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March 9, 2018

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

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Francine Sinkoff, Editor
New telemedicine program will aid drug-abuse patients in Sullivan and Ulster

Brooklyn DA Announces New Approach To Fight Opioid Epidemic - NYC

Orleans County declares opioid epidemic a 'public nuisance' to help recover costs to taxpayers

REPORT: 3 WNY counties among Top 10 prescribing most pain pills

Erie County seeing increasing suicide rate

Warren County files lawsuit against opioid makers

Allegany County Legislature goes to battle with heroin and opioid abuse

Directions in Independent Living opens doors - Allegany County

St. Lawrence County agrees to develop plan for juvenile detention center

Broome County reports no fatal overdoses in February

A new start in Nassau County's opioid battle

Nassau Queens PPS (NQP) Supporting Improved Patient Outcomes for 8 Leading Nassau and Queens Behavioral Health Agencies Through Newly Established $750,000 Fund

Integrative Care Increases Access to Mental Health Services for African Americans

Kentucky could become the first state to tax opioid prescriptions

Health data used to predict who will use opioids after hospitalization

How to reduce patient no-shows

Uber starts offering rides to the doctor

How iPads Changed a Police Force's Response to Mental Illness

This scientist is testing a marijuana ingredient as a way to prevent relapse. It's a daunting task

Lithium treatment for bipolar disorder linked to lowest risk of rehospitalization

Getting to the Root of the Problem: Stem Cells Are Revealing New Secrets about Mental Illness

Early psychosis programs significantly reduce patient mortality, study finds
Jump In Overdoses Shows Opioid Epidemic Has Worsened

There's more bad news about the nation's devastating opioid epidemic. In just one year, overdoses from opioids jumped by about 30 percent, according to a report released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The overall increase in opioid overdoses seen in hospital emergency rooms between the third quarter of 2016 and the third quarter of 2017 occurred across the nation. Some parts of the country experienced far greater increases, while a few have reported declines, the analysis shows.

The largest regional increase occurred in the Midwest, which saw a 69.7 percent jump in opioid overdoses, according to the report. The jump was driven in part by a 109 percent increase in Wisconsin. Overdoses increased 40.3 percent in the West, 21.3 percent in the Northeast, 20.2 percent in the Southwest and 14 percent in the Southeast. Read more here.
Infographic:  Medicaid's Role in Addressing the Opioid Epidemic 

The opioid epidemic is increasing among Americans, with addiction to heroin, fentanyl, and prescription painkillers contributing to this public health crisis. Medicaid plays a central role in the nation's efforts to address the epidemic. This updated infographic provides information and statistics about the opioid epidemic and Medicaid's role in covering addiction treatment services. 
NYS OASAS Announces Availability of Up to $3.3 Million to Expand Access to Problem Gambling Prevention and Treatment Services

The New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) this week announced the availability of up to $3.3 million in annual funding to establish seven Problem Gambling Resource Centers in the Central, Finger Lakes, Long Island, Mid-Hudson, New York City, Northeast and Western regions of New York State. Each Center will serve as a central hub for facilitating problem gambling awareness, community education, prevention, treatment and recovery support services in its region. The Centers will be funded through annual licensing fees that casinos operating in New York State pay for each gambling table and slot machine at their facilities.

The up to $3.3 million in annual funding for the new Centers will be available through a three-year contract with OASAS. A provider to establish and operate the centers will be selected through a competitive Request for Proposals (RFP) process. The RFP can be viewed here. Responses to the RFP are due April 23, 2018.
State Designated Entity and Adult BH HCBS Quality/Infrastructure Funds Training Events

Please join MCTAC and State partners from OMH and OASAS for in person training events on statewide policies and initiatives that will increase access to and utilization of Adult BH HCBS. The events will cover:
  • The updated SDE policy and guidance aimed at improving access to Adult BH HCBS for HARP and HARP-eligible HIV SNP members not enrolled in Health Homes, and 
  • A review of funds New York State is making available to providers and plans to support innovation, collaboration, and streamlined rapid access of Adult BH HCBS
These events will be held in person in the following locations: 
Target audience: representatives from Health and Recovery Plans (HARP) and HIV Special Needs Plans (SNP); adult BH HCBS providers; behavioral health providers and Health Home care management agencies.

