How CCBHCs Enable Better Access and Care

May 6, 2021 Kristen McPherson

Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs) are a relatively new model of care that launched in 2017 with 66 clinics participating. Since then, CCBHCs have continued to prove themselves a successful model, with more than 340 clinics now operating in more than 40 states. But what is it like to become a CCBHC? At the recent DATIS summit, Chuck Ingoglia, CEO of the National Council for Behavioral Health, led a panel session with CEOs of two CCBHCs to answer that question.

CCBHCs were initially designed to solve some of the ongoing problems that behavioral health organizations typically face. This model aims to improve access for patients, enable the coordination and timeliness of various services, and provide a financially sustainable foundation for the organization to operate from.

Providing a Continuum of Care

As human services professionals are well aware, many individuals they serve are in need of more than just one type of treatment or service. For instance, an individual may need mental health care while also needing temporary housing and a source of food. CCBHCs provide a wider range of behavioral health services and coordinate with food banks and other partners to provide more complete patient care. Similar to a grocery store where you can go for all of the food items you want to purchase, a CCBHC serves as a one-stop shop for all of your mental health and substance use needs.

When BestSelf Behavioral Health had the opportunity to become a CCBHC, CEO Liz Woike-Ganga jumped at the opportunity. ““It was really a no-brainer to have the opportunity to actually get paid for what we were already doing for all of our clients – and not have to worry about fitting our services into the box that the fixed reimbursement rates really created for us.”

CenterPointe CEO Topher Hansen expressed a similar sentiment. When the opportunity came up through a SAMHSA grant, they were very excited about it. CenterPointe had already integrated mental health care and substance use disorder treatment, leveraging interdisciplinary teams to provide better care. Their status as a CCBHC enabled them to take this integrated approach to the next level. One thing they had been wanting to do was add programs like primary care, and CCBHC status provided the opportunity to do so.

Improving Access to Services

Having the resources available to provide evidence-based care has also greatly improved access to services as well. Both BestSelf Behavioral Health and CenterPointe have been able to respond immediately to need, rather than scheduling an appointment one to two weeks out and hoping the individual will show up. Additionally, offering telehealth and mobile services for individuals who are unable to come to the organization provides another way for CCBHCs to meet clients where they’re at.

Enabling a Better Employee Experience

Internally, CCBHCs have also been able to elevate the employee experience by providing evidence-based training and clinical practices. These services enable employees to continue to learn and grow while providing more integrated and holistic care to the people they serve. CCBHCs have also enabled these organizations to recruit and retain talent at competitive rates. As Topher Hansen put it, “Employees want to work in a place they believe in.” The CCBHC model provides the ability to round out services and meet more needs, where resources were previously limited.

CCBHC Outcomes

The outcomes from both of these CCBHC examples have been largely positive – both in the level of care and service they provide to the community and also to those on the frontlines providing that care. But what truly shows the outcomes of the CCBHC model is the data. Elizabeth Woike-Ganga noted that they’ve been able to use data to see and show the impact their services are having since becoming a CCBHC.

In another DATIS Evolve3 Summit session, Vera Sansone and Ken Pecoraro of CPC Behavioral Health described the enhanced operational dynamics and improved company culture that they were able to achieve as a CCBHC organization offering integrated care.

Overall, the CCBHC model has been a largely successful in enabling organizations to enhance what they were already doing. On this more financially sustainable foundation, CCBHCs are able to increase the variety of services they offer, provide more integrated care, and ensure they are treating the whole person.

DATIS Helps CCBHCs Measure Outcomes

The DATIS solution is used by numerous CCBHCs as their HR and Payroll platform. As a unified system that encompasses the entire employee lifecycle, the DATIS solution provides a single source of truth for all of your workforce management data. With custom reporting and drill-down analytics available, our system provides the metrics and insights needed to show your outcomes at any organizational level. See this solution in action here.

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