02/10/2016 - Communication Alert

Dear Community Providers:

In October, 2015, the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) awarded Illinois a planning grant to develop a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) demonstration project. The Illinois Department of Human Services Division of Mental Health (DHS/DMH) and its partners the Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (DHS/DASA) and the Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) are working to develop Illinois' CCBHC demonstration proposal within the parameters of the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 and subsequent implementing guidance. As one of twenty-four states selected, Illinois will provide technical assistance and training to assist providers in preparing to potentially become a certified CCBHC in the event Illinois is selected as one of eight states to implement a demonstration.

Throughout the demonstration planning process, the Departments plan to use Communication Alerts, as well as information posted to the DHS website: www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=2975/ to communicate with providers and share updates as they are available. This alert highlights some of the basic provider requirements for participation in the CCBHC Technical Assistance Process, and describes next steps for providers seeking CCBHC status.

Among other things, in order to meet the federal certification requirements for designation as a CCBHC, an agency must provide mental health and substance use services across the lifespan - meaning agencies must be certified providers of Rule 132 mental health services and Rule 2060 DASA-licensed providers who are currently Medicaid certified by DASA and operating from a site that has been in existence and billing HFS since April 1, 2014.

The Departments are currently developing a Request for Information (RFI) packet to determine and assess the readiness of agencies to begin the path towards CCBHC status, with an anticipated release date in February. The RFI packet will help determine the depth and availability of resources, services, and tools that will be essential to success of the CCBHC model. Interested agencies will have approximately four weeks to develop and submit their responses to the RFI. Analysis of capacity will begin upon RFI submission and prospective agencies will be notified in short order. Providers selected to participate in the CCBHC program should be prepared to make substantial strides in the areas of quality and service delivery.

In the meanwhile, please refer to the accompanying notice which includes instructions for providers who choose to officially participate in the CCBHC process. This will include completion of a Letter of Intent (LOI), as well as the accompanying core service matrix. In order to be eligible to participate in the RFI described above, providers must first respond with a completed LOI and matrix no later than February 24, 2016. These documents are to be emailed to Daniel.Silbert@illinois.gov.

The Departments are committed to transparency throughout the CCBHC planning process, and have established a number of mechanisms for sharing information:

  • A dedicated email address to take questions related to this project. Please submit CCBHC questions via e-mail: dhs.dmhccbhc@illinois.gov.
  • A formal set of Questions and Answers to be posted at: www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=2975/.
  • Additional CCBHC Communication Alerts to be issued every two weeks on a targeted subject to inform providers and update stakeholders on the Departments' work and the status of the project.

Additional information regarding CCBHC certification criteria may be found in the attached fact sheet and online:

  • SAMHSA Certification Resource Guide: http://www.samhsa.gov/section-223/certification-resource-guides
  • MTM Services through the National Council created a CCBHC Readiness Tool (CCRT) which can be accessed at: http://www.thenationalcouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/CCBHC-Criteria-Readiness-Assessment-FINAL-EFORM-5-29-15-2.pdf

The CCBHC demonstration planning process represents an exciting opportunity to explore new approaches to delivering behavioral health services in Illinois. However, it is not the only avenue for service delivery and quality improvement. Regardless of the scope or outcome of the state's demonstration proposal, the Departments will continue to work with behavioral health providers throughout the state to improve the accessibility and value of mental health and substance abuse services in Illinois.