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.
- Opioid Treatment Program (OTP)
OTPs are considered a BHA and require additional steps for licensing and accreditation.
- 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, previously referred to as the ”Green Book,” includes contact information for BHA providers by county for certified mental health, substance use disorder, and problem gambling and gambling disorder, along with the services they are certified to provide.
- For a real-time list of licensed or certified providers, see the facility search webpage.
- 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.
- 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
- BHA and Professions Licensing Renewals
- Current Topics
- Notice of Emergency Rule filing. The Department of Health adopted an emergency rule to amend WAC 246-341-0342 (PDF) 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 notification 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), including orders issued by the Governor, by the Secretary of Health, by a local board of health, and by a local health officer. The new rule applies to all health care facilities licensed by the department, which includes: Acute Care Hospitals, Ambulatory Surgical Facilities, Behavioral Health Agencies, Birthing Centers, In-Home Services Agencies, Medical Test Sites, Psychiatric Hospitals, and Residential Treatment Facilities.
- 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. The initial medical exam cited in 42 CFR 8.12(f)(2) is still required to be completed in-person. The department will revise Chapter 246-341 WAC to allow the use of telehealth for annual medical exams.
- 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 is in the process of incorporating this change into rule.
- 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
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