cover image 4
March 1, 2019

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

Connect With Us:
Like us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter    View our profile on LinkedIn
Francine Sinkoff, Editor

Sheriff Apple, activists push for substance use treatment in jails - Albany County

SPECIAL REPORT: County health providers move to 'integrated delivery' system to improve, streamline care - Oswego County

New RPC Coordinator Hired for Southern Tier 

The Regional Planning Consortium (RPC) recently hired Emily Childress, MPA, to coordinate all RPC activities in the Southern Tier.  Emily holds a Master's Degree in Public Administration and a BS in Human Development, both from Binghamton University. She has experienced the mental health care systems from both sides, as a consumer and a provider of services. Emily has devoted her academic and professional career to mental health destigmatization and education. 

Before joining the RPC team, Emily was instrumental in implementing the first peer-run crisis respite program in the Southern Tier in her role as Program Director at the Mental Health Association of the Southern Tier. Emily believes true integration and collaboration can only occur when all stakeholders have a seat at the table. Welcome, Emily!

To learn more about the RPCs, please visit 
"In Case You Missed It" - CLMHD 
Recaps Key Information Issued by the State

The Conference has published the January 2019 edition of "In Case You Missed It (ICYMI)," a one-stop-shop highlighting key information released by our state partners. ICYMI provides a clear, concise recap of significant state guidance, regulations, and resources from OMH, DOH, OASAS, and OPWDD, as well as links to access documents and materials of importance. 

Click hereto read the January issue.
As Opioid Talks Continue, Pressure Builds for Counties

As the federal multidistrict litigation against pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors moves through the legal system, the pressure is increasing for counties to file suit in hopes of recouping the costs they have shouldered to battle the opioid addiction epidemic.

More than 1,000 counties and hundreds of cities and municipalities have sued manufacturers and distributors of opioid painkiller medications, charging that they used deceptive marketing practices to underestimate the addictive nature of the drugs. The suits seek to recover losses the governments have borne in public health, justice and other functions.

There's a chance pharmaceutical companies could sidestep damages. At the January meeting of National Council of County Association Executives, Steve Acquario, executive director of the New York State Association of Counties, told attendees that Perdue Pharmaceutical, which was the main target of litigation, had a pre-packaged bankruptcy plan ready in case it was found liable. Read more here.
CMS Bulletin: Medicaid Strategies for Non-Opioid Pharmacologic and Non-Pharmacologic Chronic Pain Management

Last week, CMS issued a Bulletin to expand on earlier guidance by providing information to states looking for ways to promote non-opioid options for chronic pain management in their Medicaid programs. This Bulletin supports the goal of reducing the use of opioids in pain management included in the President's Initiative to Stop Opioid Abuse and Reduce Drug Supply and Demand and is consistent with the U.S.  Department of Health and Human Service (HHS)  5-Point Strategy  to Combat the Opioid Crisis.

The Bulletin is available on here.
Teen Cannabis Use Increases Risk of Depression, Suicide

How Childhood Trauma Teaches Us to Dissociate

Telehealth-Enhanced Referral Process Gets More Kids Into Mental-Health Care

Hospitals Turn to Housing to Help Homeless Patients

What Triage Centers Mean for Cities, First-Responders and People in Crisis

To Fund Mental Health Care, States and Cities Raise Taxes

Centene Corporation Announces Formation Of Social Health Bridge To Address Social Determinants Of Health

Stanford Researchers Using MRI Scans to Predict Meth and Cocaine Relapse

This woman detoxed from opioids and heroin on camera. Would you watch?
The Coming Care Crisis as Kids With Autism Grow Up

The Medicaid provider had assured her that this was the best option, so Marie Solomonik walked into the day-habilitation center in Queens, New York, with all the optimism she could muster. Marie was with her husband, Eddie, on this rainy March morning to scout out the facility for their son, Anthony, who has autism.

In the past, centers like these had been a torment for Anthony. There was the time in middle school when another boy hit him in the face with a metal lunch box. There were the girls in the park who mocked him relentlessly for being nonverbal. And there was the incident during gym class when he tripped on the treadmill and got caught in the conveyor belt. By the time anyone noticed him trying to scream, nearly all the skin had been flayed from his knees.

