Tour By Certified Community Behavioral Health Centers

CCBHC icon.Massachusetts has embarked on a new initiative to identify qualified behavioral health providers as Certified Community Behavioral Health Centers (CCBHCs). Massachusetts is participating in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA)’s CCBHC Demonstration Program. Section 223 of the Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA) creates a two-year demonstration program for states to certify community behavioral health clinics. The State is midway through the Planning Year and applications for certification have closed. Applicants’ readiness for the Demonstration is now being finalized. Meanwhile, as Massachusetts adopts the Accountable Care Organization (ACO) model of health care delivery, behavioral health providers will need to adopt the same technology and data competencies necessary for CCBHCs.

As defined by the National Council for Behavioral Health, a CCBHC is designed to provide a wide range of mental health and substance use disorder services, particularly to vulnerable individuals with complex needs. These services are person-centered and provided in a community setting.

Certified clinics must meet specific criteria emphasizing high-quality care. These criteria include:

  • Crisis mental health services including 24-hour mobile crisis teams, emergency crisis intervention and crisis stabilization*
  • Screening, assessment and diagnosis including risk management*
  • Patient-centered treatment planning*
  • Outpatient mental health and substance use services*
  • Primary care screening and monitoring**
  • Targeted case-management**
  • Psychiatric rehabilitation services**
  • Peer support, counseling services, and family support services**
  • Services for members of the armed services and veterans**
  • Connections with other providers and systems (criminal justice, foster care, child welfare, education, primary care, hospitals, etc.)**

* CCBHC must directly provide
**May be provided by CCBHC and/or DCO

In 2015, 24 states, including Massachusetts, received planning grants to help them prepare for the demonstration program. All planning grant states must apply for the demonstration program by October 31, 2016.

A number of Massachusetts providers are involved in SAMHSA’s CCBHC Demonstration Program. To learn more about the program, read the CCBHC Orientation Webinar slides and CCBHC Introduction to Technical Specifications Webinar slides.

As a condition of participation, providers will be required to have sufficient information technology (IT) infrastructure to support the processes and care coordination required to be a CCBHC in Massachusetts. Specific CCBHC requirements related to HIT are:

CCBHC Certification Criteria


CCBHCs must establish or, if already in place, maintain a HIT system that meets certain requirements and can be used for certain purposes


To participate in SAMHSA’s Demonstration, all CCBHCs are required to use an existing or newly established HIT system to support health improvement activities (population health management, quality improvement, reduction of disparities, research, and outreach)

5 and Appendix A

CCBHCs are also encouraged to use the HIT system to support required reporting on data collected and on quality measures

3.b.1 and 3.b.3

The product must be certified to meet the following requirements:

  • Be capable of capturing structured information in consumer records, including demographic information, diagnoses, and medication lists
  • Provide clinical decision support
  • Electronically transmit prescriptions to the pharmacy
  • Send and receive the full common data set for all summary-of-care records
  • Be certified to support capabilities including transitions of care and privacy and security


SAMHSA has an eight part webinar series available on demand. This series is designed to provide more detailed information on the technical specifications and reporting templates for the CCBHC Demonstration Program. Click on the links below to register for access to the on demand webinars.

Data Reporting and Quality Measurement: An Introduction
State-Lead Behavioral Health Clinic Measures – Part 1 of 2
State-Lead Behavioral Health Clinic Measures – Part 2 of 2
BHC-Lead Behavioral Health Clinic Measures – Part 1 of 2
BHC-Lead Behavioral Health Clinic Measures – Part 2 of 2
Quality Measurement and Data Collection Special Issues – Part 1 of 2
Quality Measurement and Data Collection Special Issues – Part 2 of 2
Non-Required BHC Measures

MeHI Resources

Click the blue buttons and orange links below to navigate key content relevant to BH.

By assisting BH providers in the procurement and implementation of interoperable EHRs and the effective use of these technologies, MeHI can further enable BH initiatives. The use of health IT can facilitate coordinated patient care, encourage BH and primary care integration, enhance quality of patient care, and decrease healthcare costs.


The Tour By Specialty page for Behavioral Health navigates the website for programs, education, resources and tools that support and relate to Behavioral Health.



Toolkits and Directories

These two toolkits are available to assist healthcare providers in their journey to adopt Health IT. In the toolkits, you will find content that includes instructional documents, workbooks, templates, checklists and more. For more best practices, also access the Support section featuring Health IT Stories, our Resources library, and eHealth Education. Click on the name of a toolkit below to access the toolkit.

