The Department of Health (DOH) licenses and regulates inpatient and outpatient Behavioral Health Agencies that may be certified to provide mental health, substance use disorder (SUD), problem gambling and gambling disorder services, or any combination of these types of services.
- BHA Licensing, Certification, and Fees
BHA licensure and certification is required if an agency intends to seek Medicaid reimbursement, provide court-ordered mental health or SUD services, or as otherwise specified by state law.
*Credentialed behavioral health professionals providing general behavioral health services and billing under their professional credential are not required to be licensed as a BHA.
- License requirements and process
- BHA Licensing and Certification Applications and Forms (includes applications for BHAs, Opioid Treatment Programs (OTP), Deeming, and Mobile Unit Notification.
- Available certifications (WAC 246-341-0110)
- BHA licensing fees
- Opioid Treatment Program (OTP)
OTPs are considered a BHA and require additional steps for licensing and accreditation. See the OTP webpage for additional information.
- BHA Tribal Attestation
Tribal BHAs applying for licensure and certification may attest that its agency meets the state minimum standards. See the Applications and Forms webpage for the Tribal Attestation process and FAQ.
- Inspection Process
DOH is required to inspect BHAs as part of the initial licensing process and at regular intervals. See the BHA Inspection Process webpage for more information.
- Find a BHA
- Behavioral Health Agency Directory (PDF) - RCW 71.24.037 requires the department to maintain and publish a list of licensed or certified behavioral health service providers. The BHA Directory includes contact information for BHA providers by county along with the services they are certified to provide.
- For quarterly updates to BHA Directory, download the directory data excel file.
- For a real-time list of licensed or certified providers, see the facility search webpage.
- To search providers by location, see the BHA Greenbook map page.
- File a Complaint
Anyone with knowledge about an incident or event that happened in one of the agencies or facilities regulated by DOH may file a complaint.
- How to file a complaint – includes FAQ regarding the complaint process
- COVID-19 related complaints
- Critical Incident and Death Reporting
See the BHA Critical Incident Reporting Requirements webpage on which incidents to report and how. BHA critical incident reporting requirements are directed by WAC 246-341-0420. Each BHA licensed by DOH must report critical incidents within forty-eight hours.
- BHA Laws and Regulations
- See the BHA Laws webpage for regulations related to BHAs.
- See the OTP webpage for laws and regulations related to OTPs.
- BHA and Professions Licensing Renewals
- See the Facilities Renewals FAQ for information about renewing your agency's license.
- See the Health Professions Renewals FAQ for information about renewing your professional credentials.
- Current Topics
- The Department of Health and the Health Care Authority recently released guidance for accepting SUD assessments from non-BHAs (PDF). Licensed BHAs, certified to provide SUD services, may accept an SUD assessment from a non-BHA for the purpose of initiating treatment if it was completed in the last 12 months and conducted by an appropriately WA state licensed/credentialed professional using ASAM criteria.
- The Department of Health released a policy statement (PDF) allowing licensed BHAs to provide “face-to-face” or “in person” services or assessments either in person or through synchronous video conferencing, also known as telehealth technologies.
- The Department of Health released a policy statement (PDF) to allow licensed behavioral health agencies (BHA) to use either the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) or the Diagnostic Classification of Mental Health and Developmental Disorders of Infancy and Early Childhood (DC:0-5), when completing a diagnostic assessment.
- Notice of Emergency Rule filing. The Department of Health adopted an emergency rule to amend WAC 246-341-0342 (P.,kDF) to define a mobile unit for Behavioral Health Agencies (BHA) and allow Opioid Treatment Programs (OTP) to add a mobile unit as an extension of an existing license. See the OTP Mobile Units webpage for more detail about the mobile unit approval process.
- Notice of Emergency Rule filing. The Department of Health adopted an emergency rule (PDF) clarifying that all health care facilities licensed by the department must comply with state and federal statutes, administrative rules, lawful orders, and other legal requirements relating to the operation of the facility and the control or prevention of the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
- The Department of Health released an Interpretive Statement (PDF) regarding the annual medical exam required in WAC 246-341-1020 (12) to allow Opioid Treatment Program (OTP) physicians to conduct the exam either in person or via telehealth technologies.
- Department of Health has released a Policy Statement (PDF) regarding the department's intent to allow a licensed professional holding a co-occurring disorder specialist enhancement to be able to perform certain substance use disorder assessment and treatment activities in a behavioral health agency according to ESHB 1678.
- The department, in recognition of Tribal Sovereignty, now accepts Tribal Attestation for Behavioral Health Agencies that meet the state minimum licensure and certification standards. The department also established a $261 fee for tribal attestations (PDF) in order to support the administrative cost of receiving and recording new or renewed tribal attestations.
- The department has released a Policy Interpretive Statement (PDF) regarding the interpretation of “clinical supervision” as it relates to mental health professionals working in behavioral health agencies licensed under chapter 246-341 WAC.
- As of July 1, 2019, Substance Use Disorder Peer Support Services is now included in the Medicaid State Plan. This allows appropriately licensed Behavioral Health Agencies to provide peer support services for substance use disorders and request Medicaid reimbursement. At this time, licensed agencies don't need a new certification in order to provide this service. See this letter for more details regarding certification.
Contact and connect
Contact BHA staff members | Contact call center staff members | Email customer service staff members | Phone: 360-236-4700
How to stay informed
Subscribe to GovDelivery! Enter your email address and then select Health Systems Quality Assurance (HSQA) and Behavioral Health Care Integration, along with any other topics that are of interest to you. Subscribing to this list will help you stay informed and get important updates about behavioral health agencies, including policy updates and rule-making activities.