The horrors were enough to persuade the school district to cover the costs of a specialized schooling program on Long Island, where Anthony has since seen steady improvement. But the Solomoniks had now lost their funding: On March 4, Anthony turned 21, the age at which people with disabilities are no longer entitled to a free public education under federal law-a juncture often called the " services cliff" And for many American families, the drop off this cliff leaves them scrambling, with few, if any, suitable options. Read more here.

March 1, 1 - 2:30 pm, Center for Health Care Strategies, Inc.

PSYCKES Mobile App for iPhones & iPads
March 7, 11 am - 12 pm, OMH

MLTC VBP Refresher Webinar
March 8, 10 - 11 am, NYSDOH

Using PSYCKES for Clinicians
March 14, 3 - 4 pm, OMH

State Responses to the Opioid Crisis
March 15, 2 - 3:30 pm, Corporation for Supportive Housing

The Role Of Glutamate In Mood Disorders & Schizophrenia
March 19, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

Using PSYCKES Recipient Search
March 21, 1 - 2 pm, OMH

March 27, 1 - 2 pm, Manatt Health

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


MARCH 2019

Executive Committee Call
March 6: 8 am

Regional Reps Call
March 13: 8 am

CLMHD BH Portal Webinar: NYS OMH County Profiles
March 13, 12 - 12:30 pm, GTM

Children & Families Committee Meeting
March 19: 11:30 am - 1 pm, GTM

CLMHD Membership Call
March 20: 9 - 10:30 am, GTM

March 20: 3 - 4 pm, GTM

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

Contact CLMHD for all Call In and Go To Meeting information, 518.462.9422 
NYS OASAS Announces New Mobile Addiction Treatment Unit Now Operational in Nassau County

The New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) this week announced that a new mobile treatment unit is now operational in Nassau County. The mobile unit is operated by Central Nassau Guidance and Counseling Services, and will offer a variety of addiction services, including access to medication assisted treatment. It is the first mobile addiction treatment unit in Nassau County.

The mobile unit will be staffed by a registered nurse, case worker, and two clinicians, who will use tele-practice capabilities to connect individuals with doctors at Central Nassau Guidance and Counseling Services headquarters. Read more here.
Governor Cuomo Announces Over $5 Million in Opioid Crisis Funding for Jobs and Workforce Training

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo last week announced that the NYS Department of Labor has been awarded up to $5.59 million in federal grants to help provide new skills to workers, including new entrants to the workforce, who have been or are being impacted by the opioid crisis. Additionally, the funds will be used for workforce development in professions that address or prevent problems related to opioids across the state, such as addiction treatment service providers, pain management and therapy service providers, and mental health treatment providers. The initiative complements ongoing efforts by the state Health Department and the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse services to train peers in recovery to work with hospitals, assisting individuals with substance use disorder in accessing treatment.  Read more here .
The New Yorker: The Jail Health-Care Crisis

There are more than three thousand jails in the United States, usually run by sheriffs and county offices, which house some seven hundred thousand people. They are typically waiting to make bail-or, if they can't, to go to trial or enter a plea-or are serving short sentences. According to a study released in 2017 by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, nearly half the people held in jails suffer from some kind of  mental illness, and more than a quarter have a severe condition, such as bipolar disorder. The same year, the bureau reported that about two-thirds of sentenced jail inmates suffer from drug addiction or dependency; that number was based on data from 2007-09, so it does not take into account the recent catastrophic rise of opioid addiction. That epidemic and other public-health emergencies, in jails across the country, are being aggravated by  failings in the criminal-justice system.

