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Dispute Resolution


Two types of dispute resolution processes are included in the rules for the Child Mental Health Treatment Act (CMHTA). One covers disputes between parents/guardians and mental health agencies concerning the denial of residential treatment. The other pertains to disputes between local mental health agencies and county departments of social services about responsibility for providing residential treatment. The following briefly describes each of these processes.


Dispute Resolution for Denial of Residential Treatment


Under this process, parents may file an appeal with the local mental health agency and, if unresolved at that level, with the State. This process includes timelines for providing the assessment based on the child's needs, and for the appeals at the local and State levels.


Key aspects are:

  1. Assessment and decision by the mental health agency (CMHC or BHO) are provided and communicated within the time framework determined by the child's need, defined as emergency, urgent, or routine situations.
  2. Opportunity for parent/guardian to indicate that they agree or disagree with the decision.
  3. Implementation of an appeal process at the local level if the parent disagrees with the decision, within the prescribed timeline.
  4. Opportunity for the parent to appeal at the State level if the matter is not resolved at the local level, with prescribed timelines for this process.


The outcome of the State level review constitutes final agency action for non-Medicaid eligible children. For Medicaid eligible children, the parent/guardian or the BHO may appeal the State-level decision.


Dispute Resolution for County Departments and Mental Health Agencies


The following describes the process for resolving, at the state level, disputes between county departments and local mental health agencies under the Child Mental Health Treatment Act. The state dispute resolution process is used only after locally established resolution processes have been exhausted. The state dispute resolution committee will include members who represent a mental health agency, a county department, and the Department of Human Services.


  1. Within five (5) days of either agency recognizing a dispute exists and the local established processes have been exhausted, one or both of the agencies will request that the dispute resolution process will be conducted. The request must be made in writing and directed to:


Office of Behavioral Health
3824 W. Princeton Circle
Denver, CO 80236
Fax: (303) 866-7428