Oregon mental health services to get over $500M spending boost this year

 Oregon mental health services to get over $500M spending boost this year


Oregon health officials announced Friday how they are spending more than half a billion dollars set aside for state ethical health services.

The $ 517 million spending package is divided into three main areas. About $ 132 million will pay for grants to help ethical health providers with staffing disabilities. Another $ 155 million will pay for the rate increase to service providers. The remaining $ 230 million will go to support housing and residential treatment programs.

The ambitious spending package is the result of legislative initiatives to help the state improve ethical health services. Oregon has the fifth highest unnecessary need for mental health services, according to federal data, with more than 10% of adults saying they can’t get the help they need.

One of the biggest challenges Oregon faces is the lack of mental health workers, according to a February report by the Oregon Health Authority – a problem exacerbated by the pandemic. That’s why lawmakers this year are allocating $ 132 million for grants for providers to strengthen staff. The program, scheduled to begin next week, will provide grants to 159 organizations to hire and retain employees. Most of the money will go to wages, benefits and bonuses.

Meanwhile, the $ 155 million for the provider rate increase would put an additional $ 109 per Medicaid member into the ethical health system. That program is scheduled to begin July 1, though it awaits final legislative and federal approval.

Funding for housing support services includes $ 100 million in direct awards to counties, then $ 112 million to a competitive grant program for residential mental health and substance use services. The grant program will support long-term projects, including new construction and renovation for housing support programs. The remaining funds will go to federally recognized tribes to fund home and residential treatment projects.

“This will ensure that people are supported in conditions that best meet their needs and create more equitable and effective housing alternatives for people with severe and persistent mental illness, who require a higher standard of care, ”reads an OHA press release.



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