Evaluation of the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic Demonstration

2016-2021
Prepared for
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation

Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics serve individuals with serious mental illnesses and substance use disorders, providing intensive, multidisciplinary, evidence-based screening, assessment, diagnostics, treatment, prevention, and wellness services. To improve the availability and quality of care delivered by these community mental health centers, the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) Demonstration allows eight states to certify health centers to deliver more comprehensive services and reimburse them using a prospective payment system. This payment system accounts for the total cost of providing comprehensive services to all individuals who seek care. The demonstration also aims to more fully integrate primary and behavioral health care services; ensure more consistent use of evidence-based practices; and, through enhanced standardized reporting requirements, offers an opportunity to assess the quality of care CCBHCs provide across the country. 

Mathematica’s evaluation evaluation of the demonstration is assessing:

  • How states developed and implemented their prospective payment systems
  • Successes and challenges that CCBHCs experienced in providing services under the new payment system
  • Outcomes, costs, and quality of care for CCBHC clients relative to comparison groups

Our mixed-methods evaluation draws from a range of data sources, including cost reports, quality measures, and Medicaid claims. We are also conducting telephone interviews with state Medicaid and mental health officials at different stages of implementation, site visits to CCBHCs, and focus groups with consumers and their families. The findings will inform reports to Congress and will be released as standalone reports.

The demonstration is a collaboration across the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation.