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The Climb

How to Get a Behavioral Health License

Feb 6, 2019 8:00:00 AM / by Ascension Recovery Services

Working to get a behavioral health license from your home state can be an arduous task. Doing this type of work involves a strict adherence to state regulation and code so that you can be granted the license. It is easy to get lost in all of the red tape that goes along with pursuing a behavioral health license.

Ascension has created a universal approach to addressing state requirements, adjusting policies and procedures to meet those requirements and uses good business sense to create a profitable and effective treatment program.


The first question that often comes up is, "If it’s such a drawn-out process, why should I even get a behavioral health license?"

The answer here is quite simple. A behavioral health license is often required from your state in order to operate as a provider. Furthermore, becoming a state licensed provider opens the possibilities for your program to bill private insurance by units rather than hours.

As a consultant that specializes in program development, Ascension partners with a third-party credentialing service for a reduced rate to credential your facility with the top 15 private insurance payers in your area. Billing following the licensure and credentialing will increase your revenue exponentially.

Our process begins with market research into the area’s pay rates, required staffing and includes thorough research into your state’s requirements and regulations. This research uncovers any and all guidelines that need to be followed in the creation of your policies and procedures. The policies and procedures are then modified to adhere to the state regulations while keeping your mission in mind. As a result, this process will create an individualized policy and procedure booklet for your facility.

To maximize your facility’s revenue and treatment effectiveness, Ascension develops the schedule for treatment and will assist in helping you realize your mission through selecting an appropriate treatment modality. The treatment modality selected will be an evidence-based practice, which is much more attractive to third-party payers. When looking to contract with third-party payers, it is important that your staff possess the appropriate credentials. Ascension works with you in these areas during the development and hiring process.

While Ascension undertakes the responsibilities of developing the application and securing the behavioral health license, you are able to focus on your mission. Our expertise in program development allows your vision to be married with acceptable standards and appropriate billable services. You drive the project with your vision while we make sure the pieces will carry you to a successful future.


Another common question for those interested in starting their own program is, "I have a private practice and already bill insurance, how will having a behavioral health license and starting an intensive outpatient program (IOP) benefit me?"

The answer here is volume and delivery. The volume of clients you can reach increases, and the delivery allows you to operate at a higher level of care. More intense treatment generally yields a higher reimbursement rate. Also, being able to fill more seats per billable hour with group delivery increases revenue as well.


There are many hurdles and red tape involved in becoming a licensed behavioral health facility. At Ascension, we have made it our business to cut through the red tape and help you leap the hurdles to turn you vision into a reality--not just a reality, but a profitable one.

Do you need help? Contact us: 304-503-3448


Topics: Addiction Treatment Center

Ascension Recovery Services

Written by Ascension Recovery Services

Ascension Recovery Services is a team of experts and specialists with years of experience working with individuals and organizations aiming to open behavioral health organizations.

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