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Section 223 Demonstration Program for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics

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Section 223 Demonstration Program for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics

Section 223 of the Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA) helps states establish certified community behavioral health clinics (CCBHCs).

About Section 223

Section 223 creates and evaluates a two-year demonstration program for states to certify community behavioral health clinics. Certified clinics must meet specific criteria emphasizing high-quality care. In 2015, 24 states received planning grants to help them prepare for the demonstration program. Learn more about Section 223. In March 2023, 15 additional States received planning grants.

Quality Measures and Webinars

Access technical specifications and templates for collecting and reporting behavioral health quality measures. Learn more in the Behavioral Health Clinic Data Collection and Quality Reporting Webinar Series.

Areas of State Discretion In the Updated CCBHC Criteria

States participating in the Section 223 Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014, Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) Demonstration Program and states certifying CCBHCs may exercise some discretion when applying components of the criteria within their state certification processes. The following guidance highlights the areas of state discretion in the updated 2023 CCBHC Criteria (PDF | 116 KB).

Clarifications to Criteria

SAMHSA and its federal partners have compiled their responses to questions from states so all project directors can benefit. Access CCBHCs: Clarification to Criteria and Guidance – 2017 (PDF | 201 KB). Note, these clarifications are based on the 2015 criteria, not the updated 2023 criteria.

Addition of CCBHCs to State Demonstration Programs

States participating in the Section 223 Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014, Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) Demonstration Program are permitted as of February 21, 2023 to add new CCBHCs to their demonstration programs, subject to the following guidance (PDF | 195 KB).

Certification Guides and Resources

Several guides and resources are available to help states certify clinics and coordinate services (Note: these resources are based on the 2015 criteria, not the updated 2023 criteria):

Care Coordination for CCBHCs

CCBHCs are responsible for care coordination for many services across various providers and facilities. Learn more about care coordination for CCBHCs (Note: these resources are based on the 2015 criteria, not the updated 2023 criteria):

CCBHCs and Cultural Competence

CCBHCs must respond to the cultural, linguistic, and social needs of the people they serve (Note: these resources are based on the 2015 criteria, not the updated 2023 criteria). Learn more about:

Governance and Oversight

Numerous regulations and governing bodies are involved with CCBHC operations and consumer engagement. Learn more about CCBHC governance and oversight. Find additional information on:

(Note: these resources are based on the 2015 criteria, not the updated 2023 criteria)

Reports to Congress

Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics Demonstration Program Report to Congress, 2017 (PDF | 10.7 MB)

This report focuses on the statutory requirements of Section 223, its implementation, the planning grant that helped states prepare, and the selection of the states to participate in demonstration programs, including activities associated with launching the demonstration programs.

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