Colorado COMPASS

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 Content-wise, these two systems have duplicate and outdated items which inhibit efficient work-flow.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.


Guiding Principles

  1. The DII will minimize the burden on the individual seeking services.
  2. The DII will be designed transparently, through collaboration across sister agencies, with stakeholders, and internal OBH personnel.
  3. The DII will reduce data collection redundancy across the behavioral health system.
    1. Efforts will be taking to minimize the duplication for consumers with co-occurring presentations.
    2. Efforts will also be taken to align with sister agencies outcome measurement to minimize cross system data redundancies.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 RequirementsSeptember 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.

COMPASS Terminology(Updated Feb. 14, 2020)
Rule No. Title
AS-1 Base Assessments(Updated Feb. 14, 2020)
AS-2 When are Base Assessments Due(Updated Feb. 14, 2020)
AS-3 Other Assessments(Updated Feb. 14, 2020)
AS-4 Assessments for One-Step COMPASS Services
AS-5 Crisis COMPASS Service Assessment
COMPASS Services
Rule No. Title
CS-1 COMPASS Services
CS-2 One-Step and Registered COMPASS Services
CS-3 When to Submit Data for One-Step COMPASS Services
CS-4 When to Submit Data for Registered COMPASS Services
CS-5 Case Management - COMPASS Service
CS-6 Multiple COMPASS Services
CS-7 COMPASS Services Hierarchy(Updated Feb. 14, 2020)
CS-8 Data Required for Clients in SU Treatment
CS-9 Data Required for Clients in Crisis COMPASS Services
Data Entry
Rule No. Title
DE-1 SMI/SED Status
DE-2 Household Language
DE-3 Recording Gender
DE-4 Transfer or Referral Source
DE-5 Allowable Diagnosis Codes
DE-6 Recording Use of Evidence-Based Practices
DE-7 Criminal Justice Involvement Selection List
DE-8 Drug Type(Updated Feb. 14, 2020)
DE-9 JBBS Recording Atttempted vs. Refused
Rule No. Title
EN-1 What is an Encounter
EN-2 What populations require COMPASS data submission?
EN-3 Data Updates and Corrections
EN-4 Which Clients Can be Preadmitted?
EN-5 Mandatory Fields for Preadmit
EN-6 Data Submission Timelines
EN-7 Who is Required to Submit COMPASS Data
EN-8 COMPASS Requirements for RTCs
Appendix no. Title
AS-a Assessment Scenarios(Updated Feb. 14, 2020)
AS-1-a Health Related Quality of Life Assessment HRQOL-4 (+3)(Updated Feb. 14, 2020)
AS-1-b Pediatric Global Health 7 (PGH7) Assessment COMPASS Record Type A02
AS-1-c Parent Proxy Global Health 7 (PGH7) Assessment(Updated Feb. 14, 2020)
AS-1-d Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) COMPASS Record Type A03
AS-1-e Base Assessment Age Brackets(Updated Feb. 14, 2020)
AS-2 Special Connections Pregnancy Screening COMPASS Record Type A06
AS-3-a Special Service Assessment - ACT and FEP COMPASS Record Type A07
AS-3-b Modified Colorado Index(Updated Feb. 14, 2020)
AS-3-c Lehman\'s Quality of Life Global Rating Scale COMPASS Record Type A09
AS-3-d Global Functioning Social and Role Scales COMPASS Record Type A08
AS-5-a Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS) COMPASS Record Type A13
CS-1-a COMPASS Service Definitions
CS-6-a Multiple COMPASS Services
Technical Resources
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

Email Us

For general information and/or support questions about Colorado COMPASS, please email:

Troy Evatt, Senior Data Manager

Media Contact

Stefany Busch, Media Manager

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