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December 13, 2019

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

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Francine Sinkoff, Editor

Business group tapped to lead tristate's mental health work

Winnebago Delivers Seven Mobile Childhood Advocacy Centers to the State of New York

Community agencies coming together with unified message after recent overdose numbers - Jefferson

KPH Healthcare Services to provide on-site pharmacy services for Malone nonprofit - Franklin

Project IMPACT Helping Parents with Intellectual Disabilities - Westchester

New York City creating helpline for controversial homeless program

Oswego County Trauma Informed Collaborative offers a new approach

County partners with Chamber to address stigma around mental health issues - Livingston

Salamanca School District To Provide Mobile Health Care - Cattaraugus
Among U.S. States, New York's Suicide Rate Is The Lowest. How's That?

"I just snapped" is how Jessica Lioy describes her attempt in April to kill herself.

After a tough year in which she'd moved back to her parents' Syracuse, N.Y., home and changed colleges, the crumbling of her relationship with her boyfriend pushed the 22-year-old over the edge. She impulsively swallowed a handful of sleeping pills. Her mom happened to walk into her bedroom, saw the pills scattered on the floor and called 911.

In 2017, 1.4 million adults attempted suicide, while more than 47,000 others did kill themselves, making suicide the  10th-leading cause of death in the United States, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And the rate has been  rising for 20 years.

Like other states, Jessica Lioy's home state of  New York has seen its rate increase. But New York has consistently reported rates well below those of the U.S. overall. Compared with the national rate of 14 suicides per 100,000 people in 2017, New York's was just 8.1, the lowest suicide rate in the nation. Read more here.

Integrating Brief Screen in ER May Better Identify Youth With Psychosis at Risk of Suicide

'Warm' Hotlines Deliver Help Before Mental Health Crisis Heats Up

A lonely and anxious Rebecca Massie first called the 
Mental Health Association of San Francisco  "warmline" during the 2015 winter holidays.

"It was a wonderful call," said Massie, now 38 and a 
mental  health advocate. "I was laughing by the end, and I got in the holiday spirit."

Massie, a San Francisco resident, later used the line multiple times when she needed additional support, then began to volunteer there.

Now anyone in California who needs a little help - or even a referral to a professional therapist - can receive it by phone or instant message. In October, the San Francisco-based warmline expanded beyond Northern California to cover the whole state through a state budget allocation of $10.8 million for three years.

SAMHSA Funding Announcement: Grants to Expand Substance Abuse Treatment Capacity in Adult and Family Treatment Drug Courts 

Application Due Date: Tuesday, February 4, 2020

SAMHSA is accepting applications for Grants to Expand Substance Abuse Treatment Capacity in Adult Treatment Drug Courts (ATDC), Adult Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts or Family Treatment Drug Courts (FTDC). The purpose of this program is to expand substance use disorder (SUD) treatment services in existing drug courts. The program recognizes the need for treatment instead of incarceration for individuals with SUDs. 

SAMHSA plans to issue 25 grants of up to $400,000 per year for up to 5 years.

Learn More About This Grant

PSYCKES Mobile App for iPhones & iPads
December 18, 10 - 11 am, OMH

Health Plan Innovations in Population Health Management for Complex Consumers
December 18, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

From Evaluation to Action: Sharing Four Years of Implementation and Learning in Value-Based Care
December 18, 1 - 2 pm, National Council for Behavioral Health

Collaborative Care: Strategies for Unlocking Its Potential
December 18, 2 - 3 pm, National Council for Behavioral Health

Successful Treatment of Methamphetamine Addiction
December 18, 3 - 4:30 pm, NAADAC

Working with People Who Have Developmental Disabilities in the Criminal Justice System-Access and Communication
December 19, 2 - 3 pm, CSG Justice Center

Using PSYCKES for Clinicians
December 19, 2:30 - 4 pm, OMH



Children & Families Committee Meeting
December 17: 11:30 am - 1 pm, GTM

Office Closed - Christmas
December 25

Contact CLMHD for all Call In and Go To Meeting information, 518.462.9422 
Governor Cuomo Announces First Reduction in Opioid Overdose Deaths in New York State Since 2009

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on Monday announced that opioid overdose deaths among New York State residents, outside New York City, declined 15.9 percent in 2018 compared to 2017, the first decrease in 10 years. While close to 2,000 people tragically died from opioid overdoses last year, the decrease remains a significant milestone and is the result of several aggressive actions taken by the Governor over the past several years to combat opioid addiction.

These actions are outlined in the new Heroin and Opioid Task Force Progress Report detailing three years of work and improvements to expand and enhance services aimed at combatting the opioid crisis. The Task Force recommendations were signed into law in 2016.

"New York's first reduction in opioid overdose deaths in over ten years is an important milestone and demonstrates our work to combat this deadly scourge is working," Governor Cuomo said. "And while New York has taken the most aggressive actions to combat the opioid crisis of any other state in the country, the opioid epidemic continues to devastate too many families and we will not rest until we put an end to it once and for all." Read more here.
Advocates: NY Rate Cuts Will Harm Children's Mental Health Care

Mental health advocates and providers say a new state program designed to increase access to children's mental health services is at risk and will only get worse if New York follows through with planned cuts to provider payments.

More than three dozen behavioral health providers and child advocacy groups signed and submitted a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week calling for a moratorium on planned cuts to the program known as  Children and Family Treatment and Support Services (CFTSS). The program, which was developed by the state's children's Medicaid redesign team, delivers mental health services to eligible children on Medicaid in their home or community.

