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March 22, 2019

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

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Francine Sinkoff, Editor

City Seeks to Move Mentally Ill Inmates to Hospitals - NYC

NYPD's Mental-Illness Response Breakdown - NYC

Hillside Family of Agencies to close Seneca County facility

Recreational Marijuana in New York: More Counties Say They Will Opt Out

County leaders are lining up to opt out of allowing legal marijuana sales even if New York legalizes the drug.

Executives in Rockland, Putnam and Chemung counties told the USA TODAY Network's Albany Bureau this week they will recommend prohibiting marijuana sales within their borders should Gov. Andrew Cuomo's legalization proposal be approved.

They added their names to a list that already included  county executives in Nassau and Suffolk  counties on Long Island , who had vowed to opt out earlier in the week.

And the list could continue to grow: Westchester County Executive George Latimer told reporters Thursday he and county lawmakers would consider their options, leaving open the possibility the major suburban county of 980,000 residents would opt out. Read more here.
SAMHSA Funding Opportunity: Transforming Lives Through Supported Employment

SAMHSA is accepting applications for Transforming Lives through Supported Employment grants (Supported Employment Program). The purpose of the program is to support state and community efforts to refine, implement, and sustain evidence-based supported employment programs and mutually compatible and supportive evidence-based practices (e.g., supported education) for transition-aged youth/young adults (ages 16-25) with serious emotional disturbance, and adults with serious mental illness or co-occurring mental and substance use disorders.

SAMHSA plans to issue 7 grants of up to $800,000 per year for up to 5 years.

Application Due Date: Friday, May 17, 2019
Trends in Psychiatric Emergency Department Visits Among Youth and Young Adults in the US

Adverse childhood events lead to high out-of-pocket medical costs in adulthood

Methadone Helped Her Quit Heroin. Now She's Suing U.S. Prisons to Allow the Treatment.

Fentanyl-Linked Deaths: The U.S. Opioid Epidemic's Third Wave Begins

Is Gut Health Linked To Mental Health? There's Often A Direct Connection, According To Science

What we know about the FDA's new postpartum depression drug

Send the Right Message with Facility Design
Aspiring Doctors Seek Advanced Training In Addiction Medicine

The U.S. surgeon general's office estimates
that more than 20 million people have a substance-use disorder. Meanwhile, the nation's drug overdose crisis shows no sign of slowing.

Yet, by all accounts, there aren't nearly enough physicians who specialize in treating addiction - doctors with extensive clinical training who are board certified in addiction medicine.

The opioid epidemic has made this doctor deficit painfully apparent. And it's spurring medical institutions across the United States to create fellowships for aspiring doctors who want to treat substance-use disorders with the same precision and science as other diseases. Read more here.

March 25, 10 - 11:30 am, MCTAC/CTAC

Children's HCBS Capacity Management
March 27, 1 - 2:30 pm, MCTAC/CTAC

March 27, 1 - 2 pm, Manatt Health

Enable Access to Client-Level Data in PSYCKES
March 28, 2 - 3 pm, OMH

SAMHSA's Eight Guiding Principles for Behavioral Health and Criminal Justice
March 28, 3 - 4:30 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

Using Policy to Create Healthy Schools: Tools for State Policymakers
March 29, 2 - 3 pm,  Child Trends and the National Association of State Boards of Education

Saratoga WarHorse; A Creative Strategy for Veterans with PTSD
April 1, 10 - 11:30 am, OMH

Maximizing System-Level Data to Address Health and Social Complexity in Children - Spotlight on Oregon
April 2, 2 - 3 pm, National Academy for State Health Policy

What Do Providers Want to Know About Peer Support Services (Part 2)
April 3, 12 - 1:30 pm, Academy of Peer Services

Risk Assessment and Mitigation Strategies for HCBS
April 3, 2:30 - 4 pm, Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS)

Complex Care among Medicaid Beneficiaries with Comorbid Substance Use Disorders and Other Chronic Conditions
April 3, 3 - 4 pm, National Academy for State Health Policy

HCBS Person-Centered Planning - Lessons From the Field
April 8, 10 am - 12 pm, DOH

Effective Implementation of RNR in Treatment Court Settings
April 22, 1:30 - 3 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center


MARCH 2019

CLMHD BH Portal Webinar: OASAS Admissions
March 27: 12 - 12:30 pm, GTM

APRIL 2019

Executive Committee Call
April 3: 8 am

CLMHD BH Portal Webinar: OPWDD Enrollment Summary
April 10: 12 - 12:30 pm, GTM

Children & Families Committee Meeting
April 16: 11:30 am - 1 pm, GTM

Developmental Disabilities Committee Meeting
April 18: 1 - 2:30 pm, GTM

CLMHD BH Portal Webinar: Juvenile Justice
April 24: 12 - 12:30 pm, GTM

CLMHD Spring Full Membership Meeting
April 29 - 30, Holiday Inn, Saratoga Springs

Contact CLMHD for all Call In and Go To Meeting information, 518.462.9422 
HHS Releases Additional $487 Million to States, Territories to Expand Access to Effective Opioid Treatment; 2019 SOR Grants to Total $1.4 Billion

This week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released an additional $487 million to supplement first-year funding through its State Opioid Response (SOR) grant program. The awards to states and territories are part of HHS's Five-Point Opioid Strategy and the Trump administration's tireless drive to combat the opioid crisis.

Together with the $933 million in second-year, continuation awards to be provided under this program later this year, the total amount of SOR grants to states and territories this year will total more than $1.4 billion.

