Home > Birth to Three > Increasing Access to Behavioral Health Supports for Young Children

ACY is thrilled to be part of a team that received a Technical Assistance (TA) grant from Zero to Three to improve Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health across Maryland. Leading our team is Kay Connors, and Instructor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Program Director, Center for Infant Study and Co-Director of the Center of Excellence for Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health. Our team also includes D’Lisa Worthy, Co-Director of the Center of Excellence in Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health and Director of Maryland Project LAUNCH from the University of Maryland, School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, Kim Malat, Deputy Director of the Governor’s Office for Children, Nicholas Shearin and Emily Suminski from Maryland Medicaid, and Melissa Rock, the Director of ACY’s Birth to Three Strategic Initiative. Lindsay Usry, Senior Policy Analyst for Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health is our Zero to Three team member. Our team traveled to Minnesota together to learn with and from the other 9 states that received TA grants in this round of funding. We also learned from the 10 states that received TA grants in 2017. We receive ongoing support from Zero to Three and are in regular contact with the other states working on similar issues.

Some of our project goals include:

  • Eliminating some of the barriers creating by Medicaid billing rules.
    • Behavioral Health providers can only bill for up to 2 appointments before have a diagnosis for a young child. While that might be a sufficient amount of time when working with adults, with young children providers need more time before they can render a diagnosis.
    • There are also diagnostic tools, such as the DC:0-5, which are better suited for diagnosing mental health issues in young children. However, in Maryland, when billing Medicaid, that is not an approved tool that can be used.
  • Increasing Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Core Competencies among providers
    • Creating the Infant Mental Health Association of Maryland and Washington, DC is a key step towards providing additional training opportunities for behavioral health providers. To read more about that click here.
  • Maximizing utilization of Early, Periodic, Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSDT)