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Licensure & Designation



Contracts for public funding to provide women’s gender-specific treatment are administered primarily through the Managed Services Organizations, as the majority of funding for women’s treatment comes from the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant. Each MSO has a slightly different process for administering this funding, and the most accurate information is available directly from the MSO itself.

As a part of the contracts between DBH and the MSOs, MSOs are required to serve a specific number of pregnant women each year, and are also required each year to increase access to services for pregnant women. 




DBH-licensed substance use disorder treatment programs are eligible to be licensed as providers of women’s gender-specific treatment if they comply with the conditions set forth in the DBH Substance Use Disorder Treatment Rules, section 15.229.

Closely related to treatment rules, but not enforced through licensure at this time are treatment standards. In Colorado, the treatment rules constitute also treatment standards. There is however a national document that describes standards for women’s treatment, and it can be accessed via this link: http://www.nasadad.org/index.php?base_id=2049


Performance Monitoring and Accountability


Monitoring and accountability is generally similar across federal, state and local funding. To monitor compliance with contracts (those between DBH and MSOs, as well as between DBH and providers (Special Connections)), a variety of activities take place. MSOs submit to DBH on an annual basis reports describing their activities that are required under their contracts. MSOs also monitor compliance of their providers with the terms of the MSO contract with DBH. This on-site monitoring is reported back to DBH, with documentation of any plans of correction that are imposed upon providers based upon this monitoring activity.

DBH also directly monitors the MSOs for compliance with their contract with us. This monitoring takes place on-site and is primarily fiscal in nature, as the MSOs do not provide any clinical services themselves. Clinical records and policies and procedures are monitored at the providers’ sites, to ascertain the extent to which the terms of the contract between DBH and the MSO are complied with. These site visits result in written reports, which are generated by the contract monitoring team at DBH. 

Examples of items for scrutiny would be things such as the involvement of family members in treatment, how pregnant women are assured priority admission to treatment, and the extent to which substance use disorder treatment is integrated with mental health and primary health care.





The Special Connections program was put into place via House Bill 91-56, and required the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing to jointly manage a program for pregnant women at risk of low birthweight deliveries who had substance use disorders.


Block Grant


The Division of Behavioral Health receives Federal dollars from the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) through the Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Known as the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant, a portion of these dollars is set aside to provide treatment and ancillary services for women experiencing problems with substance abuse. This funding, known as Specialized Women’s Services funding, enables funded programs in Colorado to reduce barriers to treatment participation by women. These barriers include lack of transportation to and from treatment, childcare provided while the client is in treatment, gender-specific groups, linkages to medical care and family planning services, access to trauma services and family treatment.