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February 14, 2020

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

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Francine Sinkoff, Editor

St. Lawrence County leads NY in number of meth-making busts

The ARC Jefferson-St. Lawrence awarded grants from NYSARC Trust Services

In Albany, Gillibrand Pushes Addiction Treatment Funding

Virtual ER coming to tens of thousands in Capital Region

School program puts focus on mental health - Orange

Performing provider system discloses layoffs as DSRIP nears end - Suffolk

Syracuse opioid court sees success after one year - Onondaga

OPWDD Posts I/DD Managed Care Plan Qualifications for Comment, Upcoming Webinar

A revised draft of New York State Medicaid Managed Care Organization I/DD System Transformation Requirements and Standards to Serve Individuals with Intellectual and/or Developmental Disabilities in Specialized I/DD Plans - Provider Led (SIPs-PL) is now posted online for comment.
A link to the revised draft of the New York State Medicaid Managed Care Organization I/DD System Transformation Requirements and Standards to Serve Individuals with Intellectual and/or Developmental Disabilities in Specialized I/DD Plans - Provider Led (SIPs-PL) (hereafter referred to as the Qualification Document) is available on the Department of Health (DOH) website here.
OPWDD will be hosting an online webinar on February 19 at 2 PM to outline the content of the document and changes since August 2018. Follow the link below to register for the webinar here.
As Inmate Numbers Plunge, Gov. Cuomo Looks to Cut Jail Costs

As jail populations continue to plummet across the state, New York's governor is proposing to allow counties to opt into regional lockups instead of solely operating their own facility.

The legislation from Gov. Andrew Cuomo is one in a long list of policy proposals included within his state budget proposal, on which lawmakers continue to hold hearings this week.

The governor's office says the legislation will allow counties to lower costs by not maintaining their own separate facility. Read more here.

In-depth: Beth Israel's digital psychiatry division looks to integrate passive, active phone data into patient care - Boston

Will That Antidepressant Work For You? The Answer May Lie In Your Brain Waves

Alcoholism in Family Affects How Brain Switches Between Active & Resting States
How Companies Teach Their Employees First Aid for Mental Health
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At Delta Air Lines' Atlanta headquarters in late January, 24 employees are arguing over which of them has the worst disease. Half of them had been given cards naming a physical or mental health diagnosis and were told to line up, from the least debilitating to the most.

The woman holding "gingivitis" quickly takes a place at the far left of the line. But everyone further down to the right-low back pain, moderate depression, paraplegia, severe PTSD-keeps switching spots.

"Severe vision loss," someone says to the man holding the corresponding card, "are you a pilot?" He doesn't know. There is no further information: not what the person does for a living, whether their condition is well managed, or if they have health care coverage.

"We're in a pickle down here," a woman pleads to the instructor, Rochele Burnette, who's standing by, silent and smiling. Burnette waits until someone finally suggests the right answer: they should be in a vertical line, not a horizontal one. "How we look at a mental disorder and how we look at a physical condition should be the same," Burnette says. "One could be just as debilitating as the other." Read more here.

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

So You Think You're Doing Same Day Access...
February 20, 1 - 2 pm, MTM Services

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

Implementing Medications for Opioid Use Disorder in Jails and Prisons: Lessons from the Field
February 25, 2 - 3:30 pm, National Council for Behavioral Health

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

Best Practices for Tobacco Cessation Billing in Behavioral Health Settings
February 26, 1 - 2 pm, National Council for Behavioral Health

PSYCKES New Features Training: QI Trends, HARP HCBS, PCP, and More!
February 26, 3 - 4 pm, OMH

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

Recovery LIVE! Supervision Basics for Organizations New to Employing Peer Support Workers
February 27, 2 - 3 pm, SAMHSA

Telepsychiatry: The CCBHC Staffing Solution
March 4, 1 - 2 pm, National Council for Behavioral Health

PSYCKES New Features Training: QI Trends, HARP HCBS, PCP, and More!
March 5, 10 - 11 am, OMH

Sleep Disturbances and Depression: Understanding the Relationship to Improve Patient Outcomes
March 11, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

Opioids and Child Maltreatment: Neighborhood Factors To Protect Families
April 16, 1 - 2 pm, Child Maltreatment National Peer Learning Team



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

MARCH 2020

Agency Day - OASAS
March 4: 9:30 - 11:30 am, 1450 Western Ave., Albany

Agency Day - OMH
March 4: 12:15 - 2 pm, 44 Holland Ave., Albany

Agency Day - OPWDD
March 4: 2:15 - 4 pm, 44 Holland Ave., Albany

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

Developmental Disabilities Committee Meeting
March 19: 1 - 2:30 pm, GTM

Contact CLMHD for all Call In and Go To Meeting information, 518.462.9422 
Erie County Anti-Stigma Coalition Receives Grant To Expand Programming Into Niagara County

Erie County's Anti-Stigma Coalition recently received a $45,000 state grant to help break the stigma associated with those battling mental illness.

