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May 24, 2018

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

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Francine Sinkoff, Editor
NYC Health Department Launches Campaign to Bring Awareness to Risk of Fentanyl in Cocaine

Is your child in crisis? 'One-stop shop' crisis center coming to Albany

Increasing detox beds to help fight opioid addiction - Monroe County

Astor to close special needs program in Poughkeepsie - Dutchess County

Seneca Supervisors committee to discuss detention facility

Changes for school safety at local districts - Monroe County

What's next for renovated Buffalo Psych Center? - Erie County

Celebrating Crisis Services as a safety net in community - Erie County

Governor Cuomo Announces Dedication of $13.8 Million Affordable and Supportive Housing Development in Utica - Oneida County
OMH Releases Guidance on HCBS in Homeless Settings

CMS this week confirmed that individuals who are considered street homeless and individuals who reside in homeless shelters are allowed access to Behavioral Health (BH) Home and Community Based Services(BH HCBS) throughHealth and Recovery Plans (HARP). Click here to review the guidance memo from OMH.
New York Submits Children's Medicaid Health and Behavioral Health System Transformation 1115 Waiver

New York submitted a revised 1115 waiver amendment to CMS that reflects changes in the timeline for implementation of the Children's Medicaid Health and Behavioral Health System Transformation. The waiver amendment can be found on the Department of Health website. Click here to view the amendment.
OMH Announces Capital Grants for Preservation, Expansion and/or Restructuring of Children's Clinics and RTFs

Deadline: 08/01/2018

Award Details: Applicants may request a minimum of $200,000 and a maximum of $1.5 million per application. 

Number of Awards: see FOA

Target Population: The New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) announces the availability of capital funds through a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the preservation, restructuring and/or expansion of OMH Article 31 Licensed Residential Treatment Facilities (RTFs) and Mental Health Clinics licensed to serve children throughout New York State.

Eligibility:  Eligible Applicants are not-for-profit organizations exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Providers licensed pursuant to Article 28 of Public Health Law and Federally Qualified Health Centers are not eligible to apply. This grant is specifically targeted to Article 31 free-standing: A) Clinics licensed to serve children B) Residential Treatment Facilities (RTFs)
Click HERE to view the full RFP.

Governor Cuomo Launches New Multi-Agency Effort to Combat Maternal Depression

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo last week launched a new multi-agency effort to combat maternal depression. At Governor Cuomo's direction, the Department of Financial Services will require all New York commercial health insurance policies to cover maternal depression screenings, including screening for the mother under the child's policy. The Department of Health and Office of Mental Health will launch a strategic awareness campaign to provide critical information about symptoms and treatment options for maternal depression. Finally, the Office of Mental Health will open the first State-operated intensive outpatient clinic focused on maternal depression. These comprehensive actions will ensure that women in New York can access crucial screenings and treatment to combat maternal depression. This policy is part of the Governor's 2018 Women's Agenda. Read more here.
CASAC Training Scholarships Available

Outreach Training Institute, which trains credentialed alcohol- and substance-abuse counselors, is offering full scholarships through the state Department of Health's Workforce Retraining Initiative. 

Outreach Training Institute awards a limited number of scholarships and income-based financial aid for its CASAC training programs. Highest priority is given to those who apply early. Additional opportunities are offered through a variety of funding partners including the New York State Department of Health and the New York State Education Department ACCES-VR. Read more here.

Getting to the Heart of Motivational Interviewing
May 30, 12 - 1 pm, CTAC

Ask the Experts: Prevention Research Centers - Integrating Mental and Public Health
May 30, 2 - 3 pm, ASTHO and CDC

Rethinking Trauma Treatment
May 31, 10 - 11:30 am, OMH

How Media & Movies Shape Our Perception Of Serious Mental Illness
May 31, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

Role of Nurses in Health Home and Integrated Care Settings
May 31, 2 - 3:30 pm, SAMHSA-HRSA

Optimize Workflow by Addressing the Successes and Challenges of Integrating Electronic Health Records
June 4, 1 - 2:30 pm, SAMHSA-HRSA

The Interplay Between Sleep & Bipolar Disorder
June 5, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

Mental Health Apps on your Smartphone: Do they work?
June 5, 12 - 1 pm, SAMHSA

June 6, 12 - 1 pm, SAMHSA

Partnership Opportunities for Payers, Providers and States: Supportive Housing for High Utilizers
June 7, 1 - 2 pm, Health Management Associates

Using PSYCKES Recipient Search
June 7, 2 - 3 pm, OMH

June 12, 12 - 1 pm, SAMHSA

June 12, 3 - 4 pm, Manatt Health

Interpersonal Approaches to Treating Depression in Adolescents and Adults
June 13, 12 - 1 pm, CTAC

June 18, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

Motivational Interviewing: Clinical Updates within Substance Abuse Treatment
June 19, 12 - 1 pm, CTAC

Using PSYCKES for Clinicians
June 21, 3 - 4:30 pm, OMH

June 26, 11 am - 12 pm, OMH

June 27, 1 - 2 pm, Manatt Health 


MAY 2018

Office Closed: Memorial Day
May 28

JUNE 2018

Officers, Chairs & Regional Reps Call
June 6: 8 am

Mental Hygiene Planning Committee Meeting
June 18: 1 - 3 pm, GTM

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

Directors/Executive Committee Meeting
June 20: 9:30 am - 12:30 pm, GTM

Contact CLMHD for all Call In and Go To Meeting information, 518.462.9422 
Niagara County: Sobriety Behind Bars

Pod one of the Niagara County Jail looks like your average housing unit; there's guards, cells, a couple TVs, and a lot of orange. But for the 50 men serving time there, pod one is someplace special. 

