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August 23,  2019

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

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Francine Sinkoff, Editor
CDPHP Partners with Valera Health to Break the Boundaries of Traditional Mental Health and Substance Use Treatment

Fort Drum behavioral health staff learn to de-escalate combative situation during mock drill - Jefferson

Rockland's Newest Rehabilitation Center

Staten Island PPS banks federal funding for opioid workforce effort - NYC

Brooklyn startup wins contract with upstate health plan - NYC

NYPD's mental health emergency: What's behind the suicide numbers - NYC

Nassau County, N.Y., App Connects Substance Abuse Services

Drug Treatment Court marks 20 years as 'last line of intervention' - Oswego
[Glens Falls] Hospital Getting Out of Mental Health Care Services
Glens Falls Hospital
Glens Falls Hospital can no longer meet the increased demand for outpatient behavioral health in the region, officials announced Wednesday.

Warren and Washington counties have long contracted with the hospital to provide mental health services for children and adults, including addiction-related services and help for those with persistent, serious mental illness.

Hospital officials met with staff Monday to tell them that all of those programs would be transferred to other nonprofit organizations. Staff were told they would probably be able to transfer to those organizations.

The hospital informed the Office of Community Services for Warren and Washington counties. That joint county agency is now looking for organizations to take on all of the services. Read more here.

OIG to Audit States' Telehealth Use for Behavioral Health Care

Federal investigators are preparing to examine how certain state Medicaid managed care programs are using telehealth to deliver behavioral health services.

The Health and Human Services Department's Office of the Inspector General  announced plans for an audit this week, noting that all 50 states and the District of Columbia now cover some connected health services under Medicaid.

The audit, expected to conclude in 2020, will find a mixed bag of telemental health programs and state laws governing them. Several states have recently expanded telehealth coverage under Medicaid, either by allowing more healthcare providers to use the technology or allowing them to treat patients in new locations, such as the home or school. Read more here.
Office of Mental Health Receives Federal Youth Suicide Prevention Grant - Onondaga County

The New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) has been awarded a five-year $3.68 million youth suicide prevention grant from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

The Garrett Lee Smith (GLS) grant is awarded to states and tribal nations for comprehensive youth suicide prevention. The funds will support implementation of prevention and treatment services in clinical, school, community and higher education settings for youth ages 10-24 in Onondaga County. The GLS grant, in addition to SAMHSA's Zero Suicide and Life Line Expansion grants, will solidify efforts to create the nation's first county-level "Suicide Safety Net" to support adults and youth at risk of suicide. Read more here.
NYS OMH Job Opening: Director Mental Health Field Office 1

The New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) is seeking a qualified candidate for the non-competitive policy influencing position of Director Mental Health Field Office 1, M-6, to direct the Central New York Field Office. 

Under the general direction of the Executive Deputy Commissioner, the incumbent will direct the development, interpretation, communication of OMH policies and initiatives to local governmental units, community mental health providers, and the general public; formulate and recommend policies, procedures, and remedial actions to OMH executive staff on issues related to community treatment program activities and local service delivery systems. The incumbent will also direct a multi-disciplinary team of professionals representing key mental health functional areas. 

To view the full job description, click here.

Effective Data and Information Sharing: Navigating Common Challenges
August 26, 12:30 - 2 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

Serious Mental Illness/Substance Use Disorders and Tailoring FEP Programs to Serve Women
August 27, 1:30 - 3 pm, SAMHSA

Behavioral Health HEDIS® Measures: An Annual Update From NCQA©
August 29, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

Accelerating Value-Based Payment in Federally Qualified Health Centers: Options for Medicaid Health Plans
August 29, 1 - 2:30 pm, Center for Health Care Strategies

PSYCKES Access and Implementation
August 29, 2 - 3 pm, OMH

Working with Families in Supportive Housing Affected by Substance Use Disorder
September 3, 2 - 3:30 pm, Corporation for Supportive Housing

Tailoring an Opioid Overdose Prevention Program for Drug Courts
September 3, 3 - 4:30 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

Using PSYCKES Quality Indicator Reports
September 4, 10 - 11 am, OMH

The Behavioral Health Needs Framework and Collaborative Comprehensive Case Plans
September 4, 2 - 3:30 pm, National Reentry Resource Center

Risk-Need-Responsivity in Reentry: Effective Applications in Community Corrections
September 5, 12:30 - 2 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

Moving from Trauma-Informed to Trauma-Responsive Care Through Training, Referral and Treatment for Youth and Families
September 5, 1 - 2 pm, iSPARC

The Use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) by State Behavioral Health Authorities (SBHAs)
September 5, 2 - 3 pm, National Council for Behavioral Health

Preventing Suicide in the Clinical Setting: Reasons for Hope
September 10, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

