Community Mental Health Centers

A Community Mental Health Center is an entity that provides all of the following:

  • Outpatient services, including specialized outpatient services for children, the elderly, individuals who are chronically mentally ill, and residents of its mental health service area who have been discharged from inpatient treatment at a mental health facility.
  • 24-hour-a-day emergency care services.
  • Day treatment or other partial hospitalization services or psychosocial rehabilitation services.
  • Screening for patients being considered for admission to state mental health facilities to determine the appropriateness of such admission.
  • At least 40 percent of its services to individuals who are not eligible for benefits under title XVIII of the Social Security Act.

CMHCs are not state licensed or accredited and may be certified to participate in the federal Medicare Program.

Provider Certification

The Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services directs state health agencies or other appropriate agencies to determine if health care entities meet federal standards. This helping function is termed "provider certification." Health Facility Compliance Unit staff are responsible for providing certification oversight on behalf of CMS for CMHCs.

For more information on the certification process, refer to our Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Information page or contact your regional office (PDF).