As part of its rollout in January, the state agreed to reimburse providers at a higher rate for a year to help cover startup costs, such as staff hires, training and technology purchases. For the first six months, the enhanced rate was set 25 percent higher than the base reimbursement rate. After that, it drops to 11.5 percent higher and after a year it returns to the base rate. Read more here.
Study: Lifting Addiction Meds Rule Would Save NY Lives, Costs
Shauna Sitts of Broadalbin, who lost her brother Bryan Sheckton to an overdose in 2014, walks through a field of gravestones representing some of the state's population lost to overdose on Friday, Aug. 30, 2019, during Capital Region Overdose Awareness Day at events at West Capitol Park in Albany, N.Y. (Will Waldron/Times Union) Photo: Will Waldron, Albany Times Union / 40047713A
A new study finds New York could save roughly 586 lives a year if prior authorization requirements were removed on medications used to treat opioid addiction in the state's Medicaid population.

The study, prepared for the Legal Action Center by the North Carolina research institute RTI International, comes as Gov. Andrew Cuomo is reviewing whether to sign or veto a bill that would do just that. Another bill that would do the same for the state's commercially insured population is also under review by his office.

The practice of prior authorization, in which doctors must obtain advance coverage approval from a patient's health insurer before administering certain prescribed medications or treatment, is intended to control costs and ensure appropriate care is being delivered. Read more here.
New Face of Criminal Justice: Welcoming MAT

There is a growing partnership between corrections/criminal justice and treatment for substance use disorder (SUD)-especially, treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD).

For example, the Florida Association of Drug Court Professionals sent its staff to the conference of the American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence (AATOD). "This is a favorable move," AATOD president Mark Parrino, MPH, told AT Forum. The more interested that drug courts become in medication-assisted treatment, the more likely it is that people passing through the system will get that treatment.

Paul Samuels, director and president of the Legal Action Center, called for treatment behind the walls-and instead, even going behind the walls. People with OUD need "high-quality care," said Mr. Samuels. All three medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration-methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone-should be available. Read more here.
When Mental Illness Becomes a Jail Sentence

Derrick Clay walked into a restaurant in Colorado, one afternoon in January 2017, to get a bite to eat. His card was declined. Clay, who has been diagnosed with psychosis and probable bipolar disorder, grabbed another customer's order-a hamburger and French fries worth $11. Somebody called the police. When they got there, Clay was "acting very irrationally," talking about how the streetlights had cameras in them, according to the police report on the incident. An officer called an ambulance to conduct a welfare check on Clay. When the responders arrived, they loaded him in to bring him to the emergency department of the nearest hospital.

Clay had been on antipsychotics before and had experienced negative side effects, according to his mother, and later told her he thought he was going to be medicated. So when the paramedic tried to place a blood-pressure cuff on Clay, he panicked, punching him, according to the police report. The paramedic tried to subdue Clay, and, hearing the scuffling in back, the driver pulled over. The paramedic tumbled out of the rear of the ambulance with Clay and, with the help of bystanders, wrestled him to the ground. The responders gave Clay a shot of something to knock him out and put him back in the vehicle. They continued on their journey.

Several hours after arriving at the hospital, Clay, 26 at the time, was told he could leave. Read more here.
Navigating The System: Barriers to Mental Health Care in the Community

Most people with mental health conditions benefit from the shift to outpatient care and away from living in institutional settings for long periods. 

It's less expensive and disruptive to normal life obligations like going to work or taking care of children, but getting access to those outpatient services can be challenging.

One day in the Erie County Medical Center Behavioral Health Center costs  $1,419 for a room, board, daily nurse care and related occupancy costs. Diagnostic tests, drugs, and other professional services will accrue additional charges.  

The total cost of a stay there will depend on a person's insurance, the length of their stay and the treatment they receive.  
But, the average cost of therapy outside of a hospital averages
$60 to $120. 

"The problem often is getting outpatient care," said Dr. Brian Joseph, a medical Director at BryLin Hospital. "If you could call up and see a psychiatrist within 48 hours, you might not need to go to the emergency room; you might not need to be admitted." 

A decrease in the number of in mental health professionals
makes getting an appointment hard. Read more here.
Position Available in Columbia County

Twin County Recovery Services, Inc. is accepting applications for the position of Assistant Executive Director. Minimum qualifications include a bachelor's degree, knowledge of addictive disorders, 3 years of super visory experience and some administrative background. Salary begins at $65,000. and a good benefit package is available. If you are interested in applying, please send a cover letter outlining your interest and experience along with a resume to: .
Proving Your Unique Value To Payers: Data Speaks Louder Than Words

"Show don't tell" is one of the first lessons journalists learn and one that's increasingly applicable to executives of health care organizations. The increasing use of value-based contracts is changing communication between provider organizations and health plans to focus on data. Yet few executive teams harness their data in actionable ways judging by the discussion during the "Building A Data Infrastructure For Performance Management" town hall discussion at The 2019 OPEN MINDS Technology & Informatics Institute.

"With value-based purchasing, it's even more essential for providers to understand spending patterns at the consumer level," said Susanna Kramer, director of performance evaluation at Community Behavioral Health, a Philadelphia-based managed behavioral health organization. She stressed that using data in actionable ways is essential for success with case rates. Organizations need to identify how to optimize service delivery-the most effective processes, how to handle consumers who regularly reschedule or no-show, the best way to match consumer needs with treatment, and more-"so you can predict what your case rate payments are and what shared savings may amount to."

Consensus from these three panelists was that provider organization managers need to understand utilization and costs to negotiate reimbursement rates and terms: Ms. Kramer provided a health plan perspective; Karen Fridg, director of EHR systems for Community Intervention Services Inc., offered a provider organization perspective; and Jaclyn O'Donnell, executive vice president for Credible Behavioral Health Software, gave a technology vendor's perspective. 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.