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July 26, 2018

Advancing Public Policies for People with Mental Illness, Chemical Dependency or Developmental Disabilities   

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Francine Sinkoff, Editor
Twin Counties aim to expand opioid recovery services - Greene & Columbia Counties

Two new rehabs coming to Warren County

Capital Region counties push for real-time data on opioid deaths, hospitalizations

N.Y. Supportive Housing Development Receives Financing - Albany County

Drug Addiction Recovery Center in Utica Expands Services - Oneida County

Telepsychiatry program connects students with mental health care - Otsego County

Prevention Needs Assessment data helps Tioga County educators plan prevention, intervention programs

Law enforcement's efforts to curb heroin abuse - Monroe County

Narcan emergency overdose treatment added to University's AED cabinets - Monroe County

Suffolk County, N.Y., Schools to Get Access to Threat Reporting App

National Suicide Hotline Changes Headed for House Vote

The National Suicide Hotline Improvement Act of 2017 ( H.R. 2345 ) has advanced out of committee and is headed for a House vote. The bill would require the FCC, SAMHSA, and the Department of Veterans Affairs to coordinate on establishing a three-digit code (like 411 or 611) for a national suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline system. The creation of a new three-digit code, specifically catered towards these unique crises, would divert individuals from the unnecessary use of 911 emergency services. Now is a critical time for advocates to reach out to their Members of Congress regarding this bill.

Launch of New VBP-U Semester

The Medicaid Redesign Team has recently announced the launch of Value Based Payment-U (VBP-U), Sophomore Year, Semester 1!  VBP-U is an online, educational resource created to raise awareness, knowledge and expertise in the move to Value Based Payment (VBP). VBP-U combines informational videos and supplemental materials that stakeholders interested in VBP can use to advance their understanding of this healthcare transformation effort.
Building off of the success and interest of VBP-U least year, VBP-U: Sophomore Year, Semester One is designed to serve as a deeper dive into VBP fundamentals. This semester's curriculum includes summary documents from the Fall 2017 VBP Bootcamps, information on the Medicare Access & Children´s Health Insurance Reauthorization Act (MACRA), guidance documents for Chief Medical Officers (CMOs), and guidance documents  for addressing social determinants of health through VBP.
Additional Information on upcoming VBP-U Sophomore Year Semesters
In the coming months, the Medicaid Redesign Team will release additional semesters of VBP-U followed by a VBP bootcamp this Fall. The tentative schedule of release is as follows:
Semester 1
July 2018
Semester 2
August 2018
Semester 3
September 2018
Semester 4**
September 2018**
For more information and to view the new VBP-U Sophomore Year, Semester 1 content, click here .

Children's Behavioral Health Provider Readiness Funds
July 27, 9 - 10 am, MCTAC

July 31, 1 - 2 pm, OMH

Family Engagement in Substance Use Disorder Services
July 31, 1 - 2 pm, CTAC

Health and Human Services Partnership Success Story
July 31, 2:30 - 3:30 pm, Alliance for Strong Families and Communities

Strengthening the Role of Jails in Improving Behavioral Health Outcomes
July 31, 3 - 4:30 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

From ACEs to Assets: Supporting the Growth of Resilience to Improve Education, Health, and Wellness Outcomes
August 1, 12 - 1 pm, CTAC

August 2, 2 - 3:15 pm, National Association of Counties

August 2, 2 - 3:30 pm, Resources for Integrated Care

Introducing RASP: Relapse Assessment In Schizophrenia Patients
August 8, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

PSYCKES Access and Implementation
August 9, 11 am - 12 pm, OMH

ACEs: The Role of Life Experiences in Shaping Brain Development
August 9, 12 - 1 pm, SAMHSA

Emerging Best Practices for People with an Intellectual/ Developmental Disability Co-Occurring with Serious Mental Illness
August 9, 1:30 - 2:30 pm, SAMHSA

Using PSYCKES for Clinicians
August 14, 1 - 2:30 pm, OMH

Prevention in Practice: Building Communities That Strengthen the Resiliency of Future Generations
August 15, 12 - 1 pm, SAMHSA

Using PSYCKES Recipient Search
August 21, 11 am - 12 pm, OMH

An Update From NCQA©: Focusing On HEDIS® Behavioral Health Measures (Quality Measurement Series Part 1)
August 22, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

Best Practices for Sustaining Behavioral Health Integration Models in Health Centers Using Health Information Technology
August 22, 3 - 4:30 pm, SAMHSA-HRSA

