Mental Health/Substance Use Disorder Continua of Care

​​​​​For an overview see each Continua​ of Care.

Within the mental health and substance use disorder (MH/SA) continua of care, services should promote recovery, safety and overall wellbeing. They will be monitored for quality and provided in a manner that adequately addresses the needs of each member. Services will be provided in the least restrictive setting possible, respecting each member's preferences and reaching toward greater quality of life and reduced levels of service dependency over time. The goal is easily accessible and high-quality evidence-based care. To meet the goals, Cardinal Innovations continually builds and enhances its MH/SA continua of care with the following foundational resources:

Comprehensive Community Clinics (CCCs) have been established throughout our service areas and serve as the behavioral health home for many of our members, as well as being a regional resource for our MH/SA system. CCCs are assigned by county and provide high quality assessments, the full range of basic individual, group and family therapies, and psychopharmacology services for children and adults with MH/SA diagnoses, as well as dually diagnosed ID/DD members.

Services in Primary Care and other Medical Settings

​Cardinal Innovations recognizes that many members may not require or choose specialty behavioral health services and will be managed in a medical and/or primary care setting. Primary care settings are the most common location for screening, detection and basic treatment of behavioral health conditions. We provide several resources to assist Primary Care Physicians (PCPs) with evidence-based management of behavioral health diagnoses, including extensive collaboration with Community Care of North Carolina (CCNC) networks.

High Quality Comprehensive Clinical Assessments

Most members entering care through non-emergency settings first receive a Comprehensive Clinical Assessment (CCA) – a face-to-face evaluation by a licensed clinician. The purpose of the CCA is to ensure medically necessary, least restrictive, evidence-based treatment recommendations and referrals for all our members.

Level of Care Determination/Utilization Tools
After completion of the CCA, members are then referred – if medically necessary – to either basic or enhanced services, either of which shall apply evidence-based treatment models for addressing the member's diagnosis and associated symptoms or functional problems. Also, if additional diagnostic or functional clarity is needed, members may be referred for psychological testing.

Our providers use these standardized level of care utilization tools:  

  • Level of Care Utilization System (LOCUS) and Child & Adolescent Level of Care Utilization System (CALOCUS)
  • American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM)

Members may also be referred to natural supports, which are typically non-paid government and/or other community and family-based supports that assist the member in attaining basic needs such as food, shelter, education, legal assistance and employment, as well as contribute to a member's overall wellbeing. Cardinal Innovations' Community Partners staff, located in each of our Community Operations Center, focus on strengthening such community resources and ensuring our members have access to the services they need.​