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August 16, 2018

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

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Francine Sinkoff, Editor

Corrections facility inmates to get Narcan training - Monroe County

Ascendant New York [Medically Assisted Detox Facility] Opens Door to New Patients - NYC

Employment Opportunities - NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

NYCDOMH is hiring a Medicaid Project Manager to oversee the Office of Policy and Planning's annual Medicaid pilot projects, conduct Medicaid managed care trainings in the community, and manage research projects on various aspects of Medicaid managed care. The ideal candidate would have demonstrated experience in project management, program development, and analysis. Job ID: 355839. Link to the posting is HERE.

NYCDOMH is hiring a Regional Planning Consortium (RPC) Coordinator to facilitate a variety of stakeholder group meetings to obtain feedback and input on the changes to behavioral health services due to the Medicaid Managed Care transition in NYC, communicate stakeholder issues to the State and local governmental entities, and manage large community events. The job ID is 356629 and the posting can be found HERE.

Harris County [TX] Sheriff's Office pilots innovative telepsychiatry program aimed at combining tech, law enforcement and mental health care

Overdose Deaths Reached Record Level of 72,000 in 2017, New Estimates Show

Incentives Floated For Treating People With Developmental Disabilities

Federal lawmakers are looking to make doctors and other health care services far more available for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

A bipartisan bill introduced late last month in Washington would for the first time designate people with intellectual and developmental disabilities as a "medically underserved population" and qualify this group for additional resources under more than two dozen federal programs.

Health care experts say passage of the legislation would increase access to medical and dental care, reduce health disparities and improve specialized training for medical providers. Read more here.
New Semester - VBP-U!

The New York State Department of Health, in partnership with the Office of Mental Health (OMH) and the Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS), are excited to announce the launch of Value Based Payment-U (VBP-U), Sophomore Year, Semester 2!
VBP-U Sophomore Year, Semester Two, is dedicated to educating providers and professionals about the importance of addressing Behavioral Health and Substance Use Disorder through VBP. This semester's curriculum consists of an overview of VBP and Behavioral Health/Substance Use Disorder, including VBP Integrated Primary Care (IPC) and Health and Recovery Plan (HARP) arrangements videos, and key principles of VBP and Behavioral Health.
To view the new VBP-U Sophomore Year, Semester 2 content, click here.

August 17, 2:30 - 3:30 pm, Center for Health Care Strategies, Inc.

August 20, 2:15 - 3:15 pm, MTM Services

Substance Use Services in Primary Care - An Extension of SBIRT
August 20, 3 - 4 pm, National Council for Behavioral Health

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

August 21, 1 - 2:30 pm, Open Minds Executive Briefing

August 21, 2 - 3 pm, SAMHSA

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

Addressing Vicarious Trauma for the Individual
August 22, 2 - 3 pm, Office for Victims of Crime Training & Technical Assistance Center

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

Join the Recovery LIVE! Virtual Event: Implementing Best Practices and Quality Standards in Recovery Housing
August 23, 2 - 3 pm, SAMHSA

August 28, 12 - 1:30 pm, SAMHSA

How Health Plans Tailor Interventions Across Members & Markets (Quality Measurement Series Part 2)
August 29, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

August 29, 1 - 2 pm, Transitions ACR

August 29, 1:30 - 3 pm, The National Center for Complex Health and Social Needs

August 30, 2 - 3:30 pm, SAMHSA-HRSA

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

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

September 6, 12 - 1 pm, MTM Services

September 10, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

Tracking Telehealth Reimbursement Trends
September 13, 1 - 2 pm, Manatt Health

September 26, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU



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

AOT Coordinators Meeting
September 13: 10 - 11:30 am, 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 
Physician Group Reaches New Value Based Payment Contracting Designation

The New York State Department of Health today announced that Somos Independent Practice Association has been designated as an Innovator under Medicaid's Value Based Payment (VBP) Roadmap, a key component to the Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) Program. Somos-IPA is the first physician-led group in the State to reach VBP Innovator status.

VBP Innovators contract at the most advanced payment levels with managed care organizations to improve quality of care for a defined group of patients while sharing in financial gains and risks. By taking on additional management and administrative functions, providers approved as Innovators are eligible for an increased portion of the monthly payment made by Medicaid to the Managed Care Plan. New York's Roadmap is unique in requiring Innovators to include community-based organizations and address social determinants of health interventions such as housing, food insecurity or transportation. Read more here.
New York Leads in Using Behavioral Health for Opioid Addiction

New York clinicians used behavioral health methods to treat people with opioid abuse and dependence diagnoses more than their peers in other states,  according to new data from Fair Health, a nonprofit database of 26 billion claims from private insurers.

The data come from Fair Health's latest white paper on the opioid crisis, breaking down the most common procedure codes tied to opioid abuse and dependence diagnoses by cost and utilization in each state.

Demographic data showed people ages 23 to 30 were the most common age-group with a diagnosis of opioid abuse and dependence, at 30%, followed by ages 31 to 40 at 28%. Men outnumbered women 62% to 38%, according to Fair Health's data. Read more here.
New York Sues OxyContin Maker Purdue Pharma Over Opioids

New York state on Tuesday sued Purdue Pharma LP, accusing the OxyContin maker of widespread fraud and deception in the marketing of opioids, and contributing to a nationwide epidemic that has killed thousands.

The state blamed Purdue for running what it called a reckless, decades-long scheme to mislead doctors and patients by overstating the ability of opioids to improve bodily function, while downplaying the risk of addiction.

This enabled privately held Purdue to boost prescriptions and profits, at the cost of lost lives and "devastation" in communities now "awash" with the painkillers, according to the complaint filed in the state supreme court in Suffolk County.

