved by the 2019 Minnesota Legislature to strengthen the framework of BHH services, to support the capacity of providers delivering BHH services and to increase access to services. We will email a detailed memo and crosswalk regarding these changes to BHH services providers in January 2020. For more information or a copy of this memo, please email Michaelyn Bruer at

The BHH services team is hosting a webinar at noon on Thursday, February 13, 2020, for providers to review the legislative changes and the services standards. To participate, please complete the online registration form.

Newly certified behavioral health home services providers

Nystrom & Associates, LTD. has expanded BHH services teams to their Eden Prairie and Baxter locations. Nystrom’s Eden Prairie team was certified to provide services on October 4, 2019, and their Baxter team was certified to provide BHH services on November 27, 2019. There are now a total of 37 locations certified to provide BHH services.

Quarterly BHH services tip

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Brief tips related to the provision of BHH services.

Notifying a managed care organization that services are beginning

Providers must submit the Notification of Eligibility for BHH Services form to a person’s managed care organization (MCO) at the time you begin providing BHH services. This helps to avoid issues with receipt of payment for providing BHH services. If a person who has been determined eligible for BHH services is enrolled in managed care, use this form to notify the person’s MCO that he or she is beginning BHH services. Fax a copy of the completed form to the person’s MCO within 30 days of intake.

MCO contact information

BHH services provider spotlight



Highlights from the front lines


Touchstone Mental Health: Inclusion efforts for the LGBTQIA+ community

Touchstone Mental Health staff have been expanding their efforts to better serve people who are part of the LGBTQIA+ community. Those efforts included a meeting with JustUs Health, which allowed Touchstone staff to receive an overview of JustUs Health services and to learn when a referral to JustUs may be in the best interest of someone they are serving. The meeting also gave Touchstone a chance to inform JustUs about their BHH services program. For information about JustUs Health please visit their website.

Touchstone has also been working hard on inclusion efforts related to their intake process and electronic health record. Touchstone’s Care Coordination Program Supervisor, Chris Hughes, summarized those efforts:

  • Inclusion of pronouns field which includes: He/Him/His, She/Her/Hers, They/Them/Theirs, Ze/Zir/Zirs.
  • Expansion of their optional “Gender Identification” field within an individual’s profile to include: Agender, Androgynous, Bigender, Demiboy, Demigirl, Female, Gender Fluid, Gender Nonconforming, Gender Queer, Gender Questioning, Male, Non-binary, Pangender, Third Gender, Transgender, Transsexual, Two Spirit.

Additionally, Touchstone staff are still considering the option of adding an optional field for sexual identity. It’s likely that the question related to this optional field will ask whether or not a person identifies as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community. Touchstone hopes to incorporate this question across their mental health programs once they solidify what they think is the best question to ask. They hope to have this in place in early 2020.

Chris also spoke to the overall implications of these changes. He said all of this has different implications at different programs and levels. From an administrative level, their development team has been seeing a progressive increase in grant opportunities that are tied to providing services to people of the LGBTQIA+ community. From a day-to-day programmatic level, he said it’s helpful to be able to identify people who might benefit from specific referrals or education (for example, to a place like JustUs Health). Additionally, for programs involving multiple staff working with a person, such as BHH services, it’s important to know, at minimum, which pronoun to use. Beyond that minimum, the information gives staff the knowledge to be more intentional in developing trust and respect with the people they serve, no matter how often they work with the person.

Touchstone Mental Health

Incorporating tobacco treatment

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Information related to the use of commercial tobacco products, and how to help people address their use of them.


Did you know that, according to the American Lung Association, tobacco use is the number one cause of death in people with mental illness? Not only that, but it affects people with mental illness at alarmingly disparate rates compared to the general population. This section will provide ongoing information related to commercial tobacco products and how to help people address their use of them.

NAMI Minnesota launches a three-hour online training for mental health professionals

Tobacco is the leading cause of disease, disability and death in the United States. Addressing tobacco use can greatly improve the quality and length of life for individuals living with a mental illness. The National Alliance on Mental Illness  Minnesota (NAMI MN) is soon to go live with an online training related to commercial tobacco use. This interactive training will provide education about nicotine addiction, special considerations for individuals living with a mental illness, and motivational interviewing techniques, along with other skills to help professionals addressing smoking cessation as part of a wellness plan. The training provides three CEUs upon completion. NAMI MN anticipates the training to be live sometime in February. People will access it at NAMI Minnesota’s Classes for Providers page, at the bottom of the webpage once the training has been added. For more information, resources or support on smoking cessation, email   

Mark your calendars

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Important dates specific to BHH services

Grant opportunities from the Center for Health Equity

The Center for Health Equity (CHE) was created in 2013 to advance health equity within the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and across the state. Learn more about the CHE through their handouts or through their recorded webinar. Email updates from CHE include information about various grant opportunities that may be of interest to behavioral health home services providers. The grant opportunity below is one of various grant opportunities highlighted in the December 30, 2019, CHE biweekly bulletin that you can subscribe to via the MDH email subscription listserv site.

