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September 20, 2018

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

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Francine Sinkoff, Editor
Committee OKs health emergency preparedness coordinator, grant funds - Montgomery County

Otsego County Raise The Age Program

Governor Cuomo Announces Projects Funded Through Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative Launching in Oswego

Rural medical centers soon to offer psychiatric nurses - Warren County

Westchester County School Safety Commission holds first meeting

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand visits Westchester County to push opioid bill in Congress

Judge's Order to Delay Juvenile-Center Transfer - NYC

Brooklyn startup Wellth raises $5M to cut readmissions - NYC

Innovative crisis intervention team training program at John Jay College delivers impressive results - NYC

NYPD slow to train officers in crisis intervention, new data shows - NYC

The Rapid Growth of Homeless Students in New York City: Instability in Every School District

How drug users are avoiding overdoses - NYC

Growing human services agency in Syracuse to launch $1.6M renovation, create 30 jobs - Onondaga County

Celebrity suicides prompt a rise in prevention training at Contact Syracuse - Onondaga County

Fatal Drug Overdoses Decline - Chautauqua County

NQF Releases Report Focusing on Quality and Access Issues in Rural Health

The National Quality Forum (NQF) is excited to release the following rural health report:  A Core Set of Rural-Relevant Measures and Improving Access to Care. This report highlights the work of the NQF-convened Measure Applications Partnership (MAP) workgroup regarding the best available quality measures and recommendations for improving access for the rural population.

More than 59 million people live in rural areas. Data show that rural residents are more likely to be in poor health and have higher mortality rates for chronic conditions. These prevalent challenges are likely caused in part by poor access to care compared to urban and suburban communities.

To address these challenges, the workgroup identified a core set of best available quality measures that will drive improvement, are meaningful to rural residents, minimize reporting burden and above all can be used by providers across hospital and ambulatory care settings. Read more here.
NIH announces awards for behavioral research on Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) prevention and treatment

Scientists identify four personality types

Hope One van brings treatment to high-risk areas in New Jersey county

Poorest Americans most likely to have used prescription opioids - and most users view opioids positively

County Jails Struggle To Treat Mentally Ill Inmates - Illinois

Nearly 30% of all opioid prescriptions lack medical explanation

To avoid overdoses, some test their heroin before taking it

Half As Many People Are Trying Heroin, But Marijuana Use Grows

America's Overlooked Addiction Crisis: Alcohol abuse is a fast-growing problem. 

Few safeguards for foster kids on psych drugs

Some students quit mental health medication when they get to college. Here's why that's so dangerous.

Childhood Trauma And Its Lifelong Health Effects More Prevalent Among Minorities
FPHNYC Announces Funding Opportunity for Community Based Organizations Serving Behavioral Health Clients

The Fund for Public Health in New York City, in collaboration with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, has announced an opportunity for Community Based Organizations (CBOs) to obtain funding to improve their readiness for value-based payment (VBP). The project is intended to support CBOs serving clients with mental health and/or substance use disorders who currently
address social determinants of health. The two main goals are to increase the
CBOs VBP knowledge and readiness and measure the impact of their services.
Another goal is to increase each CBO's long-term sustainability and potential
value within a VBP agreement by concurrently working towards incorporation of behavioral health practices and partnerships as part of their routine work.

The RFP indicates that up to ten CBOs will be selected for funding and
participation in this project, with direct funding of $35,000 as well as access to
technical assistance. Responses to the RFP are due October 10; awards are
expected by late October 2018. Read more here.
A Different Kind of House Call: Teams Bring Addiction Care to Patients, Wherever They Are

SAN FRANCISCO - Shannon Ducharme was among her friend's few lifelines: He was homeless and living in Golden Gate Park. Like many here, he was a drug user without access to basic health care services, a vulnerable young man in need but unlikely to seek out care miles away.  But when she ventured into the park to find him, Ducharme was surprised to find she'd been beaten to the punch.

A homeless outreach team here was not only checking in on her friend, but also scores of others among the city's thousands-strong homeless population, many who had mental illnesses or who had exhibited risky drug use behavior.  "I was there to help my friend, and to take his dog to the vet," Ducharme said. "And these people are here, doing what I'm doing, but with way more resources and getting paid for it."

Ducharme went home and downloaded a job application. Three years later, she is an integral part of a team in San Francisco that bounces between rounds at a clinic in the Tenderloin neighborhood and on the streets. The goal: to present options for care to people who are unlikely to walk into the clinic on their own.  Read more here .

