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January 31, 2020

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

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Francine Sinkoff, Editor

ER Anywhere Pilot Produces Impressive Results: 97% ER avoidance, 99% patient satisfaction - Rensselaer

Abbott House and the Keon Center Merge - Westchester

Health + Hospitals takes over ThriveNYC's mental health corps, saving $25M

NYC: Using Text Message Patient Outreach to Cut Appointment No-Shows
text message patient outreach helps clinic operations
At NYC Health + Hospitals, looking at appointment no-show rates is not a signal of patient non-compliance. Instead, missed appointment rates - a key verbiage choice - gives health system leaders a look into where they can drive better patient engagement in appointment setting.

It's hard to blame a healthcare organization that is laser-focused on patient no-show rates. No-shows are a huge cost for a health system, and can disrupt clinic workflows by taking an appointment away from another patient and getting in the way of a smooth walk-in clinic operation.

Kaushal Challa, the senior assistant vice president of Ambulatory Care Services at NYC Health + Hospitals, knows this all too well. In a sprawling health system that largely treats a diverse and high-risk patient population, getting patients into the clinic at the right time, every time, is a high-stakes issue. Read more here.
Quartet Health Announces New Effort to Improve Access to Mental Health Care and Patient Health Outcomes

Quartet Health, an innovative mental health care technology and services company, today announced a new effort to improve the quality of mental health care that patients receive. In an industry first, Quartet and innovative health care payer Blue Cross and Blue Shield of  North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) are collaborating on a new effort  that will enable Blue Cross NC's value-based payment model for behavioral health care. This will help ensure people are getting high-quality mental health care that meets their needs in a timely manner while improving efficiency, performance, and patient health outcomes.  

Together, Quartet and Blue Cross NC are combining their unique assets to measure the quality of care patients receive, and create incentives to providers for improved patient access to in-network care, collaboration among providers, and improved patient health outcomes. Quartet's technology platform provides the data-driven insights and technology infrastructure to measure and support the delivery of high-quality mental health care; Blue Cross NC provides the payment model with incentives to recognize and compensate behavioral health care providers for high-quality care through a new value-based arrangement, Blue Premier Behavioral Health. This effort can lead to improved health and lower total cost of care. Read more here.

Long-Term Antipsychotic Use Linked With Lower Mortality Rates

Targeting One Symptom of Schizophrenia May Help Relieve Others

Study: Higher Poverty Tied to Increased Youth Suicide Risk

ED Visits for Suicidal Ideation and Self-Harm on the Rise

More and more Americans are dying by suicide. What are we missing?
NYS Health Foundation Issue Brief: Veteran Suicide in New York State

Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States-it affects all demographic groups, and our nation's veterans are particularly at risk.
While making up 8% of the U.S. adult population, veterans accounted for 14% of all deaths by suicide among the adult population in 2017.  Similarly, New York State veterans die by suicide at a much higher rate than the overall State population. Particularly concerning is the increasing rate of suicide among New York's youngest veterans, even as rates among older veterans have declined.

This NYSHealth issue brief  presents how New York's veteran suicide rate compares to the rest of the country, examines how veteran suicide rates are changing in New York over time, and explores how State policies might influence veteran suicide rates.

PSYCKES Mobile App for iPhones & iPads
February 5, 3 - 4 pm, OMH

Peer Support: State Credentials, Continuing Education, and Retention/Recruitment Strategies 
February 6, 1 - 2 pm, Rutgers University

Interacting With First Responders
February 10, 1 - 2 pm, PsychU

Using PSYCKES for Clinicians
February 11, 1 - 2:30 pm, OMH

Stepping Up 101: A Primer for Sheriffs
February 11, 3 - 4 pm, Stepping Up Initiative

The Role of Technology in Peer Support Services (Part 1)
February 13, 11 am - 12 pm, SAMHSA MHTTC

Next Steps to Evaluating Community Suicide Prevention Programs
February 13, 12 - 1 pm, Suicide Prevention Center of NYS

