Posted By Lauren Brawley On February 19, 2020

Becoming a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC): Part 1

How to Become a CCBHC, Part 1

You may have heard the recent news $200 million is now available in Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic Expansion Grants. As we described in our CCBHC overview blog, this model provides vulnerable populations with more access to mental health and addiction services. This additional funding, available to all states, allows the delivery of comprehensive care to more individuals. The model provides access to more behavioral health services, no matter the ability to pay. To continue our conversation about this model, we’re looking at an important question: how can a clinic become a CCBHC?

Who Can Be a CCBHC?

Before your organization asks the question of how to become a CCBHC, make sure you are eligible to become a CCBHC. Eligibility is only permitted to certain organizations. Here is how SAMHSA1 describes the eligibility requirements:

For-Profit Clinics or Organizations

A private, for-profit clinic or organization is not eligible for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic transformation. Although, these organizations can become a designated collaborating organization (DCO). DCOs share information and provide services to support a CCBHC’s goal: to deliver person-centered care.

Nonprofit Organizations

Nonprofit organizations are eligible for grant funding. If the nonprofit has multiple clinics, they are still eligible as long as all components of the clinics meet the criteria. If a clinic is a part of a larger nonprofit, they are eligible to be a CCBHC with the larger nonprofit as a DCO. The clinic must meet CCBHC requirements and the other entity of the nonprofit must meet all DCO requirements. 

State-Operated Clinics

A state-operated clinic can become a CCBHC. These clinics are part of the local government behavioral health authority which makes them eligible to be a CCBHC.

Tribal Health Organizations

Tribal Health Organizations are eligible to become a CCBHC. These organizations must be sure to meet all criteria and be under certain authority, such as the IHS. The SAMHSA website1 describes all specific requirements for eligibility.

CCBHC Demonstration Program vs. Grant Funding

Additionally, there is a difference between the Medicaid CCBHC Demonstration Program and the SAMHSA CCBHC Expansion Grant. The main difference between the two is the source of funding. The Medicaid demonstration is only available in 8 selected states, as shown on the map. These clinics have a specific provider type in Medicaid, allowing for enhanced reimbursements. The reimbursement rates fund these clinics. If a clinic in one of the eight states is already a part of the demonstration program, they may not apply for additional funding from SAMHSA. Clinics accepted for the SAMHSA CCBHC Expansion Grants will receive $2 million per year as their primary source of funding. The set dollar amount requires clinics to strategically plan their expected costs and client volume to stay within budget. 

CCBHC Demonstration and Planning Grant States indicated on a map

It is important to note, in addition to the 8 states in the Medicaid demonstration program, some states received planning grants in 2015. These states planned and submitted to be a part of the Medicaid demonstration but were not selected due to the 8-state limit. While applications are open to each state, SAMHSA will give priority to the 24 states included in the demonstration program or received planning grants.

What’s Next?

Now, if your organization is eligible for the program, you can move forward to figure out what the requirements are! Stay tuned for our next blog post that will discuss the specific requirements to become a CCBHC.

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The National Council for Behavioral Health recently conducted a webinar to answer questions about the funding announcement. The webinar covers program requirements and the difference between SAMHSA and Medicaid funding. Check it out here:

About Lauren Brawley

Lauren Brawley is a Marketing Specialist at Patagonia Health, a cloud-based EHR designed specifically for behavioral and public healthcare. Lauren integrates her strong communications skills with industry research to keep partners up to date on important Behavioral and Public Health resources and news.