September 26, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

September 26, 12 - 1 pm, CTAC/MCTAC

September 27, 12 - 1 pm, CTAC/MCTAC

September 27, 2 - 3 pm, National Academy for State Health Policy

Using PSYCKES Quality Indicator Reports
October 3, 11 am - 12 pm, OMH

Enable Access to Client-Level Data in PSYCKES
October 9, 2 - 3 pm, OMH

The College Years: How Students with Lived Experience Navigate Academics and Mental Health Management
October 10, 11 am - 12 pm, Transitions to Adulthood Center for Research

Using PSYCKES Recipient Search
October 17, 11 am -  12 pm, OMH

innovaTel Telepsychiatry: Back to School: Helping Children and Parents
October 17, 1 - 2 pm, National Council for Behavioral Health

October 17, 2:30 - 3:30 pm, Manatt Health

Using PSYCKES for Clinicians
October 22, 10 - 11:30 am, OMH

Access and Engagement in the Value Equation: Solutions That Work
October 25, 12 - 1 pm, CTAC/MCTAC

October 30, 2:30 - 3:30 pm, Manatt Health



Fall Full Membership Meeting
September 24 - 25, Rochester


OASAS Agency Meeting 
October 10: 10 am - 12 pm
1450 Western Ave., Albany

OMH Agency Meeting
October 10:  1 - 3 pm
44 Holland Ave., Albany

Mental Hygiene Planning Committee Meeting - IN PERSON
October 12: 11- 12:30 pm
1450 Western Ave., Albany / GTM

Contact CLMHD for all Call In and Go To Meeting information, 518.462.9422 
HHS Awards Over $1 Billion to Combat the Opioid Crisis

This week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded over $1 billion in opioid-specific grants to help combat the crisis ravaging our country. The awards support  HHS's Five-Point Opioid Strategy, which was launched last year and enhanced this week. New data unveiled recently by HHS suggests that efforts are now yielding progress at the national level.

The 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), found that the number of Americans initiating heroin use dropped by around half from 2016 to 2017. The number of Americans misusing opioids also dropped for the second year in a row, and the number receiving specialty treatment for heroin use increased. Read more here.

DFS Announces New Actions to Combat the Opioid Crisis and Ease Roadblocks to Addiction Treatment

Financial Services Superintendent Maria T. Vullo today announced that the Department of Financial Services (DFS) is taking new bold actions to address the opioid crisis in New York State, ensuring that New Yorkers have swift access to appropriate addiction treatment, as well as access to less-addictive types of opioids and non-opioid pain medications.  The measures announced today include a final DFS regulation that requires insurers to include in their policies a process for insureds, their designees or prescribers to request a review of a decision that a medication for detoxification or maintenance treatment of a substance use disorder drug is not covered by the policy.
Under the final regulation, every insurer that provides hospital, surgical, or medical expense coverage and also provides coverage for medication for the detoxification or maintenance treatment of a substance use disorder must include in the policy processes that allow an insured, their designee, or their prescribing physician to request a formulary exception and gain access to clinically appropriate medication for the detoxification or maintenance treatment of a substance use disorder not otherwise covered by the policy. Read more here.
National Standards for Systems of Care for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs Toolkit 

The National Standards for Systems of Care for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN) define a comprehensive, coordinated, and family-centered system of care for CYSHCN, who make up 20% of US children. NASHP's new National Standards for CYSHCN toolkit provides links to critical tools, fact sheets, and resources that states can use to design, strengthen, and improve health care systems serving CYSHCN and their families. New resources will be continually added to the toolkit in the weeks ahead. 
New York State Department of Health Announces Finalists in Social Determinants of Health 'Call for Innovations' Initiative

The New York State Department of Health last week announced the nine finalists of the Social Determinants of Health 'Call for Innovations' Initiative. The solicitation for innovations, a first of its kind in New York State, attracted over 200 applicants from across the country, all of whom have come up with creative and effective ways to address social determinants of health for Medicaid members. The nine finalists represent community-based organizations, healthcare providers, and technology companies.

Addressing social determinants of health, or the conditions in which people are born, live, grow, work, and age, has a significant impact on health outcomes and costs less than medical interventions. The 'Call for Innovations' provided an opportunity for companies and organizations to highlight how they can improve the lives of Medicaid members through cost-effective and innovative solutions.

The nine finalists will be invited to present their solutions to a group of distinguished panelists and an audience of over 600 people on September 26, 2018 at a Social Determinants of Health Innovation Summit hosted by the Department. Read more here.
Acting Commissioner Delaney Announces Extension of Public Comment Period

The Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) is extending the timeframe for public comment on the qualification document posted in late August which outlines the requirements for the creation of specialized Managed Care Plans.  This document includes requirements for education and experience for medical and clinical directors, financial requirements and other standards the plan applicants will be required to meet.
In response to feedback from stakeholders, OPWDD is extending the public comment period by two weeks until October 17 to provide extra time for people to review this large technical document.
In addition, OPWDD will be preparing a presentation to outline the document for easier understanding. The presentation will include the responses to questions already received through advocacy organizations and other stakeholder groups. The presentation will be posted to the OPWDD website over the next several days.
Please submit your comments to prior to the extended October 17 deadline.
First Comprehensive HHS Data Sharing Report Released

This week, the Office of the Chief Technology Officer published a comprehensive report of the data sharing environment at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS).  The  report  explores the challenges of sharing data between HHS agencies.

