Earning and maintaining designation as a Certified Community Behavioral Health Center (CCBHC) requires time, planning, support, training and, in some cases, transformation. Leaders from organizations that have initiated the process can attest to that.
They can also attest to the improved outcomes they’ve seen since earning and maintaining that designation, from patient engagement to treatment adherence to reduced wait times and beyond.
As the needs assessment phase of funding allocations from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) for CCBHC grants begins to transition into a new phase that focuses on training, staffing and other requirements, a number of new grantees are beginning to understand the value of seasoned support.
At innovaTel, a telebehavioral health organization grounded by our clinical roots, we are proud to help CCBHCs navigate requirements every step of the way. Our breadth of services, coupled with the experience and capabilities offered by our esteemed colleagues at Relias — an organization offering healthcare and human services training and performance solutions — cover nearly every aspect of change or expansion organizations need as they embark on their CCBHC journey.
A CCBHC designation requires an expansion of staff specialties while also requiring an expansion of available services, from crisis services to substance abuse services, in order to meet the needs of the community being served. It can be a huge undertaking, even with additional funding.
In fact, Relias customer Juliana Harper, the Chief Program Officer for Easterseals Michigan, described its CCBHC journey as a “bold undertaking.” The successes the organization saw as a result of the transformational changes it implemented included:
- Nearly two dozen new staff positions
- About 1,500 new intakes
- Nearly three dozen individuals in treatment gaining and maintaining new employment
- More than 140 new medication-assisted treatment (MAT) treatment patients for substance use
- An 88% drop in the homelessness recidivism rate at its co-located center in a shelter
- Improved no-show rate and patient engagement
The organization, though, navigated its share of challenges specifically related to CCBHC requirements, including compliance issues, data integrity, recruiting strategies and the ability to extract data to illustrate the impact its staff was making — issues very likely experienced by other CCBHCs.
In order to serve a community in a new way, as a CCBHC, it requires leaders to think about solutions in new ways — in part by exploring partnerships and collaborations that leverage strengths. And when it comes to CCBHC requirements, organizations can very easily make a checklist of needs to see where additional support may be the most helpful. That checklist may include:
- Staffing — from specialists to required Medical Directors to additional providers, and front and back office support, staffing is a vital element to CCBHC success. To gain CCBHC designation, staff must address local needs, keep their licenses up-to-date, and receive proper training on service delivery.
- Training — new requirements, procedures and services may initiate a need for training in a variety of areas. Providing staff with regular training will help maintain CCHBC status while increasing the level of care offered to persons served.
- Delivery of all required services — from care coordination to language accessibility to the use of evidence-based practices, CCBHCs have to find ways to plan and implement their services that earned them the designation in an accessible way.
- Care coordination — along with the accessible delivery of services, CCHBCs must also define a care coordination strategy that identifies the accountable treatment team, makes use of health information technology, and plans for care transitions.
- Scope of services — documentation outlining the breadth and depth of services offered. A CCBHC’s scope of services document should allow federal and state bodies, partner organizations, and clients to understand, at a glance, the type of services offered by the organization.
- Quality metrics and other reporting — know the data that federal and state bodies expect CCBHCs to report on. This data will show the impact the organization’s services have on persons served and will help maintain CCBHC designation.
- Organizational authority, governance and accreditation — must meet certain financial and organizational criteria, including: board members are representative of the individuals being served by the CCBHC; the organization is a non-profit, part of a local government behavioral health authority, or operated under the authority of the Indian Health Service; and the organization adheres to state and federal accreditation standards
From planning to implementation, innovaTel’s team and the team at Relias are working with CCBHCs to make this “bold undertaking” one that minimizes obstacles and maximizes improved outcomes. To get your own CCBHC checklist, offering a more detailed picture of what kind of support you may need, click the link below.
Download a copy of the checklist