Best Practices for Transition Planning for High School Students with Mental Health Conditions
September 12, 1 - 2 pm, Transitions to Adulthood Center for Research

Using PSYCKES for Clinicians
September 12, 2:30 - 4 pm, OMH

PSYCKES Mobile App for iPhones & iPads
September 17, 10 - 11 am, OMH

Understanding Mental Health Parity: Regulatory, Policy and Litigation Trends
September 17, 1 - 2 pm, Manatt Health

Scaling Up Crisis Call Center Services and State-Center Partnerships in the Context of National Crisis Service Growth
September 17, 2 - 3:30 pm, National Council for Behavioral Health

Using PSYCKES Recipient Search
September 26, 1 - 2 pm, OMH



CLMHD BH Portal Webinar: Other Resources - Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)
August 28: 12 - 12:30 pm, GTM


CLMHD Office Closed - Labor Day
September 2

Executive Committee Call
September 4: 8 am

CLMHD Fall Full Membership Meeting
September 10-11, 2019, Crowne Plaza, Lake Placid

CLMHD BH Portal Webinar: Other Resources - Statewide Planning & Research Cooperative System (SPARCS)
September 25: 12 - 12:30 pm, GTM

Contact CLMHD for all Call In and Go To Meeting information, 518.462.9422 
CLMHD Welcomes Lori Kicinski, RPC Project Director
The Conference is pleased to introduce Lori Kicinski as the new Project Director for Regional Planning Consortiums (RPCs).  Under her management and coordination, RPCs will continue to monitor and problem solve around the transition of behavioral health care services into a Medicaid Managed Care benefit, and around other systems transformation initiatives which impact the behavioral healthcare throughout the state.

Lori comes to the project after working with NYSDOH directing Program and Operations for the NYS Patient Center Medical Home Model Initiative. During her time at DOH, she was responsible for program design, policy, and led transformation operations as part of the state's 4-year, $67 million primary care transformation initiative under CMS's State Innovation Model (SIM) grant. In this role, she focused on model design and management oversight of 15 practice transformation organizations contracted to serve nearly 2,000 primary care practices. She utilized strategic planning to assist these practice sites to optimize transformation and revenue under multiple lines of business, including Medicare, Medicaid and various commercial plans, focusing heavily on Primary Care Practice/Behavioral Health Integration.

Lori has years of experience working with a diverse set of stakeholders, who often have different objectives, to come together to achieve common goals.  She looks forward to working with the RPC Team to continue the successful implementation of RPCs across the state.  Welcome, Lori! 

To learn more about the RPCs, visit .
UHF Report: Reforming Payment for Children's Long-Term Health - Lessons from New York's Children's Value-Based Payment Effort

Value-based payment approaches for children's primary health care services are urgently needed to improve quality of care, to incentivize the use of health promotion services (especially in early childhood) that can prevent costly health conditions in the future, and to overcome chronic fragmentation in care. New York's Medicaid program has designed a VBP approach specific to children's health services and is actively seeking opportunities to pilot it with managed care plans and primary care providers. The proposed payment model is intended to give primary care providers increased resources and flexibility to invest in strategies, such as social needs screening, that promote optimal child health and can potentially reduce long-term health care costs.

This case study discusses New York's pursuit of child-centered VBP approaches in Medicaid, which could be a model for other states and stakeholders pursuing efforts to promote high-quality health care for children, and especially for those states participating in the federal Integrated Care for Kids demonstration project.
Coordinating Care Of Mind And Body Might Help Medicaid Save Money And Lives

Modern medicine often views the mind and body on separate tracks, both in terms of treatment and health insurance reimbursement. But patients with psychological disorders can have a hard time managing their physical health.

So some Medicaid programs, which provide health coverage for people with low incomes, have tried to 
coordinate patients' physical and mental health care.
The goal is to save state and federal governments money while improving the health of patients like John Poynter of Clarksville, Tenn.

Poynter has more health problems than he can recall. "Memory is one of them," he said, with a laugh that punctuates the end of nearly every sentence.

He is recovering from his second hip replacement, related to his dwarfism. Poynter gets around with the help of a walker, which is covered in keychains from places he has been. He also has diabetes and struggles to manage his blood sugar.

But most of his challenges, he said, revolve around one thing: alcoholism. Read more here.
HHS Changes Privacy Restrictions Around Addiction Treatment

The Trump administration on Thursday unveiled long-anticipated  proposals to pare back extra privacy regulations around addiction that critics claim have exacerbated overdose rates in the opioid epidemic.

Senior officials described these regulations, known as CFR Part 2, as "so complex" they have deterred clinicians from getting involved in treating addiction despite the escalating need.

