SAMHSA Releases DRAFT Updated CCBHC Certification Criteria

December 21, 2022

Today, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released its draft updates to the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) Certification Criteria. These updates will apply to current CCBHCs as well as those intending to pursue CCBHC status in the future.

SAMHSA noted that the updates are intended to reflect what has been learned about CCBHC implementation since the criteria were first developed in 2015, as well as advancements in the field in recent years. The draft was informed by input from CCBHCs, states, individuals with lived experience, and other stakeholders in the field along with findings from HHS’ demonstration evaluation.    

SAMHSA has categorized the changes to the CCBHC criteria as follows:

  1. Significant updates to advance the field: significant changes that correspond to updates to federal policies, national standards, evolving technologies, and/or infrastructure changes. Significant updates were made in the areas of crisis care, responding to the opioid epidemic, and improving health equity.
  2. Other revisions such as increased flexibility, updated language/examples, and clarifications.

In addition, the criteria updates include changes to the state- and clinic-collected quality measures and clarifications on the scope of services that may be provided by CCBHCs directly and those that may be delivered by a Designated Collaborating Organization (DCO). 

A summary of the proposed revisions to the criteria begins on p. 57 of the document.

SAMHSA is accepting public comments on the draft criteria updates through January 20, 2023.  Comments should be submitted to:

The National Council is conducting a detailed review of the proposed updates and will circulate additional information.

In addition, SAMHSA is holding a webinar detailing the proposed updates to the criteria on January 5, 2023 from 2:00 p.m. EST to 3:00 p.m. EST. Please visit the SAMHSA website for additional details and a registration link.