Colorado COMPASS News
(August 20, 2020)
The Office of Behavioral Health (OBH) has made the difficult decision to terminate our relationship with the Colorado COMPASS data system vendor.
What this decision means: Effective immediately, we are stopping further work on the COMPASS and will not launch the system this fall.
Why OBH made this decision: Data system development is costly for providers in terms of dollars spent and personnel time. OBH opted to consider recent recommendations of the Behavioral Health Task Force and the forthcoming Population in Need study, which stressed the creation of a product that is flexible and responsive to changing state and federal requirements. By halting work with the current COMPASS vendor, we hope to create a system that will grow with us as we carry out key recommendations for the behavioral health system.
What are the next steps for COMPASS? OBH will re-procure the system and anticipates issuing a Request for Information (RFI) this fall. In the short term, we will continue to use the COMPASS FAQ section below for updates. This page will eventually be migrated.
More information about next steps will be provided as soon as it is known.
In 2013, OBH began the Colorado COMPASS project (formerly known as Data Integration Initiative or DII), with the award of the General Fund and Block Grant dollars to consolidate the State's mental health and substance use disorder treatment data systems.
Before present date, the Office has met federal and state reporting requirements by collecting treatment information in two data systems: Colorado Client Assessment Record system (CCAR) and Drug and Alcohol Coordinated Data System (DACODS). Technologically, these systems are over 10 years old and are limited in flexibility. Content-wise, these two systems have duplicate and outdated items which inhibit efficient work-flow. Furthermore, evaluation practices have shifted to performance-based outcomes, and the items in the current systems limit performance-based analyses.
Progressing through the DII investigation, research, development and implementation process, the Office is working towards a new and improved single behavioral health treatment data collection system — Colorado COMPASS — for mental health and substance use reporting. Colorado COMPASS will replace the outgoing CCAR and DACODS systems.
Colorado COMPASS's overarching goal is to make data collection simple, update measures collected, and still meet state and federal reporting needs.
- The DII will minimize the burden on the individual seeking services.
- The DII will be designed transparently, through collaboration across sister agencies, with stakeholders, and internal OBH personnel.
- The DII will reduce data collection redundancy across the behavioral health system.
- Efforts will be taking to minimize the duplication for consumers with co-occurring presentations.
- Efforts will also be taken to align with sister agencies outcome measurement to minimize cross system data redundancies.
- The DII will look to anticipate shifts in the federal and statewide behavioral health system requirements. These shifts may include: business rules, contract rules, and performance measurement.
- The DII will identify and capture meaningful outcomes to capture the work of the behavioral health system. These outcomes will support federal reporting, statewide initiatives, and programmatic evaluations.
- The DII will maximize affordability with innovation, will be developed with IT best practices, will be scalable to allow for future flexibility, and will focus on highest levels of data security.
Review of Colorado Data Integration Initiative Default Core Data Set and Substance Use Disorder Additional Core Data Set for Conformance with SAMHSA Federal Reporting of the Combined Substance Abuse and Mental Health Treatment Episode Data Set and Mental Health Client Level Data Set Reporting Requirements. September 22, 2017
Colorado COMPASS rules are designed to aid providers as they collect and input data into the new system. The rules are intended to augment existing guidance posted in the Technical Resources section of this web page. The following rules have been vetted through experts in OBH, include input from the COMPASS Rules Manual Task Force, and have been revised taking into account public feedback.
Download the entire Colorado COMPASS Rules Manual or view individual chapters and appendices below.
NOTE: If discrepancies exist between the following rules and the posted H4T technical documentation/rules, OBH rules take precedence.
- Technical Resources
- COMPASS Encounter Data Import Guide Updated Dec. 18, 2019- Overview of the interface, and the general processes and procedures used to import encounter data into Colorado COMPASS.(For Management, Clinical Leads, Technical Leads, and Interface Analysts)
- Colorado DII Data Import Addendum Updated Dec. 18, 2019- DII-specific information related to the interface. (For Management, Clinical Leads, Technical Leads, Interface Analysts)
- ADMIN801File Specification Updated Dec. 18, 2019- Outlines the exact position of each field in each type of record within the interface. (Technical Leads, Interface Analysts)
- ADMIN801File Specification Details Updated Dec. 18, 2019- Outlines the exact position of each field in each type of record within the interface. (Technical Leads, Interface Analysts)
- A02 PGH7 Corrections to Scoring Posted May 20, 2019-Provides correct scoring for the PGH7 Assessment.
- COMPASS Quick Guide Posted Oct. 22, 2018- General instructions for using the Colorado COMPASS system. (Management, Clinical Leads, Technical Leads, Interface Analysts)
- 837 Companion Guide Updated Feb. 11, 2020-Guide used to complete OBH and COMPASS-specific fields in the 837 file.
- Colorado COMPASS Definitions Posted Nov. 19, 2018- Definition of key terms and fields in the Colorado COMPASS system.
- CCAR Data Conversion Design Posted April 15, 2019 - Describes how claim (837) and CCAR data will be converted.
- Train the Trainer PDF Slide Deck with Notes(Access the editable PowerPoint)Posted Feb. 27, 2020
- Using the H4T COMPASS Self-Service Reporting Tool: A User Guide Posted March 6, 2020
- Frequently Asked Questions
The Office of Behavioral Health has made the difficult decision to terminate our relationship with the Colorado COMPASS data system vendor. OBH will re-procure the system and anticipates issuing a Request for Information (RFI) this fall. In the short term, please check this section for updates.
- Contact Us
For general information and/or support questions about Colorado COMPASS, please email:
Troy Evatt, Senior Data Manager
Stefany Busch, Media Manager
Sign up here for Behavioral Health Administration email updates