This funding will expand access to treatment that works, especially to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) with appropriate social supports. Read more here.
City Breaks Down Nearly $900M in ThriveNYC Spending

The city has spent about $345 million in the three previous fiscal years on ThriveNYC, its signature mental health initiative, with an additional $251 million slated to be spent this year through June, de Blasio administration officials said in a briefing with reporters Tuesday.

The administration provided a  breakdown in
spending across a dozen agencies and more than 40 ThriveNYC programs following several media reports that criticized a lack of transparency into how the program is spending its money and how well it's performing.

Health Department officials will appear next week before the City Council Committee on Mental Health, Disabilities and Addiction to defend including $251.8 million for ThriveNYC in the city budget for fiscal 2020, which starts July 1. Read more here.

Additional article of interest: $1 Billion for Mental Health: The Reality of de Blasio's 'Revolutionary' Plan
Office of Mental Health Awards $196,000 to Suicide Prevention Coalitions Across New York

The Office of Mental Health this week 
announced $196,000 in awards to 14 Suicide Prevention Coalition groups in New York. The three-year award funding will support coalition projects that target five key suicide prevention areas for New York State: Means Reduction, High Risk Populations, Loss and Attempt Survivors, Men in the Middle Years, and Education and Awareness.

Click here to view the awarded coalitions and their proposed suicide prevention projects.
New Campaign Focusing on Addiction Services Available for Pregnant Women in New York State Launches

The New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services  and the New York State Health Department this week announced the launch of a new campaign to raise awareness of the addiction services available in New York State for women who are pregnant. The campaign reminds women that it is okay to ask for help, and that they should talk to a healthcare professional about the services and medications that can help treat their addiction and support a healthy pregnancy.

Public service announcements, posters and palm cards were developed and will be distributed in community and medical settings, including OB/GYN facilities. Read more here.
She Was Dancing on the Roof and Talking Gibberish. A Special Kind of ER Helped Her.
Chantelle Unique has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. She had been dancing on the roof and speaking gibberish when her mother called 911.
For decades, hospitals have strained to accommodate patients in psychiatric crisis in emergency rooms.

The horror stories of failure abound:  Patients 
heavily sedated or shackled to gurneys for days while awaiting placement in a specialized psychiatric hospital, their symptoms exacerbated by the noise and chaos of emergency medicine. Long wait times in crowded ERs for people who show up with serious medical emergencies. High costs for taxpayers, insurers and families as patients languish longer than necessary in the most expensive place to get care.

"If you are living with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, that is a really tough way to begin that road to recovery," said Dr. Jack Rozel, president of the American Association for Emergency Psychiatry.

In pockets across the country, hospitals are trying something new to address the unique needs of psychiatric patients: opening emergency units specifically designed to help stabilize and treat patients and connect them to longer-term resources and care. Read more here.
2019 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation County Health Rankings Released

The  2019 RWJF County Health Rankings  were released this week. Each year, County Health Rankings & Roadmaps (CHR&R)-a collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the University of Wisconsin Institute for Population Health-ranks nearly every county in the U.S. on a number of vital health factors. The annual rankings serve as not only a measuring stick for assessing  community 
wellbeing,  but also a catalyst to spark conversations around how geography - including both the physical and social environment - can affect health. 

To view New York's county rankings, click  here.
It's Not Just Risk: Why the Shift to Value-Based Payment is also about Provider Flexibility

The movement to adopt value-based payment (VBP) in the U.S. health care system tends to focus on getting providers to assume financial risk. Recently, for example, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized 
its plans to facilitate the transition to financial risk for providers participating in the Medicare Shared Savings Program. 

Under risk-based VBP models, providers are held financially responsible for some, if not all, health care costs if they exceed a predefined budget or a prospectively paid pot of money. In most VBP-related work - including efforts across commercial, Medicare, and Medicaid payers - there is an underlying goal of moving providers toward risk-based payment models in order to help accomplish the Triple Aim of better care, lower costs, and healthier people.

This new CHCS blog post explores the value of leveraging VBP and risk-based models that support increased financial flexibility for providers to deliver the right care, in the right place, at the right time. Read more here.
Complex Medicaid Rules Limit FQHC, Safety-Net Telehealth Use
Image result for telehealth
Reimbursement and other policy and organizational issues are keeping safety-net clinics and federally-qualified health centers (FQHCs) from telehealth adoption and use, according to a new  report  from the RAND Corporation.

This comes even as telehealth is touted as an effective tool to  expand patient care access, which is one of the fundamental goals of a safety net clinic.

"Despite its potential, telehealth is underutilized by safety-net providers, including Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), due to a range of policy, organizational, and logistical barriers," the researchers wrote in the paper's introduction. "Research that facilitates state-to-state learning can inform both Medicaid policy and Medicare policy going forward and provide lessons learned for FQHCs interested in starting or expanding telehealth programs."  Read more here .
Chief Wellness Officer Role at the Center of Effort to Reduce Burnout

The question of how to reduce clinician burnout is being answered by some providers by appointing a chief wellness officer.

Supporters of this new role, which can be found at about a dozen health systems across the U.S., argue that the burnout issue demands attention from someone in a C-suite level position.

Burnout can be found among roughly 44% of doctors nationally, according to  recent  estimates ,
and a growing body of evidence shows it can harm quality of care, patient experience scores and the bottom line through higher turnover.

Additionally, chief wellness officers and researchers say there is now enough evidence and insight into what causes burnout and possible solutions that providers can meaningfully tackle the issue. 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.