September 5, 11:30 am - 1 pm, SAMHSA

PSYCKES Mobile App for iPhones & iPads
September 5, 1 - 2 pm, OMH



Mental Hygiene Planning Committee Meeting
August 7: 1 - 3 pm, GTM

Children & Families Committee Meeting
August 21: 11:30 am - 1 pm, GTM


Officers, Chairs & Regional Reps Call
September 5: 8 am

Developmental Disabilities Committee Meeting
September 6: 1 - 2:30 pm, GTM

Children & Families Committee Meeting
September 18: 11:30 am - 1 pm, GTM

Mental Hygiene Planning Committee Meeting
September 18: 1 - 3 pm, GTM

Fall Full Membership Meeting
September 24 - 25, Rochester

Contact CLMHD for all Call In and Go To Meeting information, 518.462.9422 
Counties Band Together in Push to Make Drug Makers Pay for Wave of Addiction

A total of 51 county governments across New York have opted to sue pharmaceutical firms, seeking to hold them accountable for the costs of responding to an epidemic of fatal opioid overdoses.

Among them is Clinton County - it joined the effort early on, Clinton County Administrator Michael Zurlo said, hiring an attorney as just the eighth or ninth county to do so.

"We sent them a massive amount of data," he said, "all kinds of numbers and costs."
Stephen Acquario, director of the New York State Association of Counties, said that taxpayers have had to shoulder tremendous costs, ranging from jailing addicts, getting emergency medical care to those in the throes of an overdose and using morgues to hold the corpses.

The counties bringing the suits make up the bulk of New York's 62 counties.  Read more here .
'Wrap-Around' Model Helps Prevent Behavioral Hospitalizations

Erie County Medical Center had the distinction last year of releasing a teen patient with severe autism from the behavioral health emergency room - after 304 days.

The 16-year-old was one of hundreds with developmental disabilities in the region - and thousands across the nation - who fall into a gray area each year. Where to best help them when an explosive outburst requires emergency care: in a mental health or more typical hospital setting?

"You can treat them and get them out but still, a lot of families at that point are beyond being able to handle things anymore," said Dr. Michael Cummings, associate medical director in charge of the ECMC Regional Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health. "You can't imagine how hard it is to acknowledge to yourself that leaving a child in an emergency room is better than taking them home."

The hospital, New York State and a quartet of regional nonprofit foundations believe they have found an answer for most parents, and patients, in such shoes - the Access to Psychiatry through Intermediate Care (APIC) program, a team that makes house calls to challenged families in 17 upstate counties. Read more here.
A Bronx Woman Battling Heroin Addiction Got Locked Up at Rikers Island - And Is Convinced It Saved Her Life

Leidanett (Lady) Rivera was living a life of almost unfathomable despair a year ago.
Sleeping inside an open-air heroin den in the South Bronx, the rail-thin Rivera spent her waking moments scrounging around for her next hit.

She had just survived two overdoses. She weighed close to 100 pounds. And the veins in her arms were so badly damaged that she was injecting drugs into her neck.

Rivera's agonizing existence was chronicled in a Daily News story on the horrors of the heroin epidemic in the South Bronx.

Some 14 months later, Rivera is locked up at Rikers Island - and she's convinced the jail saved her life. The 39-year-old mother has received consistent doses of methadone and other badly needed medications for the first time in years. Rivera has also benefited from intensive counseling sessions and other services available in the jail system.

"Jail was my rehab," Rivera told The News in an interview at Rikers. "Jail made me realize how much I could lose in a minute." Read more here.
NYS Department of Health Welcomes New Innovator Network for Medicaid Providers

The New York State Department of Health announced Tuesday a new innovator under Medicaid's Value-Based Payment Roadmap, a key component to the Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment Program.

NYU Langone Independent Practice Association, the chosen innovator, is the second organization involved in the value-based payment method, joining Montefiore, designated earlier this year.

NYU Langone's network includes Tisch Hospital, Rusk Rehabilitation, NYU Langone Orthopedic Hospital, NYU Langone Hospital-Brooklyn and Hassenfeld Children's Hospital. The network additionally extends to over 3,500 health care providers, representing more than 30 specialties. Within its first year, it is estimated the network will care for 67,000 Medicaid members. Read more here.
National Quality Forum: Behavioral Health and Substance Use Fall 2017 Final Report

Mental illness and substance use disorders are leading causes of disability and premature mortality in the United States. Access to quality behavioral healthcare is essential to leading a healthy, productive life. Given that one in five American adults experience a mental illness in a given year, performance measurement in this area needs to remain operational and current.

