Behavioral Health System for Future Generations

Governor Greg Gianforte signed House Bill 872  into law on May 22, 2023, providing a generational investment to reform and improve Montana’s behavioral health and developmental disabilities service systems. A central component of the governor’s Budget for Montana Families, the $300 million investment will expand intensive and community-based behavioral health care and developmental disabilities services across Montana.

To ensure the greatest possible impact of this historic investment the Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) is committed to robust strategic planning and execution.

DPHHS has initiated three projects to begin this crucial work: the Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities Alternative Settings Project, the Strategic Planning and Alignment Request for Proposal, and the Service Impact Grants Request for Information. 

For these reforms and improvements to be successful, public input and comment are critical.

Community and stakeholder engagement is a vital component of prioritizing potential investments.  House Bill  872 establishes a commission to make recommendations on investments to the governor. For each commission meeting, time will be reserved for stakeholder engagement and public comments. 

DPHHS will support the work of the commission and ensure timely implementation of its recommendations as approved by Governor Gianforte.

Next HB 872 Commission Meeting

The next commission meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 5 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the University of Providence campus in Conference Room A located at 1301 20th Street South. For remote access to the meeting, please join the meeting via Zoom. Here is the meeting agenda.


Contact for this Project: 
Brett Carter
Brett.carter2@mt.gov

Frequently Asked Questions

The commission members were announced on July 17 and consist of the bill sponsor, three members appointed by the governor, and five legislators from committees outlined in House Bill 872.

The Behavioral Health System for Future Generations Commission members are as follows:

Rep. Bob Keenan, R-Bigfork; Charlie Brereton, Director, DPHHS; Patrick Maddison, CEO, Flathead Industries; Janet Lindow, Executive Director and Co-Founder, Rural Behavioral Health Institute; Rep. Michele Brinkley, R-Hamilton; Rep. Mike Yakawich, R-Billings; Rep. Dave Fern, D-Whitefish; Sen. John Esp, R- Big Timber; and Sen. Ellie Boldman, D-Missoula.

The commission is charged with recommending how funds allocated to DPHHS through the behavioral health and developmental disabilities state special revenue fund are expended.

The commission will submit reports of its recommendations as needed to the Office of Budget and Program Planning and to the legislative fiscal analyst. The reports must include one or more of the following:

  •  initiatives that address behavioral health;
  •  initiatives that assist those with developmental disabilities;
  • outcome measures, as defined in 2-15-2221;
  • output measures, as defined in 2-15-2221;
  • performance measures, as defined in 2-15-2221; and
  • the amount of funding required for the initiatives.

The commission will transmit its recommendations to the governor for his consideration.

House Bill 872 transfers $300 million dollars from the state general fund to a state special revenue fund titled the Behavioral Health System for Future Generations (BHSFG) Fund. The money will remain in that fund until expended on authorized activities during an approved timeframe.

Pursuant to House Bill 872, the Behavioral Health System for Future Generations Fund can be used for:

  • studying and planning of the development of a comprehensive behavioral health system;
  • statewide community-based investments to stabilize behavioral health and developmental disabilities service providers and delivery, increase and strengthen the behavioral health and developmental disabilities workforce, increase service capacity to meet identified behavioral health and developmental disabilities services demands, and increase opportunities for Montanans to receive integrated physical and behavioral health care;
  • acquisition of new or remodeling of existing infrastructure or property to support the establishment of behavioral health settings and intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities;
  • planning, operation, or other contract expenses associated with intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities;
  • planning, operation, or other contract expenses associated with behavioral health settings;
  • Medicaid and CHIP matching funds for payments made to behavioral health settings; and
  • Medicaid and CHIP matching funds for payments made to intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

Several BHSFG proposals have now been approved, and DPHHS will be working to implement the initiatives with HB 872-authorized funding in the near future.

How does the Behavioral Health System for Future Generations Fund and commission intersect with the HEART Fund?

Introduced by Governor Gianforte in his first week in office, the Healing and Ending Addiction through Recovery and Treatment (HEART) Fund supports a full continuum of substance abuse prevention and treatment programs for communities.

While separate from the HEART Fund, the Behavioral Health System for Future Generations (BHSFG) Initiative also represents the Gianforte administration’s strong commitment to addressing the challenges plaguing Montana’s behavioral health and developmental disabilities service delivery systems.

Workstreams associated with the HEART Fund, including negotiating and finalizing the HEART 1115 Waiver, will continue separately from the BHSFG Initiative. Nothing, however, precludes the BHSFG Commission from discussing or considering HEART-related activities. Furthermore, HEART Fund resources are entirely separate from BHSFG funds authorized by the 2023 Legislature.