CCBHC Mental health professional and patient warmly shake hands before meeting

SAMHSA Awards 15 States CCBHC Planning Grants

The Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) treatment model is a value-based, person-centered, integrated care model that has shown great success since the first round of planning grants from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Agency (SAMHSA) in 2013.  There are currently 500 CCBHCs spread across the United States, D.C., Guam, and Puerto Rico. Qualifacts supports 162 CCBHCs across 35 states, which is approximately 32% of all the current CCBHCs. The number of CCBHCs grows annually through SAMHSA CCBHC expansion grants and state-run CCBHC certification programs.   

In March 2022, 15 states were awarded each with $1 million, one-year CCBHC planning grants. The 15 states are Alabama, Delaware, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Rhode Island, Vermont, and West Virginia.  

There are currently 10 CCBHC Demonstration States across the country, funded by SAMHSA, that are eligible for enhanced Medicaid Reimbursement rates.  

In 2022, the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act was signed into law for the expansion of the number of CCBHC Demonstration States. The legislation mandates the award of additional planning grants to States not already selected to participate in the CCBHC Demonstration. Beginning July 1, 2024, and every 2 years thereafter, 10 states that have completed planning grants and submitted successful applications to participate in the CCBHC Demonstration will be eligible to join the program for a four-year period.  

As a community-based mental health center, there is much you can do to prepare yourself to be one of your state’s CCBHCs should your state be selected as a CCBHC Demonstration State.  

During the CCBHC Planning process, using the CCBHC Planning grant dollars, states will need to develop and implement CCBHC certification systems, establish Prospective Payment Systems (PPS) for Medicaid reimbursable services, and prepare an application to participate in a four-year CCBHC Demonstration program  

  • The initial phase of a two-step process involves planning grants that will aid participating states in developing their CCBHC certification programs and assist them in applying for the CCBHC Demonstration. The planning grants aim to prepare the states for the second phase, which involves the CCBHC Demonstration. Up to ten states that participate in the planning grants will be chosen for the second phase, which is the CCBHC Demonstration. 
  • At the end of the planning grant period, participating states will submit their applications to join the CCBHC Demonstration for a four-year period starting on July 1, 2024. The selected states will bill Medicaid under an established PPS approved by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for behavioral health services provided to individuals eligible for medical assistance under the state Medicaid program. One note of interest is that the states that were provided planning grants in 2013 may also apply for the CCBHC Demonstration.  

During the planning grant period, SAMHSA will be providing technical assistance to assist states related to the Certification Criteria and other aspects of the CCBHC program. States should use the new CCBHC Criteria Certification guide as they prepare during this planning period.  

As a Clinical Mental Health Center (CMHC) (or any other entity eligible to become a CCBHC), in a state that received the SAMHSA CCBHC Planning grant, you can begin to prepare for your CCBHC journey during your state’s planning year.  

Here are suggested activities to begin: 

  • Familiarize yourself with the latest CCBHC Criteria, found here.  
  • Take advantage of “Appendix M – CCBHC Criteria Compliance Checklist” found in the SAMHSA CCBHC PDI grant notice of funding opportunity document to assess your CCBHC readiness.  
  • If you do not currently have a SAMHSA CCBHC grant, consider applying for the current SAMHSA CCBHC PDI grant available now, application due date of May 22, 2023. 
  • Assess your EHR’s ability to support the CCBHC treatment model using the Qualifacts Technology Checklist 
  • Listen to our three-part webinar series on “What I wish I Knew Then…” from the Executive, Financial, and Clinical perspective on lessons learned from mature CCBHCs on the standing up of a CCBHC.  
  • If you want current, strong data to communicate to your team and board why the CCBHC Treatment Model is the preferred model of treatment for behavioral health, download the “National Council for Mental Wellbeing 2022 CCBHC Impact Report” today. This report is full of all the quantifiable data to allow you to demonstrate the value of the CCBHC to the people you serve and the community. 

As a Qualifacts resource for CCBHCs, which holds monthly peer leadership sessions nationwide, I am available for a free consultation (   

  • I am available to share with you how to get started when considering launching your CCBHC.  
  • I have tools to share and experience working with many CCBHCs since 2018.  
  • I’m happy to meet with you and get you on your way to CCBHC success.  

If your agency is in one of the states that received the CCBHC planning grants, this is an excellent opportunity for you to move to the CCBHC treatment model. Becoming a CCBHC has several benefits to both the people you serve as well as your organization. Some of the benefits of becoming a CCBHC are: 

  • If your state is selected as a demonstration state, once your CCBHC is certified, your CBHC is eligible for the enhanced Medicaid Reimbursement rates using the prospective payment system (PPS). These enhanced rates can help your agency sustain its operations and provide better services to the clients you serve.  
  • CCBHC are required to provide a comprehensive range of services, including 24/7 crisis intervention, substance use disorder treatment, and primary care screening and monitoring. This allows for a more coordinated and integrated care approach leading to better outcomes for your clients.  
  • CCBHCs are also required to meet certain standards related to quality of care such as implementing evidence-based practices, improving access to care, and training outcomes. This can lead to improved outcomes for your clients and a higher level of satisfaction with the care they receive. 
  • CCBHCs are encouraged to develop innovative approaches to service delivery, which can lead to the development of new models of care that can be replicated by other organizations. Your CCBHC can become a leader in its space.  

The ideal time for your organization to take steps to becoming a CCBHC is while your state is planning and developing its CCBHC certification process, PPS reimbursement model, and other activities toward the movement to becoming a Demonstration state. 

Qualifacts and I are available to help you.