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DCO qualifications

Part 4: DCO qualifications

A certified community behavioral health clinic (CCBHC) can use a designated collaborating organization (DCO) to augment their service offerings. A CCBHC can use more than one DCO to deliver the five mandatory core services that the CCBHC does not need to provide directly, or to provide additional nonmandatory services. In all cases, however, the CCBHC retains clinical responsibility for the consumer and the quality of care/outcome(s). In addition, it is the CCBHC that receives the daily or monthly rate (i.e., payment by the US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS]), so the CCBHC is responsible for paying the DCO(s) through the contractual fee they mutually agreed to.

Ask yourself these questions before choosing the DCO path:

  • Which organizations in your service area are best situated to become CCBHCs?
  • Are any of these organizations your current partners?
  • How will your organization identify and approach potential CCBHC partners?
  • What is the capacity of your organization to take on additional consumers?
  • What services does your organization offer that a potential CCBHC partner may not be able to provide?
  • What costs are associated with the CCBHC services that you would provide?
  • How will your organization exchange information electronically with a CCBHC?

Find resources on becoming a DCO