Chatting With Dr. Adair, OMHSAS Medical Director
May 2016: What is a Community Behavioral Health Clinic?
You may know someone who has received services from a local mental health clinic; you may have even gone to one yourself. These clinics have been around for many years and have seen little to no change in practices in the last half-century. Although they provide care to a broad range of individuals, they often have long waiting lists to see a psychiatrist, the environment can be hectic, and not all of the care is covered by Medical Assistance.
The goal of Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs) is to bring mental health centers – and the services they provide - into the 21st century. These clinics will be designed to provide comprehensive care to individuals from all walks of life: people experiencing serious mental illness, children with serious emotional problems and individuals with substance use disorders. Veterans and their families will receive specialized care through the CCBHCs as well.
There are two big differences between mental health clinics as we know them today, and CCBHCs:
- Practices are evidence-based, as determined by the needs of the community and populations being served by the clinics, and
- The pay structure allows payment by managed care organizations for provided services.
Many of our stakeholders are being asked to take an active part in the ongoing design of this new system.
The story of CCBHCs has only just begun. Over the coming months, I will continue to share my thoughts about this path upon which we have only recently embarked.