Re-Mapping the Fraud and Abuse Landscape
February 13, 1 - 2 pm, Manatt Health

Putting Data to Work for You: Driving Improved Outcomes for Measures that Matter
February 19, 12 - 1 pm, CCSI

Understanding the Integrated Care Framework and How It Applies to You
February 19, 2 - 3 pm, National Council for Behavioral Health

Enable Access to Client-Level Data in PSYCKES
February 20, 3 - 4 pm, OMH

Medication-assisted Treatment in Drug Courts: Addressing Barriers to Effective Implementation
February 24, 12:30 - 2 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

PSYCKES Access and Implementation
February 25, 12 - 1 pm, OMH

Optimizing Clinical and Mental Health Provider Performance
February 26, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

Social Determinants of Health 2020
February 27, 1 - 2 pm, Manatt Healthcare



Executive Committee Meeting
February 5: 8 am, GTM

CLMHD Membership Call
February 11: 9 - 10:30 am, GTM

CLMHD Office Closed - Lincoln's Birthday
February 12

CLMHD Office Closed - Washington's Birthday
February 17
Children & Families Committee Meeting
February 18: 11:30 - 1 pm, GTM

Contact CLMHD for all Call In and Go To Meeting information, 518.462.9422 
NYSAC Holds 2020 Annual Legislative Conference 

NYSAC welcomed more than 850 attendees to the 2020 Legislative Conference in Albany this week. The organization hosted 24 workshops, 14 delegate meetings, 4 keynote addresses, dozens of exhibitors and sponsors, and countless opportunities for county officials to learn from one another. County delegates adopted a series of resolutions that the association will use to help advocate for county concerns during the State Legislative Conference
New Process 'First Step' in Reducing Psychiatric Hospitals' Administrative Burden

The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services this month said a streamlined survey and certification process for psychiatric hospitals will take effect in March.

Industry leaders said cutting surveying in half should help alleviate hospitals' administration burden, which takes time away from patient care. They also said they hope it signals more actions to come.

With the new survey process, psychiatric hospitals will receive one survey each year-rather than two-to review compliance with both general and psychiatric hospital requirements. Read more here.
Governor Cuomo Announces Greatest Funding In State History to Combat Homelessness and Expand Access to Affordable Housing and Supportive Services Included in FY 2021 Executive Budget

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the FY 2021 Executive Budget includes the greatest funding in state history to combat homelessness and expand access to affordable housing and supportive services. The Budget doubles funding from $64 million to $128 million for the Homeless Housing Assistance Program, which will create more housing for individuals and families who are homeless and unable to secure adequate housing without assistance. The Budget also invests $5 million to expand permanent supportive housing for homeless veterans and supports the continued implementation of Code Blue efforts across the State with a $13 million stand-alone appropriation.

This funding builds on the Governor's historic $20 billion, five-year plan to combat homelessness and advance the construction of affordable housing in New York State. The Housing Plan will ultimately create 100,000 units of affordable housing and 6,000 units of supportive housing across the state.
Read more here.
HRSA Announces Opioid-Impacted Family Support Program Funding Opportunity

State-licensed mental health organizations are eligible to apply for up to $600,000 from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to support training programs that enhance and expand paraprofessionals' work with children whose parents are impacted by opioid use disorder and other substance use disorders. Interested organizations can read the Notice of Funding Opportunity here and apply for the program by the April 13 deadline.
SAMHSA Funding Opportunity: Services Grant Program for Residential Treatment for Pregnant and Postpartum Women

Application Due Date: Monday, March 30, 2020

SAMHSA is accepting applications for the Residential Treatment  for Pregnant and Postpartum Women grant program (PPW). The purpose of this program is to provide pregnant and postpartum women with treatment for substance use disorders through programs in which, during the course of receiving treatment, 1) the women reside in or receive outpatient treatment services from facilities provided by the programs; 2) the minor children of the women reside with the women in such facilities, if the women so request; and 3) the services are available to or on behalf of the women.