Coalition leaders say money will be used to help expand its longtime "Join the Conversation" campaign into Niagara County.  Leaders there say one in four people have mental health issues, with only 10 percent reaching out for help. Read more here.
New York Holds First Medicaid Redesign Team II Meeting

The New York Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT II) held its first meeting on February 11, 2020. MRT II was convened by Governor Andrew Cuomo to manage the state's Medicaid budget shortfall, estimated at $4 billion for the coming fiscal year, which begins April 1, 2020. The meeting was largely procedural, informing the panel of the process and timeline for their work. The panel will meet twice more, on March 4 and again in mid-March, and will then provide its recommendations to the governor for inclusion in the budget.
In addition, the state is convening a Long-Term Care work group to propose ideas for the entire MRT to consider. Finally, the state will be accepting suggestions from the public through an MRT II Proposal Submission Tool that will be made available on its web site, and through three Public Comment Days held in separate regions of the State.

Robert Mujica, the Director of the Division of the Budget, provided an overview of the Medicaid budget and what is driving the budget gap. Read more here.
OMH Behavioral Health Managed Care Update 
Click here to read the January 2020 issue.
NYS OASAS Releases 2020-2024 Statewide Comprehensive Plan 

This week NYS OASAS released its Statewide Comprehensive Plan 2020-2024. Click here to view the document.
States Lead the Way in Adapting Telehealth to Meet Mental Health Needs

Faced with a nationwide opioid abuse crisis and a surge of people needing mental health services, states are moving to embrace telehealth as a means of expanding access to treatment. But the path to better care is still bumpy.

State adoption of telemental health guidelines "is obviously continuing to grow, (and) trending in the right direction," says Amy Lerman, a member of the Epstein Becker Green law firm who specializes in telehealth and telemedicine law. "But every state has its own set of rules."

Lerman, the lead author of Epstein Becker Green's  fourth annual Telemental Health Laws Survey, which was released last October, says there was little state guidance in telehealth for mental and behavioral health services four years ago. Read more here.
Schools Struggle to Help Students Return to Class After a Mental Health Crisis
More kids are missing school because of anxiety and depression. A Massachusetts program is trying to disrupt that cycle
mental health in schools

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Ava had always felt comfortable at the small, private K-8 school she attended just north of Boston. But in high school everything changed.

Ava first began to experience anxiety and depression after her parents divorced, when she was still in grade school. These problems increased as she entered her teen years, and became even more severe in ninth grade, when she enrolled at Cambridge Rindge & Latin School, a vast campus with nearly 2,000 students. Faced with large, noisy classrooms, Ava froze with fear. By her sophomore year, she felt unable to cope. When her mother dropped her off one morning, Ava looked out at the school building, but couldn't open the car door to go inside.

She began to miss two or three days of school a week. In April of that year, she stopped attending altogether.

"Some days I couldn't even get out of bed," said Ava, who is 17 with light auburn hair. "I'd find anything to hold on to physically, so I wouldn't have to move." 

Ava's physician suggested she look into BRYT, or Bridge for Resilient Youth in Transition, which helps students return to school after extended mental health-related absences. Read more here.
2020 VBP Reporting Requirements Technical Specifications Manual

The 2020 VBP Reporting Requirements Technical Specifications Manual for Measurement Year (MY) 2019 is now available on the Value Based Payment (VBP) Resource Library website.
The purpose of this document is to make stakeholders aware of the quality measure reporting requirements for Medicaid Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) participating in the New York State Medicaid VBP program. The contents of this document include an overview of the specific reporting requirements for Category 1 measures for each VBP arrangement, a description of the changes to the measure sets from MY 2018 to MY 2019, and detailed instructions regarding additional file specifications required for the VBP program.

**Please read in full the updated VBP Reporting Requirements Technical Specifications Manual as reporting requirements have changed significantly from years prior.**
The manual can be found on the VBP Resource Library website here

The much-awaited results of the "hot spotting" care coordination program from the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers were published in  The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) last month. The results were unexpected - the effects of the program on hospital readmissions were not statistically significant.

To back up, the Camden's Link2Care "Hotspotting" approach is to create customized care coordination plans focused on a consumer's unique needs. It is the basic construct behind patient-centered medical homes and other specialty care coordination models. Founded almost two decades ago, the Camden Coalition invited a formal evaluation. The resulting study enrolled 800 people, who had been hospitalized at least once in the last six months, had two or more chronic conditions, five or more outpatient medications, and had behavioral health "complexities." Half of the people in the control group got the usual care when leaving the hospital and the other half received about 90 days of intensive social and medical assistance from the coalition, which included "intensive care management services from a team of nurses, social workers, community health workers, and health coaches, who were accompanied by physicians during home visits. The study found the 180-day readmission rate was 62.3% in the intervention group and 61.7% in the control group.

I thought comments made by Jeffrey Brenner, M.D., who founded the Camden Coalition and now works for UnitedHealthcare, on the program and its evaluation interesting. Read more here.

Community health workers and promotores (CHW/Ps) have been part of the health care landscape in the United States for decades. Payers and providers increasingly recognize their essential role in supporting patients with complex medical and social needs. The Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) is examining the critical value that CHW/Ps bring to the health care system and identifying new opportunities for using and financing this workforce in California and across the nation.

In California, in particular, there are key opportunities to advance the use of CHW/Ps under Medi-Cal Healthier California for All, the state's five-year blueprint for its Medicaid program. Similarly, in other states across the country, CHW/Ps are filling a key gap on care management teams to address the day-to-day needs of patients. 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.