EHR Toolkit

Tools to assist in the procurement of an Electronic Health Record (EHR) system

HIE Toolkit

Tools to assist in the plan and implementation to connect an EHR to a Health Information Exchange (HIE)

HIT Vendor Directory 


A list of Health IT vendor products that provide information technology solutions for the healthcare sector

Mass HIway Directory 


A list of healthcare organizations enrolled in the Massachusetts Statewide Health Information Exchange (Mass HIway).

EHRs and Interoperability

Interoperable EHRs increase care coordination by allowing diverse systems to seamlessly share current, relevant patient data between providers. To find more information on the advantages of using EHRs in your practice, visit MeHI’s EHR page. This provides background on EHRs and some of their advantages, including their positive impact on patient engagement, improved diagnostic and health outcomes, and improved care coordination. This page also provides information on the topic of EHR interoperability.

Certified EHR Technology (CEHRT)

EHR Technology (CEHRT) is necessary to comply with Meaningful Use (MU) standards and qualify for applicable MU incentive payments. CMS set standards for commercially available EHR systems to ensure that providers can comply with the regulations and requirements of its Meaningful Use incentive and assistance programs. CMS certifies EHR systems and options that meet these standards. Technology that passes the certification test is listed as a Certified EHR Technology (CEHRT) on the ONC CHPL website.

Health Information Exchange (HIE)

Health Information Exchange (HIE), the secure electronic transfer of Protected Health Information (PHI) among organizations, allows doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other members of a patient’s care team to share patient information in a secure and efficient manner.  This improves patient care by improving the quality, safety, and efficiency of healthcare.

Mass HIway Resources 

The Mass HIway is the Massachusetts statewide Health Information Exchange. Learn more about Connection Methods and Participant Rates to get started.

More resources on the Mass HIway can be found on MeHI’s Resources page. Here you can find presentations and webinars and recordings of presentations related to HIT topics. Topics include Meaningful Use, Privacy and Security, PQRS, and HIE. All of these areas correlate to important functionalities for advancing your use of health IT, integrating health IT in your practice, and achieving interoperability. Click through the tabs to find resources on specific topics.

Consent for the Mass HIway

In addition to HIPAA provisions, under Massachusetts law, a patient must ‘opt-in’ before an organization can use the Mass HIway to send data for that patient’s care to another healthcare provider. (Note: this consent is not required when sending public health data to the state). For more information on regulations describing the methods providers should use to gather consent, read Mass HIway Patient Consent on our website.

The methods providers use to gather consent are currently under review by the Health Information Technology Council (HIT Council). For more detailed information, view the HIT Council presentation here. Please refer to the Mass HIway website for up-to-date information.

Opt-in consent resources

HIway Policies and Procedures (Sec. 6.1 and 6.2, pages 21-22)
Mass HIway Consent: Operationalizing Opt-in Webinar Recording
Mass HIway Consent Resources for Providers: Guidance and best practices for providers, sample templates, and forms

Practice Transformation

Adopting and using health IT requires practice transformation, which involves staff unlearning old ways and adopting new skills and methods to use the technology to its full potential. While practice transformation is challenging, it plays a key role in improving patient care. This page provides resources for practice transformation and workflow redesign, which are integral in developing a sustainable IT infrastructure within your organization.

Use Case examples

A Use Case is an easy to understand narrative that describes how your organization intends to exchange patient information with another organization. Developing a Use Case involves a strong understanding of your organization’s business needs, which helps mitigate future delays. Since Use Cases are developed with a specific goal in mind, they are a valuable planning tool.  

Visit MeHI’s Use Case Library for a compilation of examplescompilation of examples from a variety of different healthcare settings. See Behavioral Health specific examples at the top of our Use Case Examples section.

Patient Portal

A Patient Portal is an online website or mobile application that gives patients access to their personal health information. Patient Portals, a form of electronic patient engagement, provide many advantages and enable consumers to be informed and participate in their care. Visit our Patient Portal page to learn more about the advantages of adopting a Patient Portal in your practice.

Meaningful Use

Compliance with the Meaningful Use of Interoperable EHRs (MU) requires health providers to use Certified Electronic Health Record Technology (CEHRT) to improve care quality, safety, and efficiency by adhering to specific measures. While only eligible providers and hospitals qualify for CMS’s Meaningful Use incentive program, the quality measures defined in the program are applicable to the HIT and quality measure reporting requirements outlined for CCBHCs.

Quality Measure Reporting Manual: Volume 1 (PDF)
Quality Measure Reporting Manual: Volume 2 (PDF)
Data Reporting Template for Quality Measures (Excel)