SAMHSA plans to issue 3 grants of up to $525,000 per year for up to 5 years. Learn more about this grant.
CMS Announces Healthy Adult Opportunity Demonstration

On Thursday the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a new opportunity to support states with greater flexibility to improve the health of their Medicaid populations. The Healthy Adult Opportunity (HAO) Demonstration emphasizes the concept of value-based care while granting states with extensive flexibility to administer and design their programs within a defined budget.

States will have broad flexibility to operate an HAO demonstration project to maximize health outcomes for Medicaid populations in a cost-effective, administratively efficient manner. For the first time, CMS is providing flexibilities currently available to states in a comprehensive suite of pre-packaged waiver authorities.

To offer states this option, the HAO will involve the use of section 1115(a)(2) authority to provide coverage to individuals not eligible for benefits under the state's Medicaid state plan, while affording states maximum flexibility in the administration of benefits for such individuals. HAO is available to states for a limited population - adults under age 65 who are not eligible for Medicaid on the basis of disability or need for long term care services and supports, or are not eligible under a state plan.
Cortland County is Hiring:  Director of  Community Mental Health Services
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Cortland County is seeking to fill the position of Director of Community Mental Health Services. Click here for full job description.
Cigna Takes Action To Combat The Rise Of Loneliness And Improve Mental Wellness In America
Sadness teenage girl sitting alone on the floor
America's loneliness epidemic is getting worse, with three in five adults (61%) reporting they are lonely, a seven percentage-point increase from 2018, according to  Cigna's  2020 Loneliness Index released today. These results come against the backdrop of a rising mental health crisis in America, with more than 46 million people living with a mental illness.1 In response, Cigna is taking action to help communities across the country proactively reduce risks of mental illness and improve mental well-being overall.

"The trends shaping how we work - increasing use of technology, more telecommuting and the always-on work culture - are leaving Americans more stressed, less rested, spending more time on social media, and less time with friends and family," said David M. Cordani, President and Chief Executive Officer, Cigna. "For the business community, it is resulting in less engagement, less productivity and lower retention levels. To confront these issues at home and at work, we are helping people build stronger connections and driving deeper health engagement to improve overall well-being and vitality." Read more here.
The Importance of Integrated Care Models that Address Medical, Behavioral, and Social Health Needs

To address and prevent many of the medical problems seen every day in clinics and health centers across the nation, we need to design a different care model. We need an approach to care where clinicians and payers agree that when we say that someone is "high risk" or "complex," we arrive at that conclusion by not only assessing their medical conditions, but also by taking into account their behavioral health and health-related social needs. In this reimagined approach, the best care is not when clinicians alone decide what patients need, but rather when we work together with the people we care for to understand their priorities and what they believe will best support their health.
This is exactly the challenge being taken on by  Advancing Integrated Models (AIM), a new Center for Health Care Strategies initiative made possible through support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Through this project, eight organizations are designing and piloting new strategies for integrating innovative, "next-generation" approaches to person-centered care for individuals with complex health and social needs. Read more here.
Despite New Doubts, 'Hotspotting' Help For Heavy Health Care Users Marches On

A highly publicized approach to lowering health costs failed to pass rigorous study this month, but hospitals, insurers and government health programs don't intend to give up on the idea.

The "hotspotting" model was pioneered in Camden, New Jersey, in 2002 and inspired dozens of similar projects around the country, many financed by millions of dollars from the government and private foundations. The model focuses on people who face social barriers such as homelessness or drug addiction and use the hospital multiple times a year, typically for avoidable complications from chronic diseases. The participants work with doctors, social workers and nurses for individual help, seeking to prevent future hospital admission and extra expenses down the road.

A study in the New England Journal of Medicine published this month confirmed that repeat hospitalizations dropped for participants in the Camden program but the result was no better  than the results from a group of patients who did not get the intensive care coordination.  A different study , released Wednesday, showed that a similar, multibillion-dollar experiment in California yielded even more discouraging preliminary results: Participants were hospitalized at more than double the rate of patients who were not enrolled in the program. 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.