BHC authority and responsibilities

The General Assembly authorized the Behavioral Health Commission (BHC) in 2021 through the Code of Virginia, Title 30, Chapter 63. The BHC is charged with encouraging the adoption of policies and making recommendations that will provide Virginians with access to a full continuum of high-quality and efficient behavioral health services. The Commission also provides ongoing oversight of behavioral health services and the behavioral health service system in the Commonwealth by monitoring and evaluating established programs, services, delivery and payment structures, and the implementation of new services and initiatives in the state.

The Commission has been given the following powers and duties:

  1. To collect and analyze information and data necessary to accomplish the purpose set forth in § 30-402;
  2. To monitor and evaluate the jurisdiction, powers and duties, operations, management, and interrelationships of any department, division, board, bureau, commission, authority, or other agency with direct responsibility for the delivery, coordination, management, or financing of behavioral health services in the Commonwealth and develop recommendations for the improvement thereof;
  3. To monitor and evaluate the design, implementation, and operation of new behavioral health initiatives in the Commonwealth and develop recommendations for the improvement thereof;
  4. To examine matters related to the delivery of behavioral health services in other states and to consult and exchange information with officers and agencies of other states with respect to behavioral health service issues of mutual concern;
  5. To maintain offices and hold meetings and functions at any place in the Commonwealth that it deems necessary;
  6. To invite other interested parties to sit with the Commission and participate in its deliberations;
  7. To appoint any work group or special task force from among its members to study and make recommendations on specific matters before the Commission; 
  8. To implement a process to solicit and receive input from (i) individuals who are currently receiving or have received behavioral health services or (ii) individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities or autism spectrum disorders or the family members of such individuals to inform the work of the Commission; and
  9. To report its recommendations to the General Assembly and the Governor annually and to make such interim reports as it deems advisable or as may be required by the General Assembly and the Governor.