Posted By Lauren Brawley On February 24, 2020

Becoming a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC): Part 2

How to Become a CCBHC, Part 2

We’re continuing our conversation surrounding the growing behavioral health model: CCBHC. Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics provide access to mental health and addiction services to vulnerable populations. No matter an individual’s ability to pay, these clinics provide comprehensive, integrated care. SAMHSA recently announced $200 million dollars available in expansion grants for the model.1 Our recent blog posts on this topic discussed what a CCBHC is and how to become a CCBHC. In part 2 of our discussion on becoming a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic, we’re looking at the 6 unique program requirements in depth.

CCBHC Program Requirements

The 6 program requirements for a CCBHCSAMHSA indicates 6 key program requirements. Each requirement is also described in the 2020 Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA). The FOA provides a comprehensive checklist for your organization to review. In short, the 6 requirements are as follows:


With a model aimed to provide quality, integrated healthcare, the right professionals are the backbone for success. Qualified practitioners and dedicated staff are required when undergoing CCBHC transformation. Each clinic completes a needs assessment and staffing plan to begin. The needs assessment, which must be completed every 3 years, addresses gaps to be filled to provide care. Staff will also need to be appropriate in size according to the population the clinic serves. CCBHCs also require management staff to be in place for success. Based on the size, the clinic’s management team identifies roles such as Executive Director, Medical Director, etc. Additional staffing requirements include specific licensure and credentialing, cultural and linguistic competence, and other training.

Availability and Accessibility of Services

As CCBHCs predominantly serve the vulnerable Medicaid population, accessibility and availability must be central to the clinic. This includes the location and time of service. SAMHSA’s checklist ensures clinics have crisis management services, comprehensive evaluation of new clients, the ability to pay, and more in their availability of services. A clinic’s accessibility results in more people receiving care.

Care Coordination

Care coordination is the center of many integrated care models, working to see a client’s whole health story. SAMHSA defines care coordination as “bringing together various providers and information systems to coordinate health services, patient needs, and information to help better achieve the goals of treatment and care. Research shows that care coordination increases efficiency and improves clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction with care.”2 CCBHCs require certain formal contracts and partnerships between providers, services, and other forms of support. All care coordination requirements and specific agreements are defined in the formal funding announcement.

Scope of Services

As mentioned with care coordination, the center of this model is delivering person-centered care. This means the clinics provide or connect individuals with services that address all health needs. A broad scope of services intends to expand the availability of high-quality integrated care. At a minimum, the clinic must directly provide 4 of the required services. All other required services not directly provided by the CCBHC must be provided through a DCO. The checklist describes the required range of services in-depth to ensure clinics qualify.

The nine required services are:

  1. 24/7/365 crisis mental health services
  2. Screening and risk assessment
  3. Patient-centered treatment planning
  4. Outpatient mental health and substance use services
  5. Primary care screening and monitoring of key health indicators/health risk
  6. Targeted case management
  7. Psychiatric rehabilitation services
  8. Peer and family support
  9. Tailored care for active-duty military and veterans

Quality and Other Reporting for CCBHCs

To understand if a program is running as expected, it is important to conduct clinical quality measures. Data collection and reporting are essential to understanding if the model is succeeding. Reporting also identifies improvements necessary to achieve long term goals.  

Organization Authority, Governance, and Accreditation

Organization authority, governance, and accreditation are imperative to a clinic’s success. Strong leadership, finances, and accreditation guide a clinic’s effectiveness. Requirements also include diversity amongst board membership, auditing for annual funds, and more. 

While the list of requirements may seem overwhelming, the reward of becoming a CCBHC is high. This model is the forefront of integrated, behavioral healthcare. Being accepted for CCBHC grant funding is not a small feat, so it is important to plan ahead. Does your clinic have the right resources in place to be successful as a Certified Community Behavioral Health Center?

Resources Specific for CCBHCs

If your organization follows an integrated, comprehensive care model such as a CCBHC, your resources need to support the care you provide. Electronic Health Records play a critical role in meeting program requirements. Patagonia Health not only supports but easily automates, the unique reporting and billing that’s required when an organization becomes a CCBHC. To find out more about how our solution can support your organizational needs, contact us today.

In addition, visit the SAMHSA website to apply for the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic Expansion Grant.

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The National Council for Behavioral Health recently conducted a webinar to answer questions about the CCBHC 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.