Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics | NAMI

Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics

Where We Stand

NAMI believes that all people with mental health conditions deserve accessible, affordable, and comprehensive health care. NAMI supports the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) program to expand access to health care, including mental health and substance use disorder care, in community-based settings across the country.

Why We Care

In the U.S., one in five adults have a mental illness, yet fewer than half received treatment in the past year.

In 2014, the Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA) authorized a demonstration program to improve community mental health services by establishing Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs) in up to eight states. Currently there are ten states participating in the demonstration, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, New Jersey, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon and Pennsylvania. In 2020, Congress expanded the program to Michigan and Kentucky.

CCBHCs are required to offer a broad array of coordinated, evidence-based services for people with mental illnesses and substance use disorders. Specifically, CCBHCs must provide:

  • 24/7 mobile crisis teams, and crisis stabilization
  • Screening, assessment, and diagnosis
  • Patient-centered treatment planning
  • Outpatient mental health and substance use services
  • Primary care screening and monitoring of key health indicators
  • Targeted case management
  • Psychiatric rehabilitation services
  • Peer and family supports
  • Tailored mental health care for members of the armed forces and veterans

CCBHCs provide care regardless of an individual’s ability to pay. To do that, they receive an enhanced Medicaid reimbursement rate for anticipated costs of care, similar to that of Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). This funding allows CCBHCs to offer services that are important for behavioral health but are not always eligible for reimbursement from insurance providers. These include efforts such as patient outreach and education and collaboration with community partners to improve health outcomes and reduce criminal justice involvement.

Although it was originally a time-limited demonstration program, Congress has repeatedly extended the CCBHC program through several short-term authorizations and provided funding for expansion grants for states that were not selected for the demonstration. CCBHCs have been shown to improve access to a comprehensive range of treatment and recovery support services, and NAMI supports permanent renewal and a nationwide expansion of this program.

How We Talk About It

  • In the U.S., one in five adults have a mental illness, but many find it far too difficult to access care.
  • There is no health without mental health, yet more than half of people with a mental illness received treatment in the past year.
  • Across the country, people need more access to quality mental health care. Luckily, a federal demonstration program has shown there is a way to better address the needs of people with mental illness.
  • Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics, or CCBHCs, help people receive evidence-based treatment to treat their mental health condition.
  • CCBHCs also offer primary care screening and monitoring of co-occurring health conditions that often contribute to poor outcomes for people with mental illness.
  • CCBHCs are required to provide a number of services, including 24/7 crisis care, which can connect someone in crisis to immediate care instead of jail, where people in mental health crises too often end up.
  • Even if an individual is unable to pay, CCBHCs provide care – which helps more people with mental health conditions and substance use disorders receive care when and where they need it.
  • CCBHCs can do this because they receive enhanced Medicaid funding that allows them to provide services more easily that are important and effective, as well as services that are not always reimbursed, like community outreach and partnerships.
  • By providing well-rounded community care, CCBHCs help people with mental illness stay well and stay engaged in the community.
  • CCBHCs are only available in some states, but making CCBHCs available nationwide could improve access to quality mental health and addiction services, regardless of a person’s ability to pay.
  • NAMI urges the federal government to make the CCBHC program permanent and provide funding to expand them across the country, helping more people access quality mental health care.

What We’ve Done

  • NAMI statement on Excellence In Mental Health Act
  • NAMI statement regarding President Trump’s comments on re-institutionalizing people with mental illness
  • NAMI statement, “A Federal Vision for Improving Mental Health Care”

NAMI HelpLine is available M-F, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. ET. Call 800-950-6264,
text “helpline” to 62640, or chat online. In a crisis, call or text 988 (24/7).