Governor McAuliffe announces federal grant to create behavioral health clinics in Virginia

virginia-newGovernor Terry McAuliffe announced today that Virginia’s Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) has been awarded a $982,400 federal grant from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to help establish Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs) across the state.

CCBHCs are a component of Virginia’s long-term strategy to reform the state’s behavioral health system.

“Our administration has prioritized improving delivery of care for mental health and substance abuse, two areas where our community services boards work on the front lines,” said Governor McAuliffe. “This project will further that goal, giving Virginians easier and more consistent access to the services they need.”

“As we work toward delivering more services in our communities, CCBHCs can be a model,” said Secretary of Health and Human Resources Dr. Bill Hazel. “The requirement that they provide care coordination is an important step in ensuring that we have the highest-performing behavioral health system possible.”

Dr. Jack Barber, Interim DBHDS Commissioner, added, “These federal dollars, coupled with DBHDS’s additional contribution of $2 million, will help move us away from an inconsistent system towards a model that allows for consistent services, greater ease of access and customized care in patients’ communities.”

The CCBHC grant has two phases.  Phase I provides funds for CCBHC Planning Grants for up to 24 states.  For Phase II, eight states will be selected from among the Phase I states to participate in a two-year demonstration program in which CCBHCs will receive a financial incentive of enhanced payments to provide the high quality, comprehensive services required by the certification process.

DBHDS has selected eight Virginia community services boards (CSBs) to participate in this initial planning phase. DBHDS will contribute $2 million of its own resources to implement the requirements of the Planning Phase I and to help ensure success in the Phase II Demonstration selection process.

Virginia has 40 locally-run CSBs. Of those, 21 were ready to meet the federal requirements needed to become a CCBHC. The eight CSBs selected by DBHDS include:

  • Chesapeake Integrated Behavioral Health
  • Colonial Behavioral Health
  • Cumberland Mountain CSB
  • Harrisonburg Rockingham CSB
  • Mount Rogers CSB
  • New River Valley Community Services
  • Rappahannock Area CSB
  • Richmond Behavioral Health Authority

These eight CSBs represent a diversity of size, demographics, and services in urban and rural communities. DBHDS will work with the CSBs to meet the grant requirements to become a certified CCBHC.

The federal Excellence in Mental Health Act established the CCBHCs as a way to improve quality and use evidenced-based practices in mental health.  CCBHCs must meet established criteria, deliver a complete set of pre-defined services and be certified by the state.

The CCBHCs will provide nine core services:

  • Crisis services
  • Targeted case management
  • Outpatient mental health and substance abuse services
  • Patient-centered treatment planning
  • Screening assessment and diagnosis
  • Psychiatric rehabilitation services
  • Peer and family support
  • Care for veterans and members of the military
  • Outpatient clinic for primary care screening and monitoring.

CCBHCs will also provide care coordination, a critical and necessary component of any high-value, high-performing behavioral health services system. The CCBHCs must provide all of these services for their local populations and may contract with a designated collaborating organization to provide some of the services.

CCBHCs and other investments in behavioral healthcare will reduce general and psychiatric hospitalizations and emergency room visits. They have great potential to help increase wellness, improve health outcomes, facilitate a greater integration of behavioral and primary healthcare, and improve the overall patient experience.


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