More States to Create Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics Programs

The movement to create more Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs), which are certified in 12 states, continues to gain momentum. Under provisions of the bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will allow up to 10 additional states to create state CCBHC programs under Medicaid every two years beginning in 2024.

Launched in 2017, CCBHCs were created to transform mental health and substance use treatment nationwide and provide sustainable funding for robust community-based outpatient mental health treatment. These clinics must meet federal standards for the range of services they provide.

Today, there are state-certified CCBHCs in 12 states that have adopted CCBHCs as part of Medicaid, with hundreds of additional clinics that have received time-limited CCBHC expansion grants from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to launch or strengthen services aligned with the model. , according to a report from the National Council for Mental Wellness.

CCBHCs must serve anyone seeking care for mental health or substance use issues, regardless of ability to pay, location of residence, or age. They must provide a range of services, including crisis services that are available 24/7, and provide routine outpatient care within 10 business days of initial contact to prevent people from languishing in waiting lists. CCBHCs must also ensure access to a comprehensive range of services, providing care coordination when necessary and incorporating evidence-based practices and other supports based on an assessment of community needs.

SAMHSA recently announced that it has awarded $127.7 million in 128 grants to health clinics in 40 states and Puerto Rico. Each beneficiary will receive up to $1 million per year for four years. Of the 128, 63 grants totaling $62.8 million were awarded for the CCBHC Planning, Development and Implementation (CCBHC-PDI) grant to help clinics establish and implement new CCBHC programs and 65 grants were awarded for a total of $64.9 million for the Improvement and Advancement of CCBHC. (CCBHC-IA) to improve and support existing CCBHCs.

“The CCBHC model provides a funding structure to expand both the types of services we provide and the population we can serve,” Mark Ishaug, executive director of the Chicago-based Thresholds Center for Mental Health Wellbeing, said in a statement. . “As a community mental health provider, we consistently see that the need for high-quality mental health services exceeds our ability to provide them. The CCBHC model is a huge step forward in our ability to truly meet the needs of our communities with integrated mental health services. .and physical medical care.”

The National Council on Mental Wellness recently published a resource for community-based provider organizations and states working to leverage the CCBHC model to expand access to high-quality care.

“CCBHC: A Vision for the Future of Community Behavioral Health Care” outlines a national vision for excellence in community mental health and substance use care and outlines how clinics can leverage their CCBHC status to transform the experience of accessing care.

“We must take action today to improve the quality of health care that will strengthen communities, help people in need and improve health outcomes; tomorrow will be too late,” said the president and CEO of the National Council for Mental Wellness , Chuck Ingoglia, in a statement. “The overwhelming need for mental health and substance use care demands that we adopt innovative ways to structure, deliver and pay for care. The CCBHC model represents the best solution to achieve that goal.”

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