American Psychiatric Association Foundation invites applications for Minority Mental Health grants

DEADLINE: February 1, 2020

The American Psychiatric Association Foundation is inviting applications for its Awards for Advancing Minority Mental Health. Through the program, grants will be awarded to health and mental health programs and organizations working to address minority mental health, including raising awareness of mental illness in underserved minority communities, the need for early recognition, the availability of treatment and how to access it, and the cultural barriers to treatment; increasing access to quality mental health services for underserved minority communities; and improving the quality of care for underserved minority populations, particularly those already in the public health system or with severe mental illness. To be eligible, programs and organizations must have been in operation for at least two years before the application deadline (including new initiatives for past recipients). For more information, please visit the American Psychiatric Association Foundation website.

2020 Legislative Updates Webinar

This webinar will address revisions to the BHH services standards and legislative changes to the Minnesota Statute 256B.0757 Coordinated Care Through a Health Home, which authorizes BHH services. The legislative changes were approved in May 2019 by the Minnesota State Legislature and became effective upon Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approval on December 10, 2019.  The webinar will take place on Thursday, February 13 from 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Please complete the online registration form to participate in the webinar.

Kick-off complete! Building systems for culturally responsive and integrated care

The Department of Health and the Department of Human Services held a successful kick-off on January 24 for their free six-month learning series called “Building Systems for Culturally Responsive Integrated Care.” The series is a team-based learning experience for providers to learn about and collaboratively take action to strengthen integrated care and reduce Minnesota’s health disparities. Visit the HCH Learning Center webpage for more information about the learning series. Registration for this series is closed.

Health Care Homes Learning Days 2020

The annual Health Care Homes (HCH) Learning Days conference brings together more than 300 health care providers, public health professionals and community partners to exchange information, advance health equity, and build relationships. The Learning Days event will occur April 7–8 in St. Cloud. Registration opens February 3, 2020! Visit the MDH HCH website for more information.

Learning and resources

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Information on upcoming learning opportunities and available resources that may be helpful for BHH services providers.

Culture Care Connection

Culture Care Connection is an online learning and resource center developed by Stratis Health. It is aimed at supporting health care providers, staff, and administrators in their ongoing efforts to provide culturally competent care in Minnesota. Featured content on the Culture Care Connection website includes information about Implicit Bias in Health Care, including a brief Implicit Bias in Health Care Quick Quiz.

MDH Learning Center: Online e-Learning Resources

Support your learning and transformation by visiting the MDH Learning Center. The MDH Learning Center offers free, on-demand, e-learning courses you can access whenever it is convenient for you. Examples include: 

  • Connecting Communities with Data: An Introduction and Practical Guide — Get started with information on building community partnerships, data sharing, data vs. information, and assessing the quality of data.
  • Implicit Bias in Healthcare — Learn about the difference between implicit and explicit bias, the various lenses through which we view our environment, and how implicit bias affects quality of care and patient health.
  • Fundamentals of Care Coordination — A multi-lesson foundations course that covers the principles and practices of effective care coordination.
  • Shared Decision-Making — Topics include defining and describing the shared decision-making approach, when and how to make use of shared decision-making, and how to implement this model in your organization.
  • Quality Improvement Foundations — Quality improvement is an essential component of effective organizations and a requirement for behavioral health home services providers. This course explores the fundamentals of quality improvement, including charters, PDSA, the 5 Whys, process maps, defining opportunities, and the Model for Improvement.

Convening a consumer advisory board: Key considerations

Partnering with consumers is a key strategy for health care organizations to better understand and support their patients’ needs. Patients can provide valuable insights into opportunities for health care systems to more effectively address underlying contributors to poor health. One way to involve consumers is a consumer advisory board — a formal group of patients brought together to provide input on how health care systems can better understand priority health issues and improve care delivery.

As part of the Community Partnership Pilot project — supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and coordinated through the Complex Care Innovation Lab — the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) spoke to several health care organizations about best practices for establishing and maintaining consumer advisory boards. This resulting blog post and infographic highlight key considerations to help guide health care organizations in creating successful community advisory boards.

Join Superior Health

Joining Superior Health Quality Alliance gives you access to data-driven, customized support; subject matter experts; opportunities to participate in high-quality educational sessions; networking opportunities and more. There is no cost for your organization to join!

Superior Health is looking for health care organizations that are motivated to change health care outcomes for beneficiaries and individuals considered high-risk and part of the vulnerable population. Visit to connect with our team of experts for more information, or join the movement today.

New episode from “The State We're In” podcast

The podcast “The State We're In” explores health, health equity and community. The latest episode focuses on Healthy Together Willmar, an initiative launched by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota in 2016, committing $2 million to the community over several years. The mission of the initiative is to help create a future where all members of the Willmar community have access to the resources and opportunities needed to achieve their best possible health. For more information, please visit the Blue Cross Blue Shield Minnesota Center for Prevention website.

Partnering to better coordinate care & increase referrals

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Building collaborative relationships with other providers to address whole-person care & promote service sustainability


Building Connections for Mental Well-Being and Resilience

Minnesota Thrives is a simple tool to promote awareness and communication across Minnesota communities about efforts to support thriving individuals, families and communities. Because no one has all of the good ideas! Search the current Minnesota initiatives listed by domain, county, region, or setting. Explore the description and websites to learn more. Reach out to those doing work that intrigues you. Replicate initiatives in your community.

Your organization may also be part of a project, initiative, program or new practice that promotes mental well-being and resilience in your community; if so please submit an entry on the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) website

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