"The opioid epidemic was manufactured by unscrupulous distributors who developed a $400 billion industry pumping human misery into our communities," Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a statement.  "This lawsuit sends a clear message (to those) who mislead the public to increase their profit margins that we will hold you accountable," he added. Read more here.
With Opioids, Police Move Beyond Arrest-First Approach

As opioid overdoses continue to take the lives of tens of thousands of Americans every year, the epidemic has made many jurisdictions and public agencies that deal with health and safety reconsider long-held attitudes. Several cities are moving, for example, to establish safe-injection sites, something that would have been unthinkable to most local officials and policymakers just a few years ago. Medicaid programs have begun offering alternative methods of pain management, such as yoga and acupuncture, before prescribing opioids. And for police departments, an arrest-first mentality is beginning to give way to more compassionate approaches aimed at helping people struggling with addiction.

Two years ago, a handful of police departments began requiring officers -- frequently the first to encounter a victim -- to carry naloxone, the life-saving drug that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. There is still pushback from some departments that don't see helping addicts as their responsibility, but that view is dwindling. Read more here.
Next Steps on the Depression-Opioid Problem

Likely, the connection between depression and opioid use is so obvious that no one acts upon it or even talks about it. Yet, the consequences frequently are quite deadly. The issue: The failure to link depression treatment with opioid treatment.

Major case in point: Of the 306 bills to address our national opioid crisis currently being crafted by members of Congress on the Hill, not a single one recognizes that treatment for depression is a critical preventive measure for opioid dependence and suicide, and a necessary concurrent treatment.

Why is this true? Nationally, for more than a half century, mental health care and substance use care have been separated. These fields have separate institutes-NIMH, NIDA and NIAAA-in the National Institutes of Health, and they have separate centers-CMHS, CSAP, and CSAT-in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Read more here.
Dead Reckoning: America's System of Coroners and Medical Examiners is Facing Unprecedented Challenges

Jimmy Pollard has been the coroner of Henry County, Ky., since 1986. Growing up in the small county of just 15,000, he spent a lot of time in the local funeral home, where the director took him under his wing from an early age. Pollard eventually became a licensed funeral home director himself and ran for office at the behest of many in the community when the coroner at the time decided to retire. For the past 30 years, he's run unopposed for all but two elections, and one of those was a write-in campaign. "It's not a job you can say you like," Pollard says, "but the part I get out of it is helping families get closure. And I do enjoy investigations." 

Kentucky has historically been considered a national model in its death investigations. It was the first state to implement a dual coroner and medical examiner system, something it's had in place since 1973. That has given the state an important balance of elected leadership and forensic know-how. 
But it's a system that has been strained in recent years. Read more here .

How Non-Clinical Staff Enable Patient Engagement, Care Coordination

Whether they are called patient navigators, advocates, coaches, or community health workers, non-clinical health workers are becoming increasingly important for patient engagement and care coordination.

About half of all healthcare workers are non-clinical staff. This includes community health workers, patient navigators, health coaches, and other individuals who interact with patients but do not dispense medical advice or carry out procedures, according to a 2014  report from the Brookings Institute.

Understanding exactly how to best leverage non-clinical workers depends on securing the right member of staff to tackle the right issues of patient care.  But when hiring these patient engagement experts, healthcare organizations often face the challenge of disambiguating overlapping functions, unclear job titles, and tailored skill sets.

What are the differences between patient navigators, health coaches, and community health workers?  How can provider organizations maximize their investment in patient engagement staff by integrating these valuable professionals into the multidisciplinary care team? Read more here.
New Advocacy Guide on Managed Care Contracting Available

The National Council for Behavioral Health has released the advocacy guide, Medicaid Managed Care Contracting, to provide community behavioral health providers and associations talking points and sample contract language related to each issue they may face to use with their state Medicaid agency to ensure Medicaid managed care will enhance behavioral health access. It also presents key challenges to help address common contracting issues.

Even though provider associations cannot engage directly in contract negotiations between states and managed care organizations, they are able to influence state policies and regulations. The guide's talking points can also be used to strengthen advocacy efforts with state agencies. Since each state's legislation and regulations may differ, it is recommended that state associations understand current laws and regulations that may already exist to address these challenges. 

Access the full guide here.
Improving Care for Dually Eligible Beneficiaries through Innovative Health Plan Partnerships

The nearly 12 million Americans who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid are among the nation's highest-need and highest-cost populations. Integrated health plans, which combine physical and behavioral health care and long-term services and supports, offer a promising opportunity to improve care for this vulnerable population as well as control costs. Between 2011 and 2018, the number of dually eligible individuals enrolled in integrated plans grew from approximately 162,000 to nearly 800,000.

Leading integrated health plans are reaching beyond their walls and working closely with delivery system partners to implement promising practices that achieve mutual goals in improving care and outcomes for their members. Ultimately, these partnerships combine plan and provider resources, energy, and expertise to accelerate adoption and spread of improved complex care management, member engagement, and value-based arrangements. Read more here.
How Does Your State Medicaid Program Stack-Up On Behavioral Health?

The focus on value has created "measurement fatigue" and "outcomes confusion" among managers of health and human service organizations. The problem is straightforward-to pay based on value, you need measures of "performance." The challenge for most provider organizations is that payers and health plans require reporting on different measures. 

In an attempt to create a standardized set of measures for states and health plans, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) developed the Child and Adult Core Set for state Medicaid programs in 2012-a group of performance measures that can be compared across states. CMS updates the measure set annually, adding and removing measures as needed. 

The data from these measures gives the rare opportunity to compare state Medicaid programs. So, we took the opportunity to review the data and compare state Medicaid programs on behavioral health performance measures. 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.