Information for Providers

CMBHS Background

The Department of State Health Services (DSHS) currently uses multiple software systems to provide and manage community mental health and substance abuse services for Texans.

The primary software systems include:

  • CARE, a mainframe-based central client registration database for inpatient and community mental health services.
  • WebCARE, a web-based application that supplements some functions of CARE. Its primary purpose is to support the implementation of the Texas Recommended Assessment Guidelines (TRAG) for adult and youth community mental health services.
  • BHIPS, a nationally recognized, comprehensive, web-based clinical recordkeeping system for substance abuse service providers that supports services delivered independently or through provider networks. It includes a guided clinical interview and other tools that help providers implement best clinical practices. BHIPS also tracks the delivery of client services, client progress and response to treatment. Lastly, it automates billing, and provides extensive reporting and analysis capabilities as a by-product of the clinical processes.


DSHS initiated CMBHS to create one electronic clinical recordkeeping system instead of multiple systems that did not communicate easily with each other. With the development of CMBHS, DSHS can:

  • Provide mental health and substance abuse providers with a more complete and accurate client treatment history.
  • Provide a comprehensive view of Mental Health and Substance Abuse services in Texas using CMBHS integrated client data.
  • Manage client care for persons with co-occurring conditions of mental health and substance abuse through the use of a single record system.
  • Reduce the inefficiencies and costs associated with the operation of multiple distinct client information management systems (i.e. database management) for contracted community mental health and substance abuse services.
  • Comply with state and federal mandates to integrate processes and procedures that guide the delivery of Mental Health and Substance Abuse services.

CMBHS Project Components

Clinical Management

Clinical management is the management of client services and associated data starting with pre-treatment processing and continuing thru post-treatment follow-up and is the initial component of the CMBHS project scheduled for the first system release to be implemented in late FY2009. Clinical management includes:

  • Managing client screening, registration, treatment eligibility determination, and assessment.
  • Evaluating a client’s condition, treatment, level of care needs and recommended treatment options.
  • Storing treatment service information such as assessments, treatment plans, progress notes, and referrals.
  • Evaluating the client’s post-treatment progress

The CMBHS clinical management functions described above will replace the same functions currently found in CARE and WebCARE for community mental health and BHIPS for substance abuse.

For substance abuse services, BHIPS provides a comprehensive electronic medical record that includes information on assessments, diagnosis, treatment plans and clinical progress notes. A central database of BHIPS information contains client personal and demographic information; information related to client intake, discharge and referral; and claims processing. BHIPS links claims to clinical documentation for substance abuse service providers.

Client and Service Data Management

Gathering and analyzing client treatment and service delivery data can provide a comprehensive view of services delivered and an accurate client treatment history.

The benefits of consolidating multiple systems into one include minimizing multiple systems data entry and the use of standard transactions.

Billing and Claims Processing

DSHS community mental health and substance abuse services providers employ a variety of methods to bill and collect for payment of client services (prepayment for community mental health services; fee-for-service and cost reimbursement for substance abuse prevention and treatment services). The final CMBHS design will incorporate these various billing and payment systems into the planned development of a CMBHS Financial Module.

Last updated November 9, 2017