NYS Suicide Prevention Conference: September 20 & 21, 2018


Innovations in Linkages and Referrals
March 14, 1:30 - 3 pm, SAMHSA

Implementation of Peer Navigator Programs
March 15, 12:30 - 1:30 pm, SAMHSA

March 15, 1 - 2 pm, Specialists on Call

March 21, 1:30 - 3 pm, Center for Health Care Strategies

Integrating HIV and Substance Use Disorder Treatment to Optimize Care for Vulnerable Patients
March 21, 2 - 3:30 pm, SAMHSA-HRSA

March 22, 1 - 2 pm, Transitions ACR

The Impact of Technology on Healthcare Access & Costs
March 22, 2 - 3 pm, Employee Benefit News

Suicide Prevention in Later Life
March 26, 2 - 3:30 pm, SAMHSA

March 28, 1 - 2 pm, Manatt


MARCH 2018

Children & Families Committee Meeting
March 20: 11:30 am - 1 pm, GTM

Directors/Executive Committee Meeting
March 21: 9:30 am - 12:30 pm, GTM

Developmental Disabilities Committee Meeting
March 22: 1 - 2:30 pm, GTM

APRIL 2018

Mental Hygiene Planning Committee
April 3: 1 - 2:30 pm, GTM

Officers, Chairs & Regional Reps Call
April 4: 8 am

Children & Families Committee Meeting

Directors/Executive Committee Meeting
April 18: 9:30 am - 12:30 pm, GTM

CLMHD Spring Full Membership Meeting
April 30 - May 1, Saratoga Springs

Contact CLMHD for all Call In and Go To Meeting information, 518.462.9422 
NYS Senator Pamela Helming Meets with CLMHD and Sheriffs to Discuss Funding Substance Use Disorder Treatment in Jails

Pictured from left: Seneca County Sheriff W. Timothy Luce; Wayne County Undersheriff Jeffery Fosdick; Ontario County Sheriff  Philip C. Povero; Margaret Morse, LMSW, DCS, Seneca County; Ontario County Jail Chief Corrections Officer Alice Haskins; Kelly Hansen, CLMHD; Senator Pamela Helming; Diane Johnson, LCSW-R, DCS, Ontario County; James Haitz, LCSW-R, DCS, Wayne County; Wayne County Behavioral Health Deputy Director, Ed Hunt; Seneca County Undersheriff John Cleere

On Thursday, March 1, representatives from the Conference met with NYS Senator Pamela Helming in Wayne County to discuss CLMHD's white paper and State budget funding request to develop Substance Use Disorder (SUD) treatment and transition services in county jails. Meeting participants included CLMHD Executive Director, Kelly Hansen, as well as Directors of Community Services and members of sheriff's departments of Wayne, Ontario and Seneca counties.  To learn more about CLMHD's budget request, click here .
OPWDD Care Coordination Organizations Announced

The Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) is making an important improvement to the way services are coordinated, known as People First Care Coordination. The Medicaid Service Coordination (MSC) program which is currently used to coordinate services will be replaced by a new and improved program called Health Home Care Management. Health Home Care Management will continue to provide the service coordination that people currently receive, and will also provide coordination of other services, such as health care and behavioral health supports.

Care Coordination Organizations (CCOs), new entities formed by existing providers of developmental disability services, will coordinate all the services a person receives for their developmental disability, as well as the coordination of health, wellness, and mental health services through one individualized Life Plan.

Six new Care Coordination Organizations have been identified to begin providing Care Management services on July 1, 2018:
The new organizations will be staffed by Care Managers, and to maintain existing relationships as much as possible, in many cases the new Care Managers will be current Medicaid Service Coordinators who will receive additional training for this new role. Care Managers will help coordinate services across systems, including OPWDD, the Department of Health and the Office of Mental Health, providing people with developmental disabilities, and their families, with one place to plan all of their service needs. 

There will be no changes to a person's supports and services as this transition from MSC to Health Home Care Management takes place, unless changes are requested by the person receiving services, or their decision-makers.

Health Home Care Management should not be confused with Managed Care. Managed Care will be offered statewide to people with developmental disabilities at a future date.

People who choose not to receive comprehensive care management can choose to receive Basic HCBS Plan Support which will also be offered by CCOs. Basic HCBS Plan Support will be a very limited coordination option, similar to Plan of Care Support Services (PCSS) offered in the current system.

People currently receiving supports and services through OPWDD will be hearing from their service coordinator between April and July with more information so they can choose their CCO, and whether they would like to receive Health Home Care Management or Basic HCBS Plan Support services.
Governor Cuomo Announces More Than $1.6 Million Expansion of Mobile Addiction Treatment and Transportation Services Across New York

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo yesterday announced the expansion of mobile addiction treatment and transportation services in New York. More than 20 vehicles have now been purchased by nine providers across the state, with more expected to be purchased in the coming months. More than $1.6 million has been made available for providers to purchase vehicles through this initiative.

