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September 14, 2016

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

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Francine Sinkoff, Editor

DSRIP CBO Planning Grant RFA Reasons for Not Bidding

The New York State Department of Health released RFA #1512160408:  Community Based Organization (CBO) Planning Grant on May 16, 2016 to solicit applications from consortiums in three regions statewide to support Community Based Organizations in specific targeted areas that remain un-served/underserved as part of the DSRIP Program. Proposals were due for this opportunity on August 18, 2016 by 4:00 p.m. 
If you did not submit a bid for this opportunity, or were not part of consortium submitting an application, the Department is requesting your assistance in knowing why your organization did not apply or become part of a consortium that did apply.  Please send a response by email to by Friday, September 16th.
Boulder County, Colo.: Blueprint for Merging Health and Housing Under One Roof

San Diego County  needed a big idea. Like other places around the country, it struggles with a large homeless population, and local leaders were determined to do something about it. So last year when the county received $16 million in grant funding from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department, officials there wanted a plan that would really have a lasting effect.

"We were thinking, 'How do we make a collective impact on homelessness?'" says Nick Macchione, director of the county's health and human services agency. The problem, he says, was that homeless people didn't just need housing. They also frequently needed to be connected with other health and human services programs in order to thrive. But trying to coordinate those programs was a challenge. "We were working with many well-meaning housing providers who didn't understand how Medicaid works," he says. "And vice-versa, there was stuff related to housing that I had to learn. And all of us just want to help the same people, who all happen to be our clients."

The county had already launched a program that sought to coordinate housing, health and rehabilitation services specifically for chronically homeless people suffering from mental illness. Officials began toying with the idea of expanding that approach to combine all their efforts related to housing and the array of other programs that touch the lives of low-income residents.

The plan? A merger. As of July 1, San Diego officially merged those services into a new Health, Housing and Human Services Department. The underlying philosophy, says Macchione, who heads the new superagency, is simple: "No home, no health."

San Diego is the largest jurisdiction to pull off this kind of merger in recent years, but it's far from the only one. Governments in much of the country are looking at the idea. And as they consider it, they are bound to ponder the experiences of the real pioneer in this effort: Boulder County, Colo.  Read more here.
Why Stigma Interferes with Business Growth

The chief clinical officer of Recovery Centers of America (RCA) warned an audience at the Cape Cod Symposium on Addictive Disorders (CCSAD) of numerous obstacles to success in what she otherwise termed a period of unprecedented opportunity in addiction treatment. Saying "it's never been our time before," Deni Carise, PhD, emphasized that the industry must overcome opposition to new facilities-sometimes from within its own ranks-and treatment models that have typically resulted in some patients falling through the cracks.

Carise, who is shaping the clinical program for the new and much-watched Northeast and Middle Atlantic treatment organization, related a personal experience of referring a 70-year-old patient with dementia to a nationally renowned treatment program. The facility eventually ended up scheduling the man for continuing care at a day program located 90 minutes from his residence-not accounting for the fact that he no longer drove and could not access other convenient transportation. Absent the  transitional care tailored to his life circumstances, the man overdosed and died.

"The residential to outpatient transition is a key breakpoint," Carise said in her Sept. 9 presentation.   Read more here .


MCTAC is offering a second round of
in-person   small business initiative regional forums specifically geared toward smaller agencies that have little to no experience billing Medicaid or managed care. The trainings will be offered on the following dates: 
  • 9/19/16, Hudson Valley
  • 9/21/16, Albany
  • 9/28/16, Syracuse
  • 9/29/16, Rochester
  • 9/30/16, Buffalo 
September 21, 12 - 1 pm

October 26, 12 - 1 pm

NEW:  Value Based Payment for Medicaid Child Health Services
September 21, 2:30 - 4 pm
The first webinar will highlight relevant data and research, explore the impact of the social determinants of health, and review the implications of healthcare reform for child-serving providers.   
Part II: Measuring Value in Children's Healthcare
September 29, 2:30 - 4 pm
Part two will address how to measure value when it comes to children's healthcare with a focus on measure selection for reporting outcomes and how outcomes align with proposed value-based payment models. Finally, the presenters will explain key differences of value based payment between adult and children's services and strategies for managing multiple payment models.  

