CarePlus Selected to Embark on Federal Demonstration Project

CarePlus is one of seven agencies selected by the state to participate in the two-year Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (“CCBHC”) demonstration program, a federal payment system that is being implemented in eight states throughout the country.

The vision of the CCBHC demonstration program is to increase access and quality of integrated primary and behavioral health care through evidence-based practices, community collaboration, and a comprehensive approach to care coordination. This payment system will benefit adults with serious mental illness, children with serious emotional disturbance, individuals with chronic addiction, and others diagnosed with mental health or substance use disorders.

“Our staff is working tirelessly on the CCBHC implementation,” explained Tara Augustine, COO at CarePlus. “The payment system is a breath of fresh air in the midst of an intense funding atmosphere, and we are grateful for this opportunity to continue to provide the most effective and comprehensive care for those that we serve.”

Through this bulk funding, there is a unique coverage of activities that historically have not been included for reimbursement, including: services provided outside of the organization, telehealth, peer services, and many essential social services supports.

“CarePlus has advanced experience in care coordination and health management solutions,” Augustine stated. “Many of the key components can be addressed through programs and services that already exist within our agency, and we have solid connections with community partners that will help us to complete the continuum of care.”

CCBHC’s can contract with external agencies and community partners that contract to provide additional services and resources. This may include: primary care screening and monitoring; targeted case-management; psychiatric rehabilitation services; peer support, counseling services, and family support services; and services for members of the armed services and veterans.

In addition to those services listed above, which can be provided off-site, the CCBHC is required to provide 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; and outpatient mental health and substance use services.

“At the end of the pilot, the federal government will conduct an audit to determine if the approach provided sufficient federal funding to offset the cost of care,” Augustine continued. “We are still working out the details of who will be covered, what services will be included and the details of how the program will be audited.”

CarePlus leaders have affirmed that the national vision for the CCBHC project is in line with the agency’s goal to offer affordable care to all individuals and families in need. They are optimistic that the implementation will be a step in the right direction for behavioral health care, and commend the NJ Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services for their role in bringing this project to New Jersey communities.

For more information on the CCBHC federal demonstration project, click here.