Questions About CCBHCs?

Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics

What is a CCBHC?

Mental Health SessionCertified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHC) were originally developed by SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) and CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) and tested during a federal demonstration project from 2017 through 2019. There is a SAMHSA Section 223 web page as well as a CMS Section 223 web page.

CCBHC is an outpatient, integrated care model incorporating care coordination and utilizing a cost based payment methodology. The federal criteria for CCBHC defines the specific requirements each state had to follow during the demonstration. This criteria still provides the structure for the program in Kansas.

The goals of the CCBHC program in Kansas are to:
  1. Increase access to community-based mental health and substance use disorder services (particularly to under-served communities);
  2. Advance integration of behavioral health with physical health care; and
  3. Improve utilization of evidence-based practices on a more consistent basis.
Part of how CCBHCs increase access is to “step out of the clinic 4 walls” - meaning CCBHCs strive to serve people in their homes and in the community or via telehealth whenever possible.

CCBHCs in Kansas are expected to complete a thorough needs assessment in their community and then continuously improve their services according to those needs. CCBHCs must offer care that is person-centered and family-centered, trauma-informed, recovery-oriented, and that the integration of mental health and substance use disorder services in coordination with physical health care and social services will serve the “whole person” rather than disconnecting aspects of the individual. CCBHCs serve individuals regardless of ability to pay or place of residence; therefore, those who are most in need of coordinated, integrated and quality care will receive it from CCBHCs.

The CCBHC model embraces a recovery-oriented philosophy, supporting multiple pathways for individuals to recover from mental illness and substance use disorders requiring the staff to work in an integrated way enacting a harm reduction model. CCBHCs implement medication-assisted recovery—the use of medication, in combination with counseling and care coordination services, to provide effective support for recovery from addictive substances as well as mental illness. Medications may be provided in the short-term as Outpatient Withdrawal Management or in the long term as Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT).

The Kansas Initiative

SUDIn 2021, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly signed Senate Substitute for House Bill 2208, laying the groundwork for the most significant transformation of the Kansas community mental health system in decades. The bill establishes a new model for providing behavioral health services—the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC). The signing of this bill makes Kansas the first state to pass legislation identifying the CCBHC model as a solution to the mental health and substance use crisis.

In 1990, the Kansas Mental Health Reform Act fundamentally changed the mental health system in Kansas with the goal of transitioning care from institutional services to community-based care in response to the needs at that time. That monumental legislation established Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs) as the “safety net” for Kansans with mental health needs, ensuring that behavioral health services are available in all 105 counties, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

HB 2208 again reforms and modernizes the system to meet today’s needs. CMHCs across the state are facing challenges like increased demand for services, substantial reductions inpatient psychiatric hospital resources and workforce shortages.

Evidence-Based Practices

CCBHCs will provide evidence-based practices to their clients. For more information see the Evidence-Based Practices web pages here.

More Information