Behavioral Health Home (BHH) services - July 2021 newsletter

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Behavioral Health Home (BHH) services

Quarterly newsletter

July 2021

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 Changes Approved!

The BHH services team is excited to announce that the proposed state plan amendment (SPA) changes were approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on May 4, 2021. A memo outlining the changes has been posted to the BHH services website at 2021 State Plan Amendment Changes Memo ( The SPA changes include:

  • continued flexibility in the staffing ratio for providers serving 100 or fewer people;
  • the requirement for a six-month face-to-face meeting is replaced with a requirement to offer a face-to-face meeting to the person receiving services every six months; and
  • replacing “template” language with “guidance.” (This revision in primarily for clarity. Please see memo for more details.)

A “save the date” calendar invitation was recently sent to all BHH services providers for the next information session on August 26, 2021. This information session will include time for an overview of these SPA changes. If you did not receive the invitation and you are interested in attending, please contact Michaelyn Bruer at Thank you again for your continued feedback and support in the implementation of BHH services!

BHH Services Provider Survey

Each year, DHS reports health care quality data on BHH services data to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Data reported includes:

  • the number of people receiving BHH services who receive follow up care after ED visit for alcohol and other drug abuse;
  • the number of people receiving BHH services who receive follow up care within seven days after hospitalization for mental illness; and
  • the number of people receiving BHH services who receive follow up care for mental illness after an ED visit with a principal diagnosis of mental illness or intentional self-harm.

In an effort to better understand barriers to follow-up care, DHS asks that BHH services providers complete a 5-10 minute survey before August 13, 2021. Visit the follow-up care provider survey webpage to complete the survey. We want as many responses from BHH services teams as possible and we encourage multiple people from your organization to respond. We value your feedback, and we look forward to hearing from you!

Newly Certified BHH Services providers

The Department of Human Services (DHS) welcomes new BHH services provider Christian Family Solutions (CFS), certified April 2021. CFS has locations in Lakeville, Mankato and Rochester. HealthStar Home Health has a new BHH services team in Waite Park, certified in July 2021. These additions bring the total number of certified BHH services provider locations to 56.

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. Website

The National Cancer Institute created to support the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ efforts to reduce smoking rates across the United States. is a website dedicated to helping people quit smoking with tailored resources for women, veterans, teens, Spanish speakers, and people over 60 years old. Resources include apps, texting programs, quit plans and more. You can access these resources online at

The American Lung Association in Minnesota

The American Lung Association in Minnesota (ALA MN) is working to decrease tobacco's significant and disproportionate impact on people with mental illness. ALA MN provides resources to trainings, cessation materials, and other lines to integrating tobacco treatment services in organizations that serve people with mental illness and chemical dependency. Visit ALA MN for more information, such as the guide How to Address Tobacco Use in Minnesota's Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Services: TIPS FROM THE FIELD and downloadable PDFs about providing healthy facilities, helping the people you serve get healthy, and tobacco-free grounds.

Lungs and Minds at Work – New Animated Short!

Lungs and Minds at Work is a new resource to use in reaching out to mental health and substance use treatment providers. The video encourages decision-makers to feel empowered and confident to move forward in improving the health and well-being of clients and staff by integrating tobacco treatment and implementing tobacco-free grounds policies. This animated short was made possible thanks to Anoka County SHIP. The animated short can be accessed at via this YouTube link. To learn more about how to use the Lungs and Minds at Work animated short in your community please visit the animated short user guide.

MN DHS Partner Portal

Instructions for gaining access to the MN Partner Portal:

Have your organization’s MN-ITS administrator create a user name and password. Passwords must include:

  • An upper case letter
  • A number
  • At least one of the following special characters (the partner portal will only accept these characters in a password): @, #, * (Do not use $,%,&,or !)

Send the following information to

  1. Name
  2. Email address
  3. Work phone
  4. BHH organization
  5. MN-ITS username

You will receive an email letting you know when access has been granted and resources to support you in using the partner portal. Log in to the Partner Portal with your ID and new password.

Learning and resources

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

Registration is open for virtual conference on prevention

The virtual Minnesota Prevention Program Sharing Conference, scheduled for October 21-22, provides opportunities to learn, network and build skills to enhance participants’ efforts to prevent abuse of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. The conference will run from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on October 21 and from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on October 22. Register before September 1, 2021 for an early-bird discount.

The event will feature three keynote speakers:

  • Amit Sood, Executive Director for the Global Center for Resiliency and Wellbeing
  • Derek Francis, Manager of Counseling Services for Minneapolis Public Schools
  • Tony Hoffman, Founder of Tony Hoffman Speaking

The Minnesota Prevention Resource Center is a project funded by the Minnesota Department of Human Services, Behavioral Health Division. For more information, visit the Minnesota Prevention Program Sharing Conference website.

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Miss Learning Days?

Access online content for free CEU credit through 2021

Content from this year’s virtual Learning Days was recorded and may be accessed for free through the end of 2021. Register at the following link and you will receive a unique “passport” link that you can use to access content at any time after you register. Upon completing each session, a certificate of attendance will be issued that you can submit to your licensing board for CEU credit. To register, visit Learning Days online at

Energy Assistance Program for electric and gas bills

The Energy Assistance Program helps people get access to financial assistance for their electric and gas bills. Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, there is an unprecedented amount of funding for Energy Assistance — an additional $167 million — and people can apply for Energy Assistance throughout the year.   

The Energy Assistance Program can help eligible both renters and homeowners by:

  • paying up to $1,600 for energy bills;
  • providing more assistance, if needed for past due bills, to avoid disconnection, or get reconnected;
  • repairing or replacing homeowners’ furnaces; and
  • providing referrals to the Weatherization Assistance Program for free home improvements to conserve energy and lower future energy bills. 

The Energy Assistance Program has created communication toolkits to provide you with information to share on social media, in emails and newsletters, on websites and anywhere else you could share. The toolkits are in English, Spanish, Somali, Hmong and Vietnamese.  These materials are also posted on Commerce’s Energy Assistance Program webpage at

If you have questions about the Energy Assistance Program, contact If you have questions about the communication toolkits, contact Commerce Communications Director Mo Schriner at

Beyond Do No Harm:

Elevating BIPOC Voices in SDOH Interventions August 4, 2021 3:00-4:15pm ET | 12:00-1:15pm PT

Registration link

During this 75-minute webinar, panelists will discuss steps and strategies to better integrate BIPOC voice, especially lived experience, into SDOH interventions. Panelists will further discuss:

  • How the exclusion of BIPOC voices looks in the current state of SDOH interventions
  • The risk of normalizing the lack of inclusion of BIPOC voices, particularly those with lived experience, in SDOH interventions, especially tech-forward ones 
  • Strategies to develop accountability structures to ensure BIPOC and marginalized community voice are truly integrated into SDOH interventions.

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


Communities encouraged to apply for Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention Cohort

MDH Strategic Planning Cohort accepting applications now.

The Suicide Prevention Unit at the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is accepting applications for local communities to participate in a Strategic Planning Cohort addressing mental health promotion and suicide prevention using an equity lens. All communities in Minnesota are eligible to apply and participate in the Cohort.

Cohort participants will:

  • Gain skills to facilitate a data-driven strategic planning process.
  • Identify specific problems and populations of focus for prevention efforts.
  • Determine key strategies to address identified areas of need.
  • Develop a comprehensive plan to prioritize prevention efforts that will achieve the maximum impact.

For more information on the cohort, including a full description of training and a copy of the application, please contact

Cohort applications are due on Friday, August 20, 2021, at 4:30 p.m. CDT.

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