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August 16, 2017

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

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Francine Sinkoff, Editor

DSRIP Year 2 Fourth Quarter Report and Scorecard Released

The Independent Assessor (IA) has completed its reviews of the DSRIP year 2 fourth quarter reports, covering all PPS activity through March 31, 2017. The results of the IA's review and the breakdown of performance payments earned by each PPS, can be found in the Achievement Value (AV) scorecard. PPS fourth quarter reports and AV scorecards can be found in individual PPS pages on the DSRIP website here
The total earned by PPS through DSRIP Year 2 was $2,529,408,899 out of a possible $2,640,661,329 (95.78%) for all funds.  Contact with any questions.


OPWDD Announces Public Hearing for the Development of the Statewide Comprehensive Plan - September 7

OPWDD announced today that a public hearing for the development of the Statewide Comprehensive Plan will be held at nine locations throughout the state (see locations below) and will be conducted as a live video-conference with Acting Commissioner Kerry A. Delaney. The Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) will accept your comments, feedback and testimony at the hearing.

OPWDD intends to use the ideas, suggestions, and comments received through the public hearing to further refine our 5.07 Statewide Comprehensive Plan for Services for 2018-2022. OPWDD urges self-advocates, parents and other family members of people with developmental disabilities, non-profit providers, professionals, advocates, and other interested parties to participate. Click here for more information.
NYS Suicide Prevention Conference - September 18-19

The New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) and the Suicide Prevention Center of New York State (SPC-NY)
invite you and your colleagues to the
2nd Annual New York State Suicide Prevention Conference  September 18 - 19, 2017 at the Hilton Albany.

The 2nd Annual New York State Suicide Prevention Conference: Pillars of
Prevention sponsored by OMH and SPC-NY is a two-day event that will
showcase the latest research and practice in the field of suicide prevention and will feature presentations by state and national experts.  Join your colleagues at this event designed to promote collaboration in
research, clinical interventions, and community prevention.  Click here for more information.
Behavioral Health Groups Launch HARP Outreach   

Behavioral-health provider organizations in New York have launched a peer outreach initiative in collaboration with various state agencies. The goal is to get more people with mental-health and substance-abuse issues to utilize the home-and-community-based services and care coordination now covered through Medicaid.

The state Office of Mental Health is funding a series of peer-education forums in venues such as libraries and houses of worship, which aim to get people to enroll in Medicaid health homes and to sign up for health and recovery plans, or HARPs, which are managed-care plans for people with significant behavioral-health needs.

"These are complex changes that are taking place and lots of effort has been put in to explain it to providers, but an insufficient amount has been done to explain it to patients," said Harvey Rosenthal, executive director of the New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services, one of the organizations helping to organize the forums.

Enrollment in health and recovery plans began in New York City in 2015 and in the rest of the state the following year.

As of July 2017 there were 88,577 people enrolled in HARPs statewide, up 85% from July 2016. In New York City growth slowed after the initial enrollment period, but HARP membership still increased by about 25% between July 2016 and July 2017.

"Enrollment is growing," Rosenthal said, "but everybody would like it to be more." 

-- Crain's Health Pulse

August 17, 2 - 3:30 pm, CSG Justice Center

Medicaid Coverage and Financing of MAT, Current Status and Promising Practices
August 17, 3:30 - 5 pm, SAMHSA

August 22, 3 - 4 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

NYS Medicaid Managed Care is Changing, We can help you understand how
August 23, 3 - 4 pm, NYAPRS

Recovery and Reentry - The First 30 days
August 24, 2 - 3 pm, SAMHSA-BRSS TACS

Value Based Payments - Social Determinants of Health Webinar
August 25, 9 - 11 am, NYS Office of Health Insurance Programs
Monday, August 28, 1 - 2:30 pm, OMH

September 5, 4 - 5 pm, SAMHSA-GAINS Center

September 6, 10 - 11 am, OMH

September 8, 2 - 3 pm, OMH

September 12, 2:30 - 3:30 pm, National Council for Behavioral Health

September 14, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

September 19, 1 - 2 pm, Pathways RTC

Enable Access to Client-Level Data in PSYCKES
September 20, 10 - 11 am, OMH

September 28, 12 - 12:30 pm, PsychU



Officers, Chairs & Regional Reps Call
September 6:  8 - 9 am

Fall Full Membership Meeting
September 11 - 12
Crowne Plaza, Lake Placid

Children & Families Committee Meeting
September 19:  11:30 am - 1 pm

Contact CLMHD for all Call In and Go To Meeting information, 518.462.9422 
The Cost of Treating Opioid Overdose Victims is Skyrocketing

The cost of treating opioid overdose victims in hospital intensive care units jumped 58 percent in a seven-year span, according to a new study that concludes increasingly sick patients are placing a greater strain on an overmatched health care system.

Between 2009 and 2015, the average cost of care per opioid admission increased from $58,500 to $92,400 in the 162 academic hospitals included in the  study, which was led by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. That rapid escalation far outpaced the overall medical inflation rate in the U.S., which was about 19 percent during the period covered by the study.

Researchers said the cost increase highlights a troubling trend: that overdose patients are arriving in worse shape, requiring longer stays and a higher level of treatment.

More of them are also dying: Annual deaths in ICUs nearly doubled during the study period.  Read more here.
What Does the National Opioid Emergency Mean for States and Cities?

After at least six states declared the opioid epidemic an emergency in their states as opioid deaths continue to rise, President Donald Trump declared it a "national emergency" on Thursday. But what does that mean for governors and mayors who have been grappling with opioid abuse for years?
Nothing -- at least not yet.

