NYS BH HCBS Assessor requirements

  • Requirements also available in Portable Document Format (PDF)

To:             NYS Lead Health Homes, Care Management Agencies serving the Health And Recovery Plan (HARP) Population


Subject:   Discontinuation of Waiver Applications and Change in Qualifications for Care Managers Conducting the NYS Community
                   Mental Health Assessment (CMHA)

Date:         October 19, 2016

Effective November 15, 2016, waiver applications for individuals conducting the NYS Community Mental Health Assessment (CMHA) will no longer be accepted. Care Management Agencies are required to hire qualified staff to conduct the assessments, as has been the expectation from the inception of the waiver process.

The State has also made changes to the Qualifications of Care Managers Conducting the NYS CMH Assessment. These changes were made to accommodate a developing workforce of care managers while also emphasizing the need for Care Management Agencies to hire qualified and experienced staff, as it pertains to the behavioral health population. These qualifications will allow for a slightly broader population of qualified individuals. Going forward, all HCBS assessors/supervisors who received waivers during time period October 2015–November 2016 will meet qualifications to conduct HCBS assessments and provide care management services if they remain employed with the same CMA that submitted the waiver. Waived assessors and supervisors who move to a different CMA must meet the new qualifications in order to continue to serve the HARP population.

For questions regarding care manager qualifications, please contact Dana Cohen, OMH Division of Managed Care: dacohen@nyspi.columbia.edu.

Qualifications for Care Managers Conducting the NYS Community Mental Health Assessment (CMHA) as of November 15, 2016 are as follows:
  1. A bachelor´s degree in one of the fields listed below1; or
  2. A NYS teacher´s certificate for which a bachelor´s degree is required; or
  3. NYS licensure and registration as a Registered Nurse and a bachelor´s degree; or
  4. A Bachelor´s level education or higher in any field with five years of experience working directly with persons with behavioral health diagnoses; or
  5. A Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC).



Two years of experience:

  1. In providing direct services to people with Serious Mental Illness, developmental disabilities, or substance use disorders; or
  2. In linking individuals with Serious Mental Illness, developmental disabilities, or substance use disorders to a broad range of services essential to successful living in a community setting (e.g. medical, psychiatric, social, educational, legal, housing and financial services).
    • A master´s degree in one of the qualifying education fields may be substituted for one year of Experience.

Supervision from a:

  1. Licensed level healthcare professional (e.g., RN, licensed clinician, psychologist) with prior experience in a behavioral health clinic or care management supervisory capacity;

  2. Master´s level professional with 3 years prior experience supervising clinicians and/or CMs who are providing direct services to individuals with SMI/serious SUDs.

  1. Specific training for the designated assessment tool(s), the array of services and supports available, and the client-centered service planning process. Training in assessment of individuals whose condition may trigger a need for HCBS and supports, and an ongoing knowledge of current best practices to improve health and quality of life.
  2. Mandated training on the New York State Community Mental Health Assessment instrument and additional required training.


1. Qualifying education includes degrees featuring a major or concentration in social work, psychology, nursing, rehabilitation, education, occupational therapy, physical therapy, recreation or recreation therapy, counseling, community mental health, child and family studies, sociology, speech and hearing or other human services field.1