Providers have purchased and outfitted several different types of vehicles, such as:
  • Mobile clinics, which provide telepractice capabilities and exam rooms;
  • Mini-mobile clinics, which offer telepractice, without a full exam room; and
  • Vehicles to use for either transportation of staff to deliver services or to transport clients to clinics. 
A full list of providers who have purchased vehicles through this initiative is listed here.
NYTimes: A 'Bright Light,' Dimmed in the Shadows of Homelessness

Nakesha Williams resisted help from social workers, friends and acquaintances, some who only knew her as a homeless woman, and others who knew of her past.

They met on a rainy morning several years ago, at the base of the Helmsley Building in Midtown Manhattan. As others hurried to work, Pamela J. Dearden, an executive with JPMorgan Chase, noticed a woman, unperturbed by the rain or her surroundings, standing on a 36-square-foot sidewalk grate she had chosen as her home.

Ms. Dearden, known to everyone as P.J., offered her umbrella to the woman, who took it and thanked her.

A friendship blossomed. P.J. would often stop to talk with the woman, who sat amid shopping bags, books, food containers and a metal utility cart. P.J. admired her hardiness, but also her smile, her soft features and her humor. If the woman was sleeping or talking loudly to herself, P.J. held back, but other times she engaged her in short conversations, which could go into unexpected places.

The woman's name was Nakesha Williams. She said she loved novels, and they discussed the authors she was reading, from Jane Austen to Jodi Picoult. She and P.J. chatted as time allowed, or until Nakesha veered into topics that hinted at paranoia: plots and lies against her. Yet, P.J. realized she knew little about Nakesha, and she wondered about her past.

Nearly three decades earlier, another woman took notice of Nakesha, then an 18-year-old college freshman, and considered her seemingly boundless future.

Sandra Burton, director of the dance program at Williams College in Massachusetts, was struck immediately by Nakesha's vibrancy and talent as a dancer. She became Nakesha's teacher and mentor, and she began to closely track her development. Nakesha, she recalled, stood out no matter the setting: the stage, the classroom, even across a kitchen table.

But three years after graduation, Ms. Burton and other friends started getting strange phone calls and emails from Nakesha, with bizarre claims she was being followed by strangers. She abandoned people who were close to her and spurned their offers of help. In 2010, more than two decades after they met, Ms. Burton received what would be her last communication from Nakesha, an email in which her former student angrily lashed out at her.

Sandra Burton and P.J. Dearden were bookends to a promising life derailed by mental illness and homelessness. But their paths never crossed. One woman held answers to Nakesha's past, the other to her present.

What had happened in between? Read more here.
School Professionals Can Help Children Manage Mental Health
School Professionals Can Help Children Manage Mental Health
New research finds that school-based services delivered by teachers and other school-based professionals can help reduce mental health problems in elementary-aged children. The finding comes at an opportune time given the violence recently experienced across America.

The study appears in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (JAACAP).

The findings are based on a meta-analysis of 43 controlled trials that collectively had almost 50,000 elementary-aged children participate in school-based mental health services. The researchers examined the overall effectiveness of school-based mental health services, as well as the relative effectiveness of various school-based intervention models that differed according to treatment target, format, and intensity. Read more here.
Sign Up for Updates from the New York State Autism Spectrum Disorders Advisory Board

In November 2016, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed into law Chapter 469 of 2016, creating the Autism Spectrum Disorders Advisory Board (the Board) to help provide guidance and information to New York policymakers, individuals with an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis, and families seeking reliable information regarding available services and supports.

Members of the Board are tasked with several important duties including:
  • Studying and reviewing the effectiveness of supports and services currently being provided to people diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders;
  • Identifying legislative and regulatory activity that may be required to improve existing service systems which support people diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders;
  • Identifying methods of improving interagency coordination of services and maximizing the impact and effectiveness of services and agency functions; and,
  • Other matters as deemed appropriate by the Board.
The Board is working to develop recommendations in these areas, with concentration on a variety of topics laid out in its first reportIf you would like to be kept up to date on the activities of the Board, please register for the Board's contact list here.
How To Make A Value-Based Partnership Really Work

This year at The 2018 OPEN MINDS Performance Management Institute, we had the chance to hear from the executives of a number of provider organizations and health plans who are actually making value-based reimbursement partnerships work. While the models were all slightly (or very) different, the key elements in successful partnership resonated across the presentations.

These core principles were illustrated in the presentation by Deborah Adler, Senior Vice President, Network Services of OptumHealth and Anthony Belott, Chief Development Officer of CleanSlate, in their session, Developing A Value-Based Partnership: The Optum Case Study. The partnership uses a monthly bundled payment to deliver medication assisted treatment. What were their core principles for success?

Identify a problem and market yourself as the solution -The partnership developed around Optum's need to expand access to evidence-based addiction treatment providers.  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.