This report is the fifth in a series of reports describing the National Quality Forum's (NQF) measure evaluation projects for behavioral health measures. The multiphase project aims to endorse measures of accountability for improving the delivery of behavioral health services and achieving better behavioral health outcomes for the U.S. population. In this phase, the Behavioral Health and Substance Use Standing Committee evaluated five measures related to continuity of care, follow-up care, antipsychotic use, medication reconciliation, and psychosocial screening in children. The Committee recommended four measures for endorsement, one measure was not recommended.

July 31, 2018 from 3 - 4:30 pm

SAMHSA's GAINS Center for Behavioral Health and Justice Transformation is partnering with the American Jail Association, the National Sheriff's Association, and the National Institute of Corrections to present a panel of jail administrators and professionals sharing ways they have improved how their jails support people with behavioral health disorders.

Announcing the Webinar Speakers:
  • Elizabeth Falcon, PsyD, CCHP-MH, MBA | Senior Expert, Falcon, Inc. (Illinois)
  • Marissa Fariña-Morse, MEd, EdS, LPC, CAADC, NCC | Diversion First Service Director (Virginia)
  • Randy Clark | Deputy Chief (Ret.), Collin County Sheriff's Office (Texas)
  • Cornita Riley | Chief, Orange County Corrections Department (Florida)
  • Josephine Eady, MPA, CCHP | Health Services Administrator, Orange County Corrections Department (Florida)
Click HERE To register for the webinar.
SAMHSA Recovery to Practice (RTP) Podcast Series: 
Complex Clinical Decisions in 
Image result for samhsa recovery to practice
This podcast series explores complex clinical decisions in psychopharmacology for providers of services to individuals with serious mental illness (SMI) from a recovery-oriented perspective. Each podcast is 30- to 45-minutes long and features a discussion among leading experts on a topic of interest led by Dr. Curley Bonds, Chief Deputy Director, Clinical Operations Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health. Each podcast is available for physician CME provided by the American Academy of Family Physicians.

Podcast topics include  R ecovery-oriented Approaches to Psychopharmacology;  Right Med, Right Time: How Medication can Support Recovery; and  Pregna nt and Nursing Women: Making Decisions About Psychotropic Medications.  To listen to these podcasts, click HERE
Naloxone Remains Controversial, But It Shouldn't Be

The overdose-reversing drug naloxone 
saves thousands of lives each year and is more widely available today than ever. So why do overdose deaths across the U.S. 
continue to rise?

According to a recent  study, naloxone itself is partly to blame. Naloxone, the authors of the study wrote, increases opioid use and does not reduce opioid-related mortality overall because it provides users with a "safety net" and thus encourages riskier drug use. The paper set off a Twitterstorm and controversy even among those who don't air their disagreements digitally.

From the perspective of a public health researcher, I can say the weight of evidence 
suggests that naloxone, which is often sold as the brand name Narcan, is a vital tool in fighting the overdose epidemic and, in fact, is too often not available where it is needed most. Read more here.
Beyond the Stigma: Clubhouse Model Thriving in 32 Countries

Seventy years ago in New York City, six men with mental health challenges started Fountain House, a "clubhouse" where they could find friendship and support in a safe place that was all their own.  The model that they started back then is now thriving in 32 countries.

Joel Corcoran is executive director of Clubhouse International, which is headquartered in Manhattan and counts around 300 member clubhouses, more than 200 of them in the United States. He said clubhouses address issues of "social and economic isolation" for those living with mental illness.

The model emphasizes the value of work and social interactions; members work side by side with staff to develop job skills and access education, employment support and social services. Read more here.
New Measures Hit The Streets

Performance measurement, and the management of that performance, may be the defining factor for successful relationships between provider organizations and health plans, but with each passing year the level of measurement fatigue and exhaustion that I'm seeing in executive teams is increasing. The main reason for this is simple-performance measurement in health and human services is an evolving, growing science.

And a great example of this is the 2019 updates to the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS), from The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). Earlier this month, NCQA released its updates to HEDIS, which included four additional measures, and changes to four existing measures. The new measures include:

Hospitalization Following Discharge From a Skilled Nursing Facility
This measure will track the percentage of skilled nursing facility discharges to the community that result in an unplanned hospitalization within 30 days and 60 days, and will be used to assess the coordination of provider organizations and services to support a successful transition to the community from a skilled level of care across Medicare Advantage plans. Read more here.
The Conference of Local Mental Hygiene Directors advances public policies and awareness for people with mental illness, chemical dependency and developmental disabilities.  We are a statewide membership organization that consists of the Commissioner/ Director of each of the state's 57 county mental hygiene departments and the mental hygiene department of the City of New York.