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Expanding access to mental health, addiction services, and human services is a priority for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). One of the efforts to expand this access is through new Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs) across the nation. CCBHCs are designed to offer whole-person-centered and family-centered care that considers the physical, behavioral health, and social service needs of each individual served in the community.

CCBHCs are required by Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 (PAMA) to provide directly or through referral, or through formal relationships with other providers, a broad array of services to meet the needs of the population served—and to do so in a whole-person-centered and family-centered manner. Whether services are provided directly by CCBHC staff or through collaboration with medical or other service providers in the community, adequate communication and collaboration between providers are essential to best address consumer needs and preferences.

Certification checklist

To be certified, clinics must participate in demonstration programs that are comprised of 114 requirements across these six categories:

  1. Staffing
  2. Availability and Accessibility of Services
  3. Care Coordination
  4. Scope of Services
  5. Quality and Other Reporting
  6. Organizational Authority

Technology requirements

Most organizations pursuing or considering a CCBHC designation have a strong handle on the programs, services, and the access required to become certified. In addition to understanding programs, staffing, services, and access, there are several technology requirements that organizations need to take into consideration when supporting CCBHC requirements. The classes of required technology and tools include:

  1. Electronic health record system (EHR) that supports mental health (MH) and substance use disorder (SUD) services across the continuum of care with integrated care capabilities for designated collaborating organization (DCO) or in-house primary care models
  2. Mobile tools to support crisis teams working in the community
  3. Patient tools, such as portals, to support patient access and engagement
  4. Population health tools that support risk stratification and care management

To optimize the value of these technology solutions, they need to be interoperable, meaning they can bi-directionally share data with other systems in the broader healthcare ecosystem, such as hospitals, community providers, and Health Information Exchanges (HIEs). Care coordination is the linchpin of the CCBHC program. Organizations need technology tools in place to effectively organize patient care activities and share information across the entire care team to improve patient outcomes in physical, mental, addiction, human services, and oral health treatment. This includes capturing the patient’s needs and preferences and having that data easily accessible at the time of care to the right people on the care team.

In addition to interoperable technology tools, organizations pursuing CCBHC designation also need to understand their federal quality and other reporting requirements for CCBHCs and have the capabilities to create and deliver the required reporting efficiently. Data collection, use, and reporting are vital for CCBHCs to assess and improve program quality. The types of data CCBHCs are required to collect and report on include encounter data, clinical outcomes, and quality improvement data.

NextGen Healthcare supports CCBHC technology, interoperability, and reporting requirements

NextGen Healthcare is committed to elevating CCBHC delivery systems nationally through innovative and fully integrated technology. For example, we have a suite of CCBHC reports that meets the needs of federal requirements. CCBHC data requirements are captured in the ONC-certified EHR and contained in delivered reports. More than 400 organizations leverage NextGen Healthcare technology solutions to improve behavioral and mental health care coordination and clinical outcomes, reduce administrative burden and errors, improve financial health, and expand patient access and engagement. We offer a complete package of tools and technology to support the needs of CCBHCs, enabling them to create and support more effective community behavioral health systems.

To be successful, CCBHCs must implement a health IT infrastructure that supports the full array of care and improvement activities—in particular, infrastructure that fosters an ecosystem where information can be shared and true, whole-person care models established. NextGen Healthcare enables CCBHCs to:

  • Report with autonomy and meet federal and state data reporting requirements
  • Increase efficiency and mobile crisis team outreach by documenting on smartphones or tablets
  • Facilitate better care coordination with streamlined interoperability
  • Simplify care with one solution for mental health, addiction, human services, physical, and oral health
  • Maximize financial performance and capture revenue at the lowest cost
  • Save valuable time, build consumer engagement, and retain client loyalty with a patient portal
  • Identify high-risk, high-cost clients with population health management

Helping to enable organizations to meet the CCBHC standards and provide comprehensive and high-quality services will bolster whole-person-centered and family-centered care and improve the quality of services and outcomes in communities across the nation.

For more information on how NextGen Healthcare can help support your CCBHC, please visit our website.

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Melissa Giampietri
Melissa Giampietri
Specialty Director, Behavioral Health
Melissa Giampietri has spent nearly 20 years in behavioral health, nearly half of that working for a large community behavioral health center in Oregon in service delivery and management roles, before pivoting to the world of healthcare technology specifically focusing on supporting behavioral health and human services.