Children’s Behavioral Health Initiative (CBHI) for MassHealth

Through the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) and Massachusetts Behavioral Health Partnership (MBHP), the Children’s Behavioral Health Initiative (CBHI) ensures access to treatment for Medicaid-insured children, youth, and adolescents under 21 with emotional, behavioral, and mental health care needs.

This initiative — which is  structured to provide services at the individual’s home, school, or in the community — focuses on:

  • Education and outreach for early periodic screening, diagnosis, and treatment (EPSDT) services
  • Standardized behavioral health screenings and assessments
  • Information technology systems to track assessments, treatment planning, and treatment delivery
  • Community-based services

CBHI programs include the following: Intensive Care Coordination (ICC), In-Home Therapy (IHT), Family Support and Training (FS&T), In-Home Behavioral Services (IHBS), Therapeutic Mentoring (TM) and Mobile Crisis Intervention (MCI).

In conjunction with these services, the CBHI requires primary care providers to offer to screen patients under 21 for behavioral health conditions using American Academy of Pediatrics Bright Futures recommended screening tools and to document initial assessments and updates utilizing the Child and Adolescent Strengths and Needs (CANS) assessment tool.

Additionally, through CBHI, providers are mandated to offer periodic maternal and caregiver depression screening using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS).

To learn more about the Massachusetts Children’s Behavioral Health Initiative visit the CBHI page on You’ll find CBHI service information — including performance specifications, MassHealth medical necessity criteria, protocols and practice guidelines and more in the Information for Providers section.