Conducting Dual Diagnosis Capability Reviews

This page is dedicated to optimally equipping Reviewers for conducting the best possible DDCAT or DDCMHT reviews. While much training on the DDCAT and DDCMHT concerns itself with the content of the instruments and how to apply them during reviews, this may not adequately address the entire process. There is also the lead-up to the actual site review, and what happens in the days and weeks following the site review, that can benefit from at least some of the following perspectives, and trial-and-error learning experienced by prior DDCAT/DDCMHT Reviewers.


Readiness assessment?

  • Make sure the provider has something to review before committing the resources involved in spending the day onsite with a DDCAT or DDCMHT review — this can be accomplished by asking provider programs to complete a self-administered readiness assessment review, and either reporting their global findings, or talking through their findings on a conference call with a lead Reviewer.

Advance request of pertinent materials?

  • In order to optimize the time spent onsite, it makes sense to obtain as much information as possible up-front, especially that which can be scanned/emailed to the Reviewer(s) via email in advance of the site review date;

Other advance arrangements?

  • Designate one lead person representing the Reviewer(s) who needs to communicate with the provider program representative to hammer out an optimally workable schedule for the review day.
  • Don’t forget to clearly identify the lunch arrangement, so there need not be any surprises, hard feelings, or wasted time on the review date. If the hosting site can arrange for lunch to be brought in (whether they pay for it or not) that can maximize the time efficiency of the review day’s activities, as the lunch time can be used in any number of helpful ways:
    • Reviewer(s) discussion about what they are seeing;
    • Reviewer(s) intentionally planning to discuss program aspects in a more relaxed manner with provider program leadership or clinical staff;
    • Reviewer(s) looking at charts;


Philosophical and practical approach?

  • performance improvement focus
  • professional
  • partnering/collaborative
  • nonjudgmental (meeting the organization where it is at)
  • motivational

Don’t be afraid to supplement the toolkit forms with those of your own, if it helps you capture targeted information better


  • Complete the report within a matter of days, not weeks;
  • Consider submitting a draft to the provider program in 2 weeks or less, giving them the option of challenging scores that they believe would have been different if other already established information had been better considered by the Reviewer(s), and that information can be provided;
  • Offer suggestions or recommendations for improvement in every area in which a provider program scored lower than a 3.0, and include those as part of the written report.
  • Provide a copy of the finalized report to the provider program, with an offer to discuss the findings via teleconference call with whatever provider program individuals would like to participate in such a discussion.
  • Provide copies of final reports to your local regional behavioral health entity, for subsequent forwarding to the State for inclusion on SAMHSA’s website for those providers found to be Dual Diagnosis Capable, or Dual Diagnosis Enhanced.