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June 28, 2017

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

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Francine Sinkoff, Editor

Keeping Mentally Ill Out of Jail and in Treatment - Model Shown to Work in Breakthrough Study out of Rochester 

People with severe mental illness are more than four times more likely to be arrested than other adults and account for nearly 20% of today's U.S. prison population. Behind bars, they often wait months to receive appropriate treatment, if any, studies show.

To tackle this growing national concern, varied approaches have been tried and tested in cities across the country, but results have been mixed at best.

Now, an intervention born in Rochester, N.Y., has been shown for the first time to reduce the population's criminal convictions ,  jail time and hospitalizations by roughly 50 percent. Additionally, the model-which hinges on active collaboration and shared problem-solving between mental health and criminal justice systems-has proven to keep mentally ill individuals in treatment twice as long as the study's comparison program.  Read more here .
BJS Study Finds Higher Rates of Inmates Meeting Threshold for Serious Psychological Distress than General Population

The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) recently released a study examining the number of state and federal prisoners and jail inmates reporting experiences that met the threshold for serious psychological distress (SPD).  

The study found 14% of state and federal prisoners and inmates and 26% of jail inmates reported experiences in the prior 30 days that met the threshold for SPD, compared with 5% of the standardized U.S. general population that met the same threshold.  A greater percentage of women in prison (20%) or jail (32%) reported recent experiences meeting the threshold for SPD than men in prison (14%) or jail (26%).  Additionally, 37% of prisoners and 44% of jail inmates had at some point been told by a mental health profe ssional that they had a mental disorder.

This study was conducted using data from the BJS 2011-12 National Inmate Survey and from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Read more here.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently provided feedback on the July 2016 approved NYS VBP Roadmap.  CMS has suggested that "...the next version of the Roadmap include a strategy to work toward an alternative payment model that includes both upside and downside risk for providers."
DOH is requesting feedback and/or recommendations related to CMS' request for payment model strategy for upside/downside risk providers. If you have any suggestions or ideas, please provide your feedback to  The feedback period will close on July 25th.  

To access the current version of the NYS Value Based Payment (VBP) Roadmap, click here.


June 29, 12 - 1 pm, National Council for Behavioral Health

June 29, 2 - 3 pm, MCTAC

June 29, 2 - 3 pm, National Council for Behavioral Health

June 29, 2 - 3:15 pm, National Association of Counties

June 29, 6:30 - 9 pm, CO*RE / ASAM

July 12, 1 - 2 pm, Behavioral Healthcare Executive

July 18, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

July 19, 1 - 2:30 pm, Manatt Health

August 16, 3 - 4:30 pm, Rural Behavioral Health


JULY 2017

CLMHD Office Closed
July 3 - 4:  Independence Day 

Officers, Chairs & Regional Reps Call
July 5:  8 - 9 am

Mental Health Committee Meeting
July 13:  11 am - 12:30 pm, GTM

Chemical Dependency Committee Meeting
July 14:  11 am - 12:30 pm, GTM

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

Directors & Executive Committee Meeting
July 19:  9:30 am - 12:30 pm, GTM

CSPOA / DOH / OMH Monthly Call
July 20:  3 - 4 pm, GTM

Contact CLMHD for all Call In and Go To Meeting information, 518.462.9422 
Greater Opioid Use and Mental Health Disorders are Linked in a New Study

A new study suggests that people with anxiety and depression are consuming a disproportionate share of prescription painkillers, a finding that could add a new wrinkle to the epidemic of opioid use in the United States.

Researchers at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and the University of Michigan found that nearly 19 percent of the estimated 38.6 million people with those two most common mental health disorders received at least two prescriptions for opioids during a year. And more than half the prescriptions for the powerful, highly addictive painkillers went to individuals in that group, the researchers asserted.

Those patients may have some form of physical pain, said Brian Sites, a professor of anesthesiology and orthopedics at Dartmouth's Geisel School of Medicine, who led the study team. But their mental condition may cause them to feel that pain more acutely or be less able to cope with it, leading to increased requests for something to dull it.

Pain that "you may report as a two out of 10, someone with mental health disorders - depression, anxiety - may report as a 10 out of 10," Sites said in an interview.   Read more here .
New York In 'Crisis': State Ranks High In Opioid-Related Hospital Visits

As the war on heroin and opioid addiction continues to rage in New York State - with  Suffolk County leading the state in heroin overdoses, hospitalization involving opioids saw a dramatic increase locally and nationally between 2005 and 2014, both with regard to inpatient stays and opioid-related emergency department visits, according to new data released Tuesday by the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project.

