“I never heard from my outreach workers and DMH worker about this change until last week because they were told not to talk about it to clients.”

– Person receiving DMH services on June 21, 2018 (10 days before ACCS went into effect)

A few weeks ago, we sent out a special e-newsletter inviting people to give feedback on the new Adult Community Clinical Services (ACCS) program that replaced Community-Based Flexible Supports (CBFS) as of July 1. ACCS is the largest Department of Mental Health-funded (DMH) service across Massachusetts, and is essentially what used to more simply be thought of as DMH residential and outreach services.

Since releasing the survey, we’ve received 72 responses. 5 responses came in from people receiving DMH services. 23 were received from people working in peer roles in what is now ACCS. There were also a handful (8) of responses from parents and interested citizens who are watching the process unfold. However, the largest number of responses came from providers (primarily those directly providing services through ACCS, but also a few who were losing their jobs with the end of CBFS or who worked in clinics and other settings that interfaced with these services). There were 36 provider responses, to be exact. The bulk of these responses (40) were from Western Massachusetts, but another 31 were from other parts of the state (with one from out of area).

What follows is a summary of what people had to say.

Do you feel like you fully understand what ACCS is and what it will look like once fully implemented?

Most popular response: “No.”

A selection of other responses:

There were a handful of people who said they did feel they at least mostly thought they had an idea of what to expect. Here are some of those comments:

Why do you think the state decided to change from CBFS to ACCS?

Most popular response: Financially related. For example:

Second most popular answer: I don’t know. For example:

A selection of other responses:

In what ways do you think ACCS might be better or worse than Community Based Flexible Supports? (CBFS)

People approached this question from a number of directions. The most common answer for what would be ‘better’ (as noted below) was the additional peer support that would become available in most organizations. On the other hand, the most popular response for what would be ‘worse’ was the renewed clinical focus. Also of note, many people seemed very clear on what was worse, while people frequently spoke to what they thought was better as “hopes”.

A selection of responses from both perspectives:



What are you most hopeful about regarding the change to ACCS?

Most popular response:

A selection of other responses:

What are you most worried about regarding the change to ACCS?

Most popular response: People will continue to be/will be lost in the shuffle.

A selection of other responses:

Do you feel like the state did a good job of involving and listening to providers and people receiving services when developing the ACCS model?

Most popular answer: No.

A selection of other responses:


What has been most difficult about the implementation process so far?

Most popular response: Loss of services and or staff.

A selection of other responses:

If you could change three things about the ACCS contracts, what would they be?

Most popular response: Don’t let go of qualified providers/change licensing requirements.

A selection of other responses:

Do you believe that providers will ultimately be able to successfully implement these contracts as they were envisioned?

Most popular response: No.

A selection of other responses:

If you are someone working in the ACCS system, do you think this new model will make your job easier or harder? How?

There was no ‘most popular’ answer in this category. A selection of responses include:

If you are someone receiving services in the ACCS system, do you think this will make the support you receive better or worse? How?

Anything else you want to share?

Most popular response: Thank you for collecting this feedback.

A selection of other responses:

Thank you to everyone who took the time to give this feedback! We believe that giving voice to what is happening in the state is absolutely critical on many levels.

If you would like to add your feedback to this data, you can still do so by filling out this survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ACCS_SURVEY