Led by HHS Chief Data Officer Dr. Mona Siddiqui, a small team of HHS staff interviewed agency leadership and staff from eleven HHS agencies, including at the NIH, CDC, FDA, CMS, and AHRQ, about the challenges and opportunities in sharing data between agencies. This report focuses specifically on data assets identified by the agencies as having high value and that are restricted or nonpublic.

The report is part of an ongoing effort to build and implement an enterprise-wide data strategy at HHS. Read more here.
A New Look at Drug Use and Health in the U.S. 

The share of people with substance use disorder receiving treatment for the condition is rising, according to new numbers from a  federal survey  on drug use and health in 2017. Here's a look at the findings:
*Nearly 55% of people with heroin-related opioid use disorder received treatment in 2017, up from 38% in 2016. The number of people initiating heroin use also fell significantly.
*An estimated 8.5 million adults have both substance use disorder and a co-occuring mental illness. Another 300,000 young people ages 12 to 17 had experienced both substance use disorder and a major depressive episode within the past year.
*About 7% of pregnant women had used marijuana in the past month, with about 3% reporting daily use.
Can Teachers Stop Teens From Considering Suicide? New York State Thinks So.

The internal voice in Maddy Horowitz's head regularly told her she was nothing. She had just finished her junior year of high school, a crazy whirlwind of taking and re-taking the SAT and ACT tests, college applications, student council, volleyball, and the resume-building often expected of high-achieving American teenagers.

The extroverted, straight-talking, athletic 17-year-old was known around her Fairport, New York high school for creating silly rap songs and dressing in goofy outfits. But amid this busyness, Horowitz had gotten trapped in an anxiety loop. Horowitz considered
and eventually attempted ending her short life.  

Unfortunately, Horowitz isn't unique. Over the last decade, rates of anxiety and depression have risen steadily, particularly in the United States. Hospitalizations for suicidal thoughts or attempts have almost doubled. And teen suicides rose 30 percent in boys and more than doubled in girls since 2007, making it the second leading cause of death for young people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
It's a national epidemic that no one quite knows how to stop, but New York state is hoping that a relatively simple intervention could change things: injecting mental health education into the school day. Read more here.
Optimizing Health Care Resource Allocation: The Research Consortium For Health Care Value Assessment

Traditional approaches to reducing health care spending often involve eroding coverage for care indiscriminately and fail to take a holistic perspective on all sources of costs and value. We believe that affordability in health care delivery is best achieved by efficiently allocating costs across the entire budget and spectrum of care.

The proper framework is to move from how much we spend to how well it is spent. Inefficient spending not only drives up costs but can negatively impact patient outcomes. Inefficient spending consumes resources that could be redirected toward both underused routine care (for example, colonoscopies, lifestyle counseling by primary care providers, and vaccinations) and underused innovative care that offers higher value (for example, hepatitis C drugs). A more efficient allocation creates the "headroom" for additional spending on high-value services. Read more here.
Achieving Value in Medicaid Home- and Community-Based Care: Considerations for Managed Long-Term Services and Supports Programs
States are increasingly adopting value-based payment (VBP) models to tie payment to outcomes including quality of care, health status, and costs for their Medicaid programs. Although most Medicaid VBP models are for primary and acute care services, states are beginning to explore VBP for long-term services and supports (LTSS).

This guide describes considerations for states seeking to adopt VBP models for home- and community-based services in Medicaid managed long-term services and supports (MLTSS) programs. It examines approaches used by five states - Minnesota, 
New York, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia - for promoting high-quality MLTSS programs while simultaneously supporting the ability of Medicaid beneficiaries who need LTSS to live in their communities. 
Why Geriatric Behavioral Health CBOs Should Embrace Data in Value-Based Era

Community-based organizations providing behavioral health services for older New Yorkers will need to effectively deploy data to form critical partnerships with health systems and managed-care organizations, panelists said Thursday at the symposium The Future of Geriatric Behavioral Health, hosted by the Coalition for Behavioral Health.

As health care moves from a fee-for-service model to value-based payments, CBOs must be able to communicate their accomplishments to potential partners with data, rather than anecdotes, to show how
they are improving outcomes and driving down costs, said Catherine Thurston, chief program officer at Service Program for Older People, a Manhattan organization that provides services to adults 55 and older to promote independent living. 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.