September 19, 3 - 4 pm, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) 

September 20, 2 - 3:30 pm, US Administration for Community Living

September 28, 2 - 3:30 pm, The Council of State Governments Justice Center



RPC Advisory Call
September 15:  8 - 9 am

Fall Full Membership Meeting
September 26 - 27
Woodcliff Hotel & Spa, Fairport


Officers & Chairs - Call In
October 5:  8 - 9 am

OMH Agency Meeting &  Director's & Executive Committee Meeting - In Person
October 17:
10 am - 12 pm ( 44 Holland Ave., Albany - 8th Fl.)
1 - 3 pm ( 41 State Street, Ste. 505, Albany)

Contact CLMHD for all Call In and Go To Meeting information, 518.462.9422 
Governor Cuomo Announces Awards for Development of First 1,200 Supportive Housing Units

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the first conditional awards that will support the development of 1,200 units of supportive housing for vulnerable New Yorkers who are at risk of homelessness. 

The awards, made following a Request for Proposals issued in June, will support the ongoing service and operating expenses of supportive housing projects. This funding will be made available to supportive housing providers under five-year contracts which are renewable at the end of their term. New York State Homes and Community Renewal and the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance will work with supportive housing providers who have received these conditional contract awards to secure the capital funding needed to complete supportive housing projects. These awards represent a major step forward in the Governor's unprecedented $2.6 billion, five-year plan to construct 6,000 new supportive housing units across New York State. 

"The state is taking aggressive action to end chronic homelessness and help move thousands of New Yorkers into permanent housing," Governor Cuomo said. "These awards will not only help ensure New York's families and children have a safe, comfortable place to call home, but provide them with the resources they need to change their lives. With the development of these vital units, we are swiftly moving forward on the state's transformational blueprint to tackle this crisis and bringing hope and opportunity to our most vulnerable New Yorkers."  Read more here.
New York State Office of Mental Health Announces Statewide Suicide Prevention Plan

The New York State Office of Mental Health today announced the release of an extensive, multifaceted plan for suicide prevention, aimed at reducing New York State's suicide rate. To guide suicide prevention statewide,  1,700 Too Many: New York State's Suicide Prevention Plan
will empower communities, healthcare professionals, and researchers with the tools they need to decrease the number of deaths by suicide.

"New York State is taking action to save the lives of our family, friends, and neighbors from suicide, the most preventable cause of death," said New York State Office of Mental Health Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan. "This plan presents the most extensive suicide prevention framework of any state in the nation, with lofty goals and detailed plans on how to make it happen. By working together under the common cause of suicide prevention, we will honor in the best way possible those whom we have lost to suicide, by letting potentially suicidal individuals know that we care about them and that help is always available."

1,700 Too Many was developed after New York State was chosen to receive a grant from theSubstance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to integrate suicide prevention into healthcare settings and provide prevention specific training to healthcare providers. New York is one of only four states to receive such funding. The plan is the centerpiece of the inaugural New York State Suicide Prevention Conference occurring today and tomorrow in Albany.

"More and more New Yorkers are receiving their mental health services from primary care providers," said New York State Office of Mental Health Suicide Prevention Office Director Dr. Jay Carruthers. "It is of utmost importance that we train our medical professionals to address suicide risk more directly. It's one of the various components of our plan that will have a significant impact on reducing suicides in New York State."

"The new state plan shows why New York State remains a leader in suicide prevention. To truly have an impact, no one intervention is enough," said Suicide Prevention Center of New York Associate Director Garra Lloyd-Lester. "We need a coordinated systematic response, in our health system, in our schools and in our communities. And that's exactly what the plan calls for."  Read more here.
Mapping Telehealth Outcomes

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has released a  technical brief that summarizes available evidence, identifies areas where telehealth can be effective and other areas in which more research is needed. The brief provides potentially valuable information to health care providers and payers information on the effectiveness of telehealth as they assess its role in the health care system, which increasingly is rewarding value over volume of care.
New Report Documents Devastating Effects of Solitary Confinement on Mental Illness

A new report released recently highlights the disturbing use of solitary confinement on incarcerated individuals with mental illness.  Locked Up and Locked Down: Segregation of Inmates with Mental Illness, released by Disability Rights Washington, details the widespread practice of housing men, women, and children with mental illness in solitary confinement. The report shows that prisons and jails routinely subject people with mental illness to conditions that dramatically exacerbate their condition, often to the point of suicide.

The report builds on a growing body of literature, including a report released this summer by the Center for American Progress,  Disabled Behind Bars: The Mass Incarceration of People with Disabilities in America's Jails and Prisons, which highlights the tragic intersection of two policy shifts - toward mass incarceration on the one hand, and toward an underfunded "deinstitutionalization," or removing people with disabilities from mental hospitals without making simultaneous public investments in community-based alternatives, on the other. Together, these two policies have resulted in the criminal justice system assuming the responsibilities of the mental health care system, and thus a dramatic over-representation of people with disabilities in our prison and jails.  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.