Results from the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health indicate a gap between the U.S. population in need of mental health and addiction treatment services and those who actually receive them. Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs) were created in response to this, and expand access to community-based treatment for those in need. They provide a comprehensive range of addiction and mental health services, while meeting additional requirements related to behavioral health workforce shortages and maldistribution, governance, data and quality reporting, and more. The CCBHC model allows clinics to be proactive in leveraging their workforce to reach people who are in need of help or at risk of a crisis before the crisis point is actually reached.
This research study investigates how CCBHCs meet the “quadruple aim” in behavioral health care. The study examines patient engagement in care, and ways that CCBHCs expand patient access to behavioral health services beyond the four walls of a clinic, such as services delivered in schools; mobile units focused on specific services or populations (e.g. mobile MAT units); community-based nurse care managers, case managers, and social workers who provide visits at home or other convenient locations, and/or; services delivered via telehealth. The study also explores staff experiences, including engagement and retention, within CCBHCs.
By obtaining CCBHs status and funding, organizations are able to increase patient access to and engagement in care, decrease wait times for services, expand workforce capacity, and deliver a wider range of integrated and comprehensive services. However, CCBHCs face the following challenges: lack of long-term funding, behavioral health workforce gaps, and stigma related to mental illness and SUD.
In order to address these challenges, the following policy and practice changes are recommended:
- Increase and enhance financing and reimbursement.
- Increase behavioral health workforce capacity through the following:
- Identify systems-level factors that influence behavioral health workforce capacity.
- Identify the education and training needs of behavioral health professionals to increase behavioral health workforce.
- Minimize the stigma through the following:
- Create multi-layered activities and technical assistance programming to address stigma at the community and provider level.
- Increase education and training to overcome stigma related with providing medication for opioid use disorder.