Behavioral Health Agencies (BHA) Frequently Asked Questions


What is integration?

Senate Bill 6312 (PDF), passed in 2014, integrated the financing and delivery of physical and behavioral health by 2020. House Bill 1388 (PDF) furthers this goal by consolidating licensing and certification in one agency at DOH, and purchasing of state behavioral health services in another agency, the Health Care Authority.

What changed on July 1?

Washington residents using behavioral health services or providers will see little noticeable change when HB 1388 takes effect.

As of July 1, 2018:

I'm a provider, and I have questions about payment under the new integrated health model - what can you tell me?

Under behavioral health integration, the Health Care Authority manages coverage and reimbursement. Find more information on payment issues on HCA's integrated physical and behavioral health care website.

Where may I find a copy of the behavioral health rules currently in effect?

Department of Health behavioral health rules adopted July 1 are on the Behavioral Health Agencies Rules in Progress webpage. We've posted a crosswalk between the former DSHS-DBHR rules and the Department of Health new rules (PDF).

What has changed in the Department of Health adoption of these rules?

The department's emergency rules took effect July 1, 2018 (PDF), and are substantially the same as the DBHR-DSHS "Single Set" rules effective April 1, 2018. The minor changes:

  • Replace obsolete DSHS and RCW references
  • Clarify complaint and grievance reporting
  • Update definitions
  • Point agencies to the Department of Health (DOH) appeal process rather than the DSHS process
  • Add a new certification for assisted outpatient behavioral health treatment required under Senate Bill 6491 (PDF).

For a full list of resources for the new DOH rules, see the Behavioral Health Agencies Rules in Progress webpage.

Will my agency receive a new credential number?

Yes, agencies will receive new credential numbers, as the credentialing of behavioral health agencies is transferred to the Department of Health. The newly assigned DOH credential number appears as BHA.FS.XXXXXXXX The credential number used by DSHS is referred to as the DSHS-DBHR-Legacy License Number.

The public and those involved in insurance billing are able to match the DSHS-DBHR-Legacy License Number and the newly assigned DOH credential number through the Department of Health's Facility Credential Search.

Licensing and Certification

How do I find information about licensing and certification of a behavioral health agency?

See our main Behavioral Health Agencies webpage.

Do I need to resubmit my application for licensure and certification under the Department of Health if I was providing services through DSHS?

No. Licenses and certifications current or renewed before July 1, 2018, remain in effect, and the expiration date stays the same. As of July 1, Department of Health is responsible for issuing any new licenses and certifications, and renewals.

See our Behavioral Health Agencies Applications and Forms page for more information.

Where can I find and download the new licensing and certification forms?

See our Behavioral Health Agencies Applications and Forms webpage.


Will my license and certification fees increase?

No, not immediately. The department received sufficient funding from the state legislature to supplement the licensing and certification fees to support integration activities during fiscal year (FY) 2019 (July 2018 - June 2019).

Current state law, RCW 43.70.250, requires that each professional, occupational, and business licensing program be self-supporting. This requires the Department of Health to collect license and certification fees that will pay the costs to regulate each facility type.

We will communicate the need for a fee increase. During the rule-making process a fee study will be prepared with proposed fees and provided for stakeholder input.

Will the department integrate the licensing and certification inspections it currently does by consolidating inspections with the review team from DSHS?

We're reviewing processes to determine how to integrate our existing on-site reviews with the new behavioral health services for which we're now responsible.

Where do I mail my license/certification fees?

Mail license and certification fees to the following address:

Department of Health
P.O. Box 1099
Olympia, WA 98507-1099

Rules in Progress

When will my agency be expected to comply with new rules?

The rules took effect July 1, 2018 (PDF). These rules are substantially the same as the DSHS-DBHR "Single Set" rules that were published April 1, 2018.