Jails have a much higher turnover rate than prisons, where inmates generally serve long sentences. Prison wardens face their own problems, serving populations that suffer from chronic diseases and conditions related to aging, in addition to high rates of addiction and mental illness. Read more here.
NACo: Counties Bear Brunt of Substance Abuse Crisis

Counties across the country are dealing with the fallout from a substance abuse crisis that has been on the rise for years - whether it means placing more kids in foster care when parents are absent, training librarians on how to administer Narcan or watching budgets get busted at the county coroner's office.  In this special issue of County News, we look at solutions and challenges and hear from county officials around the country.
Trouble Ahead: Shifts in Funding Limit Access to Methadone, Threaten Treatment Expansion

With opioid overdoses now killing more people than traffic accidents or HIV infection-more than 45,000 lives were lost to overdoses in 2017-you'd think that most people with opioid use disorder (OUD) could easily access treatment. But that's not the case. Only a minority receive any substance use treatment, such as counseling or inpatient treatment; even fewer receive medication treatment (MT).

With an eye to better understanding MT dynamics, and in hopes of helping policy makers "identify and close critical gaps in the opioid treatment infrastructure," a team headed by Ramin Mojtabai, MD, MPH, PhD, at Baltimore's Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, examined data from the National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services. Study results covered 2007 through 2016, and were published in the  January issue of Health Affairs. Read more here.
New York State Launches ID Cards for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

The New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) announced that standardized identification (ID) cards for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) are now available upon request. The goal of the I/DD ID cards is to help first responders -- such as law enforcement, firefighters and emergency medical services personnel -- better understand and interact with people with developmental disabilities who may not be able to communicate their situation effectively.

Senator Pamela Helming (R) and Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara (D) sponsored the legislation for the I/DD ID cards. Santabarbara was inspired by the need for this tool by his son, who has autism. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed the legislation into law in 2018, and OPWDD was charged with making the cards available to New Yorkers. The I/DD ID cards are optional for people with developmental disabilities and are free. Read more here.
Doctors Across NY (DANY) Application Period Open Until March 7, 2019

Physicians working in NYS OASAS-certified Treatment Programs may be eligible to apply for the for the Doctors Across NY (DANY) Loan Forgiveness Program and Physician Support Program. 
More information can be found here.   
Questions can be directed to 518-473-4700 or email  
Nurse Corp Loan Forgiveness Program Open Until March 28, 2019 

Nurses working in an NYS OASAS certified Treatment Program that is also in a Physician or Mental Health shortage area may be eligible to apply for the Nurse Corp Loan Forgiveness program.  
More information can be found here.   
Questions can be directed to1-800-221-9393 or via this  contact form.
New York Joins National Initiative to Align Early Childhood and Medicaid to Improve Outcomes for At-Risk Children

The Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS)  this week announced that eight states - Colorado, Minnesota, New Jersey, 
New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington - will join  Aligning Early Childhood and Medicaida multi-state initiative aimed at improving the health and social outcomes of low-income infants, young children, and families through cross-agency collaboration. 

This 20-month project includes eight states with a demonstrated commitment to improve early childhood development through cross-sector partnerships between Medicaid and state agencies responsible for a wide range of early childhood programs including, but not limited to, child welfare; the nutrition program for Women, Infants, and Children; Title V Maternal and Child Health; home visiting; early intervention; child care; preschool education; perinatal health care; and early childhood mental health. Read more here.
AAS Releases Social Media and Suicide Tip Sheet for Parents, Health and Behavioral Health Providers

The American Association of Suicidology (AAS), in partnership with pediatricians and subject matter experts, has released an easy-to-use tipsheet to provide parents, health and behavioral health providers the help they need to make the world safer for youth at risk for suicide.
Advancing Population Health in the Behavioral Health Sector
Population health strategies remain a focal point of healthcare industry efforts to improve quality outcomes. Like all stakeholders, those in the behavioral health sector must implement the best infrastructure to support information sharing, collaborative care and accurate analytics.

Technology is a critical enabler of efforts to mobilize data and promote greater provider-payer collaboration through electronic information exchange. As executives on both sides of the equation work in tandem to improve outcomes and rein in costs, forward-looking strategies must consider interoperable infrastructures that overcome the challenges of data silos and support meaningful data sharing.

In truth, the need for these frameworks has never been greater as the behavioral healthcare community at large endeavors to improve the outlook on the growing national opioid emergency. 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.