Under revisions proposed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and introduced by HHS Secretary Alex Azar and his deputies, records of a substance abuse disorder and treatment would no longer be subject to the extra privacy laws that pre-date HIPAA. Read more here.
HHS Awards $107 Million to Support Health Center Quality Improvement

On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced nearly $107 million in Quality Improvement Awards to 1,273 health centers across nearly all U.S. states, territories and the District of Columbia. Funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), health centers will use these awards to improve the quality, efficiency, and value of the health care they provide.

By providing patients access to high quality, value-based care, health centers are uniquely positioned to meet the nation's most pressing health care needs, as well as emerging health priorities. HRSA-funded health centers are the first line of care in combatting the nation's opioid crisis. In 2018, health centers screened nearly 1.1 million people for substance use disorder and ultimately provided medication-assisted treatment to nearly 95,000 patients nationwide. Read more here.
Governor Cuomo Announces $30 Million Available to Fund Operating Costs of at Least 1,200 Supportive Housing Units

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo last Friday announced the fourth funding round of the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative - or ESSHI - which will provide up to $30 million in service and operating funding for at least 1,200 units of supportive housing. Announced in 2016, ESSHI is one component of the Governor's historic $20 billion, five-year plan to create or preserve more than 100,000 affordable and 6,000 supportive housing units.

Since 2016, more than 5,000 supportive housing units have been funded, including nearly 3,200 under the implementation of ESSHI. The Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative provides operational funding to providers for the development and operation of supportive housing for people identified as homeless with special needs, conditions, or other life challenges. Read more here.
OASAS Request for Applications (RFA) - Outpatient Program Innovation and Fiscal Sustainability 

The New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (NYS OASAS), through its fiscal agent, the Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene, Inc. (RFMH), is a recipient of a State Opioid Response Grant (SOR) from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The SOR Grant will support several OASAS initiatives to address and deter opioid use disorder through prevention, treatment and recovery programs.

OASAS will issue a Request for Applications (RFA) for Outpatient Programs for Program Innovation and Fiscal Sustainability. A total of fifty (50) awards will be made available for a up to $100,000 for each eligible outpatient program. The total amount of the project will not exceed $5,000,000.

Application Deadline: Sept. 13, 2019 
SAMHSA's 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) Report Data Findings

On Tuesday, SAMHSA released the latest data findings from the 2018 NSDUH. NSDUH provides estimates of the use of illegal substances, prescription drugs, alcohol, and tobacco, as well as mental disorders, treatment, and co-occurring substance use and mental disorders in the United States. NSDUH data also help to identify the extent of substance use and mental illness among different sub-groups; estimate trends over time; and determine the need for treatment services.
Hospital-Based Psychiatric Emergency Programs: The Missing Link for Mental Health Systems
psychiatric hospital emergency, mental health
Boarding of psychiatric patients in medical emergency departments (EDs) for hours or even days is a serious issue plaguing hospitals across the country. Typically, the emergency physician has determined that the patient needs further psychiatric care. However, the sole option available is usually admission to an inpatient psychiatric facility.

Unfortunately, few regions have enough inpatient psychiatric beds to meet the needs of a system predicated on admitting the majority of ED patients, especially since, in the past decade, behavioral health patients have risen to become one in every eight cases in EDs in the US.1 As a result, psychiatric patients can end up confined indefinitely in small ED quarters with a sitter or security guard, or restrained to a gurney in a back hallway, while they await admission. Many of these boarded patients receive little or no psychiatric treatment beyond sedation. Thus, sadly, the most highly acute patients in a mental health system are often ironically the most underserved .

Fortunately, we now have an evidence-based solution that can fill this glaring gap in the psychiatric care continuum: hospital-based psychiatric EDs. These compassionate, trauma-informed, and cost-effective programs have the potential to not only dramatically improve treatment options, but also save behavioral health systems millions of dollars annually by stabilizing patients in the emergency setting, and thus avoiding costly inpatient admissions. Read more here.
Building A Trauma-Informed Network-One Health Plan's Approach

The effects of trauma have been in the headlines too much over the past few weeks. Most recently, trauma from mass shootings to trauma from neighborhood gun violence.  Likewise, the trauma from sexual assault and the trauma of childhood separation and mass incarceration are also in the headlines far too frequently.

Most professionals in the health and human service field are aware of the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) study and the long-term and lasting effects of trauma. The effects include mental health conditions (depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder), chronic physical health conditions (heart disease, stroke, cancer, COPD, diabetes, HIV, or sexually transmitted diseases), risky health behaviors (alcohol and drug abuse, unsafe sexual behaviors), and injury, among others.

The question for health plan executives is how to best serve consumers who have experienced trauma-increasing their "wellness" and as a result decreasing their long-term use of more expensive care health resources. In a recent interview with Robert M. Atkins, M.D., MPH, Senior Medical Director, Aetna Medicaid, we learned about how one health plan is developing an evidence-based approach and standardized model to do just that. 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.