Opioid-related stays and emergency department visits are identified as all-listed diagnoses and included events associated with prescription opioids or illicit opioids like heroin.

New York ranked in the top 25 percent of opioid-related inpatient rates for males in ages 1 to 24, 25 to 44, and 45 to 64, the report indicates. New York also ranked in the top 25 percent of male opioid-related emergency room visits, the report said. Read more here.
CMCS Releases Adult and Child Core Set Data Products and Tools 

The Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS) is pleased to announce the release of FFY 2015 Adult and Child Core Set data and additional resources. Additionally, both the 2014 and the 2015 performance data is now available as a dataset on Please see the links below for the full set of Adult and Child Core Set Measure reporting resources:

Adult Core Set:  
Child Core Set:  
In addition, the FFY 2017 Technical Specifications and Resource Manuals for the Adult Core Set, the Child Core Set, and the Maternal and Infant Health (MIH) Initiative are now available. There are additional resources to help states calculate and report the measures: Summary of Changes, Data Quality Checklists, and Measurement Period Tables. Please see the links below for the full set of Core Set measure resources:
Adult Core Set:  
Child Core Set: 
For Technical Assistance related to the Adult and Child Core Set measures, as well as the Health Home Core Set and MIH Initiative measure:
Naloxone for Opioid Overdoses Still Faces Hurdles in Schools

States are increasingly turning to schools as they work to stave off the devastating opioid epidemic, which is claiming a growing number of lives and ravaging the lifespans of middle-aged white people. Yet local laws prevent some districts from stocking a life-saving antidote, and critics worry it won't discourage drug use.

A 2015 law in Rhode Island took the most aggressive approach by requiring all public middle, junior and high schools be equipped with naloxone, which reverses the effects of an overdose when someone passes out.

The lifesaving drug can be administered through an auto-injector called EVZIO or a nasal spray called Narcan. "The vision behind this move, to have naloxone in schools throughout the state, was part of work we are doing throughout Rhode Island to normalize naloxone and to really have people understand that addiction is a disease, that it impacts communities throughout the state and that anyone could have a substance abuse problem," said Joseph Wendelken, spokesman for the state's health department.   Read more here.
Florida's Billion-Dollar Drug Treatment Industry Is Plagued by Overdoses, Fraud

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Florida - For the first responders who found her lifeless body one October morning, 24-year-old Alison Flory was yet another casualty of addiction here on the front line of Florida's opioid crisis.

To her family, she was a daughter, a beloved sister, a goofy bookworm who made them laugh and a young woman they desperately hoped would get help. She had arrived in South Florida from Illinois just more than a year before she died, seeking treatment for her addiction. Her parents believe it is that treatment, paid for by her family's excellent insurance, that ultimately got her killed.

"It haunts me," said Scott Weber, Alison's stepfather. "She trusted in people that she shouldn't have trusted in."   "And we told her to trust those people," said her mother, Jennifer Flory.  Read more here.

Follow up story here - "Death Race: Florida First Responders Rush From One Overdose to the Next"
Demonstrating the Value of Medicaid Managed Long-Term Services and Supports Programs

States are increasingly implementing Medicaid managed long-term services and supports (MLTSS) programs to accomplish goals including rebalancing spending from institutional care to home- and community-based services, improving beneficiary experience, and better managing costs. But there is relatively limited evidence of the value of these efforts.

This report, authored by the Center for Health Care Strategies in partnership with the National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities, seeks to fill that information gap. The report analyzes literature on MLTSS program outcomes as well as responses from 12 states regarding their progress toward attaining MLTSS goals and challenges in collecting data to document progress.
The Post-College Therapy Void

Before he arrived at Wichita State University, Steve Paniagua had never seen a therapist. He'd struggled with depression and suicidal tendencies for years, but his family could never afford treatment. As soon as he got to the Kansas school, Paniagua called the school's counseling center. He learned that he could meet with a licensed therapist as often as he needed to, free of charge.

"For two years, I would go maybe once a week to the counseling center," Paniagua said. "It was that extra support that I needed. If something bad happened, I always knew I could go there and be a little bit safer than I was before."

Paniagua graduated last month. He has no job and no health insurance.   "When you have something for a really long time, you don't know what you're going to do when you lose it," Paniagua said. 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.