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California Behavioral Health Services

Medi-Cal Behavioral Health Division - Medi-Cal Behavioral Health Division (MCBHD) administers, oversees, and monitors the Medi-Cal Specialty Mental Health Services (SMHS) and Drug Medi-Cal programs.

The SMHS program provides medically necessary services to Medi-Cal beneficiaries.

The Drug Medi-Cal (DMC) program provides medically necessary substance use disorder (SUD) treatment services to Medi-Cal beneficiaries.

The programs are operated at the local level through contracts between the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) and counties. MCBHD implements program changes related to behavioral health services required by state and federal laws and regulations.

DHCS is California's single state Medicaid agency, and MCBHD is the liaison with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for behavioral health services in California. Additionally, MCBHD provides subject matter expertise and technical assistance to other state departments and agencies, as well as to mental health managed care plans (MH MCPs), substance use disorder (SUD) MCPs, SUD fee-for-service (FFS) counties, and Medi-Cal MCPs.

MCBHD is also responsible for state oversight of MH MCPs, SUD MCPs, and SUD FFS counties to ensure compliance with state and federal requirements.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) – SAMHSA is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA's mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities.