Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs)

Frequently asked questions

What impact does the SAMHSA CCBHC Grant have on CCBHCs?

On Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020, SAMHSA released a new CCBHC grant program totaling $149 million. They anticipate making 74 awards. Read the grant in its entirety here

Who is eligible for funding from SAMHSA?

Eligibility is limited to CCBHCs or community-based behavioral health clinics who may not yet be certified but meet the certification criteria and can be certified within four months of award. Clinics must have two years of experience providing relevant services (as of the due date of the application). Official documents must establish that the CCBHC has provided relevant services for the past two years.

What is the timeline and amount for the SAMHSA funding?

Applications must be submitted by March 1, 2021. Anticipated project start date is Aug. 30, 2021. Grant awardees will receive two full years of funding anticipated to be up to $2 million per year.

What other changes were made to CCBHCs in 2021?

CCBHC Expansion grant recipients who received funding under CCBHC Expansion Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) SM-20-012 issued in January 2020 are not eligible to apply for funding under this new FOA.

What are the certification criteria for becoming a CCBHC?

CCBHCs [must] provide a comprehensive collection of services that create access, stabilize people in crisis and offer the necessary treatment and recovery support services for those with the most serious and complex mental and substance use disorders (SUD). Services include:

  • Crisis mental health services
  • Screening, assessment and diagnosis, including risk assessment
  • Patient-centered treatment planning
  • Outpatient mental health and substance use services
  • Primary care screening and monitoring of key health indicators/health risk
  • Targeted care management
  • Psychiatric rehabilitation services
  • Peer support and family supports
  • Intensive, community-based mental health care for members of the armed forces and veterans

They must also meet criteria in six key areas:

  • Staffing
  • Availability and accessibility of services
  • Care coordination
  • Scope of services
  • Quality and other reporting
  • Organizational authority

You can learn the specifics and more information about the current grant program in the SAMHSA document: Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic Expansion Grants

What are some results of the CCBHC program?

A September 2019 Report to Congress outlined the impact of CCBHCs participating in an 8-state Medicaid demonstration program. Here are a few excerpts from the report.

  • 100% of CCBHCs use electronic health record (EHR) for mental health and SUD records as well as case management and care coordination
  • Over 90% use EHR for quality measure reporting, electronic care plans and E-prescribing
  • 82% use EHR with integrated lab results, 57% use EMR to request tests/receive results, and 55% incorporate lab results into the health record
  • 79% use EHR for clinical decision support
  • 61% do not have primary care records in their electronic health record (EHR)
  • Fewer than 50% report that their EHR allows electronic exchange of clinical information with other external providers and DCOs

What areas should our organization focus on as we prepare for funding?

Evaluate your technology and operational strategies to get your organization ready. Key areas to focus on include:

1. Care coordination

The goal of CCBHCs is to provide more effective care at lower costs. For your organization, it’s critical to have processes and technology that connect to care providers outside of your organization. You may already have processes in place to do this, but you should start formalizing current partnerships and looking for ways to establish new ones with other organizations.

You’ll need the right technology to help you make seamless connections:

  • EHR support for evidence-based practices
  • Workflows that support referrals, follow-ups and appointment alerts
  • ONC-certified health information technology that provides the integration of physical, behavioral and addictions healthcare services
  • Reporting capabilities to track timeliness and availability of services

Carequality™ is an industry-driven initiative designed to accelerate health data exchange among multi-platform networks, healthcare providers, EHR vendors and health information exchange (HIE) vendors.

CareManager™ is an EHR agnostic population health management platform that provides care coordination, interoperability, analytics, outcomes and risk stratification. Through cloud-based technology, the solution assists with lowering risk of readmission without compromising quality.

Participating providers can follow a shared care plan, transfer consumer data, track clinical quality measures and manage authorizations and claims across their network. CareManager aggregates data to identify trends and presents health and treatment outcomes for analytics-driven decision making.

2. Interoperability

The CCBHC program addresses physical and behavioral health, as well as the social services each individual and family need to achieve well-being. Treatment must be tracked wherever it takes place — from emergency departments (EDs) and acute care to post-detoxification step-down services and residential programs. Data and results must also be available for population health management.

3. Mobility and mobile workforce management

CCBHCs commonly provide services in consumers’ homes, schools, justice related facilities, hospitals and EDs as well as acute care settings.

With our mobile solutions, clinicians, case managers and care providers gain quick, yet secure access to accurate, up-to-date information when they provide care and services in the field.

Whether you are you connected to the internet or not, you have a complete view of an individual’s health record, which enables documentation of care anywhere, anytime.

4. Telehealth

Our mobile and web-based platform brings healthcare directly to the consumer.

  • Expand the reach of specialized care during times of crisis
  • Improve care outcomes with timely access to high-demand specialties, such as addiction treatment, psychiatry and after-hours access to physicians

Telehealth enables collaboration across a network of more than 200 million consumers, 600,000 providers and more than 25,000 organizations.

5. Quality measures and reporting

Some aspects of data reporting will be the state’s responsibility, using Medicaid claims and encounter data. Other quality measures and reporting will be the CCBHC’s responsibility with the EHR as the source of data.

Continuous quality improvement (CQI) plans that cover the needs of specific segments of the population served, as well as a clinic-wide plan, will be required. Your organization will need the ability to track data, measure progress and generate reporting on performance management and quality measurement:

  • Our data analytics solution is fully integrated with the EHR and care coordination solutions to offer a full- fledged business intelligence platform and insights into clinical, financial and operational data
  • Dashboards for real-time performance monitoring that supports quality measures, allowing immediate action to initiate changes for improvement

Technology is available now to simplify reporting and analysis. Netsmart CarePathways™ suite of solutions includes KPI Dashboards, which streamlines tracking key performance indicators and includes automatic data extraction from your EHR.

We have a dedicated CCBHC specialist team ready to help you succeed. Contact us for a demo or consultation.