- Associated Press - Friday, March 17, 2017

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland Senate has passed a bill to increase funding for community behavioral health providers that treat mental health and substance use disorders.

The Senate passed the bill 47-0 on Friday. It now goes to the House of Delegates.

The bill increases provider rates by 3.5 percent for fiscal years 2019 and 2020 and by 3 percent for the next three years after that.

The measure also creates a rate study to determine a cost-based payment structure that would provide reimbursement to sustain community-based behavioral health services.

Supporters say demand for such services has increased dramatically, but treatment capacity has not.

The measure is known as the “Keep the Door Open Act.”

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