The Certified Community Behavioral Health Center (CCBHC), a model of behavioral healthcare that has taken root nationwide, is valued by providers and clients for its ability to offer wraparound services in a centralized setting. But the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the behavioral health community, including CCBHCs, to adapt in the face of myriad new challenges.

Pioneering New Territory: Lessons Learned by CCBHCs in the COVID-19 Pandemic, a free, on-demand webinar from Qualifacts + Credible, takes an in-depth look at how CCBHCs were affected, the unique challenges they faced and the lessons they learned. This webinar aims to provide you with a basic understanding of how CCBHCs function and how they respond in times of crisis. Even if your organization is not a CCBHC, you will find valuable takeaways applicable to ongoing challenges.

You can read a few highlights from this timely and insightful webinar below, or fill out the form on this page to view the recording.

 Webinar Topics:

  • An overview of the CCBHC model
  • CCBHC certification criteria
  • CCBHCs and COVID-19
  • CCBHC state options and opportunities
  • Meet New York City’s CASES
  • CASES and COVID-19’s challenges
  • CASES and lessons learned

Delivery System Trends

  • A confluence of forces is changing how behavioral health services are delivered:
  • Increasing desire to better address health disparities
  • Increasing need for behavioral healthcare due to COVID-19
  • Increasing pressure on state budgets due to fallout from the pandemic
  • Growing interest in value-based purchasing
  • Growing awareness that insufficient access to behavioral health is a big problem

What States Want

States are searching for solutions that:

  • Address the high healthcare spend attributable to people with mental illness or substance use disorders
    – Allocate existing dollars more efficiently
    – Engage people in treatment early and keep them from developing poor health outcomes
    – Go beyond episodic crisis response to models that link people in crisis to a full care continuum
    – Acknowledge and address the contributing role of social determinants of health
    – Improve care integration and adequately address physical health conditions among people with behavioral health diagnoses
  •  Reduce high levels of unmet need
    – Bring people into care whose needs have long gone unmet
    – Strengthen partnerships and referral relationships across social service systems
    – Build capacity in the behavioral health system to respond to rising community need
  • Align with existing state initiatives
    – Alternative payment methods (APMs)
    – Waivers

CCBHCs: A New Model

CCBHCs are built on the concept that the way to expand and improve care is to pay for the activities that make those goals possible. That means:

  • Establishing a national definition regarding scope of services, timeliness of access and more
  • Standardized data and quality reporting
  • A payment rate that covers the real cost of opening access to new patients and new services (this includes non-billable activities like outreach and care coordination)

CCBHCs’ Successes

After two years of operation, CCBHCs have demonstrated successes including:

  • Increased hiring and recruitment
  • Greater staff satisfaction and retention
  • Redesigning care teams
  • Improved access to care
  • Launch of new service lines to meet community need
  • Deploying outreach and chronic health management outside the four walls of the clinic
  • Improved partnerships with schools, primary care, law enforcement and hospitals
  • Outcome-driven treatment

The CCBHC Model’s Adaptiveness in a Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought numerous challenges for CCBHCs. Here are just three examples of how this model has been able to have an impact on these challenges.

CHALLENGE: Major rise in mental health conditions and substance abuse disorders (SUD) as a result of the pandemic
CCBHC IMPACT: Increased staff capacity to meet increased demand, along with improved access

CHALLENGE: Rapid shift to telehealth technologies in response to social distancing guidelines
CCBHC IMPACT: Financial resources to support telehealth adoption (e.g., equipment, training)

CHALLENGE: Staff furloughs and/or layoffs as revenues drop
CCBHC IMPACT: Encounter-based payment mitigates impact of reduced units of service

For more examples of the CCBHC model’s adaptiveness in a pandemic, as well as information about the lessons learned, please enjoy our free, on-demand webinar by filling out the form on this page.


Program presenters are Rebecca Farley David, senior advisor, Public Policy & Special Initiatives, the National Council for Behavioral Health; Mary Givens, product manager of compliance, Qualifacts + Credible; Billy Green, MPA, CPME, CMOM, director, Practice Operations and Clinic Programs, CASES — The Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services; and Lauren Roygardner, LMSW, Ph.D., evaluation director, CCBHC, CASES.

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