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Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS)

What is the CANS?

The Child and Adolescent Needs and Strenths (CANS) tool, developed by John S. Lyons, PhD, is a document that organizes clinical information collected during a behavioral health assessment in a consistent manner, to improve communication among those involved in planning care for a child or adolescent. The CANS is also used as a decision-support tool to guide care planning and to track changing strengths and needs over time. The CANS is used in child-serving systems in more than 30 states across the country. There are two forms of the Massachusetts CANS (MassCANS); 'CANS Birth Through Four' and 'CANS Five Through Twenty'. In addition, the CANS assessment form includes a determination of whether a child meets the criteria for serious emotional disturbance.

For information on the Massachusetts CANS Forms, the CANS Rating Sheets, the CANS Users Guides, the Massachusetts CANS Consent Documents, the CANS Race, Ethnicity and Primary Language Information, CANS FAQ, using CANS Application on the Virtual Gateway, CANS Training and Certification, Helpful Contact Information, and Useful Resources, go to www.mass.gov/masshealth/childbehavioralhealth then click on "Information for Providers" then "CANS tools."

Please click the links below for the MBHP CANS Provider Alerts.

Alert 37 - CANS - May 7, 2008
Alert 37 - Attachment 1 CANS - May 7, 2008
Alert 39 - CANS Update 1 - Aug 1, 2008
Alert 48 - CANS Provider Alert - Nov 10, 2008
Alert 53 - CANS Provider Alert - Dec 4, 2008
Alert 60 - CANS Provider Alert - April 16, 2009

Massachusetts CANS Training and Certification Log In

Information and Assistance with the Virtual Gateway: Click on "Information for Providers" then "CANS tools".


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Link SymbolThird Party Liability (TPL) FAQs
 Click here for Frequently Asked Questions about MBHP's Provider Alert #126 regarding Third Party Liability.

Link SymbolExpedited Authorization Website
 An Expedited Authorization and Mental Status Update website is available for all eligible Emergency Service Program providers starting June 1, 2012: please click here to connect.

Link SymbolMBHP has gone Green!
 Notices of new routine authorizations, and the letters themselves, are available at the MBHP/ValueOptions online provider portal ProviderConnect. Letters related to adverse actions or denials continue to be sent through the mail. To hear a previously presented training on the authorization letter Go Green program click here.

Link SymbolChildren's Behavioral Health Initiative (CBHI)
 Please click here for information, including performance specifications, for Children's Behavioral Health Initiative (CBHI) services.

Link SymbolFile Electronic Claims
 Learn more about the advantages of submitting electronic claims.

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This page was last updated: 10/12/2010