First, the White House has to decide what kind of emergency the opioid epidemic is, exactly. There are several different kinds of emergency declarations. While they accomplish similar things, they serve different purposes.

The President's Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis recommends that the disaster be declared through either the Stafford Act or the Public Health Service Act. The Stafford Act is usually initiated for natural disasters, such as hurricanes and tornadoes, and normally requires a request from a governor. It would trigger the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to dole out financial and technical assistance to states and cities.  Read more here.
DOH Releases Draft Transition Plan for the Children's Medicaid System Transformation

Building on the past work and the submission of the 1115 MRT Waiver Children's Amendment to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on May 8, 2017, New York State has developed a DRAFT Transition Plan for the Children's Medicaid System Transformation.  The draft Transition Plan, which is also subject to approval by CMS, is being shared with interested stakeholders for review and comment. 
Comments are due no later than August 31, 2017, and must be submitted to In the subject line please indicate "Draft Children's Transition Plan Comments."  In your comments, please indicate the section and page number to which your comment refers. 
To assist stakeholders, the State will hold a statewide webinar on August 24, 2017 from 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm to review the Draft Transition Plan in detail.  To register for the webinar, click here.
How Mental-Health Training for Police Can Save Lives-and Taxpayer Dollars 

Every day seems to bring a new tragic story of a person with serious mental illness killed by police. In Seattle, for example, there were recently back-to-back deaths: a 30-year-old pregnant woman shot in front of her children, and a 20-year-old man killed right before his high-school graduation during what appeared to be his first psychotic episode, with a pen in his hand police mistook for a knife. Sometimes, the consequences are not death but violent confrontations, arrests, and incarceration-occurring only because of miscommunication, missed signals, and misunderstandings.

Most of these tragedies result from officers' lack of training on how to deal with people with serious mental illnesses. Standard police training-to issue commands, and when they are not followed, to push harder and more aggressively-may work in other circumstances, but are exactly wrong for those with mental illnesses or developmental disorders.

For those making policy to ameliorate problems, there is a typical dilemma. Saving lives usually means spending a lot of money. Saving money can often mean losing or damaging lives-the current debate over health policy underscores that set of tradeoffs. Rarely do we find a policy option that both saves lives and saves money. But that option is here for this immense problem. It is called crisis intervention team training, or CIT, and it works-there's data, and results, to prove it.  Read more here.
Police Try Out New Database for Documenting Opioid Overdoses in Rhode Island

Police in Massachusetts are testing a new database for documenting opioid overdoses they hope will help departments share information in real time and get people into treatment.

The database was developed by criminal justice experts Sean Varano at Roger Williams University in Rhode Island, and Pam Kelley with Kelley Research Associates in Massachusetts.

It's an innovative approach, Varano said, because agencies typically rely on older public health data about fatal overdoses and don't know the prevalence of nonfatal overdoses and because it gives them a quick way to communicate about that data.

It works like this: When a department is called to an overdose, it's recorded in the system. The system then alerts the department to do a follow-up outreach visit. If the victim is from a neighboring community, that police department is notified.  Read more here.
How Big Data Analytics Companies Support Value-Based Healthcare

As value-based reimbursement takes an increasingly firm hold on the healthcare industry, provider organizations are leaning heavily on their EHR and big data analytics vendor partners to equip them with the tools, health IT infrastructure, and business intelligence they need to succeed in a risk-based environment.

The trend towards integrated, longitudinal population health management has led many organizations to choose a similarly streamlined complete suite of health IT tools from the vendor - an approach that may offer enhanced patient management, revenue cycle insights, and quality reporting tools without the headaches of joining up a patchwork of disparate systems.

But choosing the right value-based care "operating system" is a difficult process for most providers, who face innumerable choices in a crowded, fragmented, and quickly changing marketplace.   Read more here.
School-Based Mental Health Programs Reach Large Numbers of Kids

New findings published in the  Harvard Review of Psychiatry  show that school-based mental health programs can reach large numbers of children and effectively improve mental health and related outcomes.

Approximately 13 percent of children and teens worldwide have significant mental health problems including anxiety, disruptive behavior disorders, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and depression. If left untreated, these disorders can remain throughout adulthood and have negative effects in many aspects of life.

A large number of interventions have been designed to deliver preventive mental health services in schools, where children and teens spend so much of their time. Now a growing body of evidence shows that school-based mental health programs can be widely implemented and can lead to population-wide improvements in mental health, physical health, educational, and social outcomes.  Read more here.
Opioid Court Judge Confesses: 'My Mom Called Me a Functional Addict'

Craig D. Hannah presides over Buffalo's opioid  court, which has gained national attention for helping people arrested on opioid drug charges go straight.

He knows what's going on inside the people who appear before him.   Judge Hannah is a recovering drug addict himself.   He says his life is living proof they, too, can live drug-free.   "The only difference between me and the participants in my court is time," said Hannah, 47, who has been clean nearly two decades.

When he became addicted to cocaine and marijuana as a young man, he never dreamed he would be able to give up drugs and one day serve as a judge.

He oversees about 75 people in the city's opiate court,  which last May became the country's first to work exclusively with people addicted to opioid painkillers, heroin and other opiates.   The court started in response to the deadly opioid epidemic. So far none of the addicts working with Hannah have died. Not a bad statistic, considering there have been 233 confirmed and suspected deadly opiate overdoses this year, according to the Erie County Medical Examiner's Office.   Last year, there were 301 fatal overdoses in the county.  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.