"Every individual who is in this pod has agreed to voluntarily join the substance abuse treatment program while they're incarcerated," explained Laura Kelemen, Director of the Mental Health Department for Niagara County. 

The men here have similar stories for how they got locked up.  Attempted robbery, sale of a controlled substance, possession; whether they were high while committing a crime, or stealing to get drugs, most of them say they're incarcerated because of their addiction to opiates. 

It costs the county around $105 per day to house an inmate at the Niagara County Jail. 
Voutour said he's sick of seeing the same people cycle through these walls; that's why the county applied for a federal grant to launch this program, which is also available to female inmates. Read more here.
Spending on Inmate Mental Health Cuts the Cost of Crime: White House Study

Programs that focus on addressing mental health and substance abuse issues of inmates can reduce the burden of crime on American taxpayers, according to the White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA).

In a policy brief issued this month, the CEA suggested that every dollar spent on prison reform in these programs could save between $0.92 and $3.31, and up to $1.96 on long-term incarceration costs alone.

The study was undertaken as part of the Trump administrations efforts to improve prison reform and re-entry programs that would result in lower recidivism.

Noting that the heaviest share of the crime burden is accounted for by high re-arrest rates, the CEA concluded "there is an empirical evidence base to support programs that focus on the prisoner's mental health or substance abuse to prevent future crime."

But it added that there is less evidence suggesting other types of programs, such as those aimed at educating inmates, are cost-effective.  It called for "increased investment" in generating such evidence.
Medicaid Redesign Team: Request for Applications Released for Rapid Transition Housing Program

The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), Office of Health Insurance Programs (OHIP), Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT) Initiative announces the availability of State funds to re-procure and expand a rental subsidy and supportive housing services program for high-cost, high-need Medicaid members. 

Eligible participants of the program are those individuals who are either currently enrolled in the program, or are individuals with one or more documented chronic physical disabilities and have two or more chronic conditions (e.g., asthma, diabetes, substance abuse disorder (SUD)). Participants in the program must be on Medicaid and referred as homeless high-utilizers by a hospital, Managed Care Organization (MCO), medical respite, Performing Provider System (PPS), or skilled nursing facility (SNF).

Rapid Transition Housing Program is a prior funded program that is in effect from 12/1/2014 - 11/30/2018. DOH is seeking to fund up to three projects to provide rental subsidies and supportive housing services. The anticipated amount of funding is $7,000,000 per year, with $2.5M allocated to currently served locations and $2M allocated to one new location.  For more information or to apply to the RFA, click here.
National Quality Forum Endorses Behavioral Health and Substance Use, Patient Safety Measures

The National Quality Forum (NQF) has endorsed four measures in the Behavioral Health and Substance Use Fall 2017 project. In all, five new measures were evaluated against NQF's endorsement criteria. A complete list of measures can be viewed on the project page.
SAMHSA Broadens Access to Mental Health and Substance Abuse Data

Every day the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) responds to questions about the opioid crisis. How many Americans are prescribed opioids? How many are receiving treatment in specialty substance use disorder treatment facilities?  Where can people find opioid treatment services? Finding the correct answers to these kinds of questions is vital to communities across the nation that are working tirelessly to address the devastating impact of the opioid crisis.  Fortunately, SAMHSA collects data for several national surveys that help provide the answers to these critical questions.
After more than two years of no access to SAMHSA data, public access has been re-established to the  Substance Abuse and Mental Health Data Archive  (SAMHDA), which is the main platform for disseminating data collected with various national mental health and substance abuse surveys.  Read more here .
Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee Virtual Public Meeting

Members of the public can attend the open, public portion of the Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee (ISMICC) meeting via telephone or webcast. The meeting can be accessed via webcast on the  HHS Live Stream channel on June 8. To join by telephone, call 888-928-9713 and enter passcode 7160920. 

Members of the public can attend the open, public portion of the Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee (ISMICC) meeting via telephone or webcast. The meeting can be accessed via webcast on the  HHS Live Stream channel on June 8. To join by telephone, call 888-928-9713 and enter passcode 7160920.

Contact with any questions For more information, visit SAMHSA's ISMICC webpage.
Medicaid Payment for Opioid Treatment Embroiled in Politics Over Loosening Restrictions

In Cincinnati, wait times for opioid addicts seeking residential treatment have dropped as the city's providers are banding together to manage the barrage of cases across different settings.

In January, Mercy Health partnered with 10 outpatient treatment centers. The hospital offers short-term detox stays for patients, then the clinics take over and manage the long-term treatment, nearly on demand. After they have stabilized, patients can decide whether they want residential treatment or outpatient care.

This approach is key to managing the scope of opioid addiction cases, said Shawn Ryan, founder and chief medical officer of the outpatient treatment center BrightView, because it matches patient needs with what providers offer.

But there is a constraint on long-term treatment for mental illness and substance abuse that hinders creative use of hospitals, nursing homes and other facilities. The so-called institutions for mental disease, or IMD, exclusion, which since the 1970s has largely banned Medicaid funds from paying for stays IMDs, with more than 16 beds. Read more here.
Is Substance Abuse Counseling in Danger as a Profession?

Much of the daily conversations about the opioid crisis focus on issues such as improving access to naloxone, increasing the number of treatment facilities, having more education about prevention, and reducing the number of prescriptions being written for painkillers. However, one issue that does not receive enough attention in the media and in the literature is the declining numbers of substance abuse counselors.

A February 2016 discussion that aired on NPR's Morning Edition focused on the problem, saying that the conversation should be focused less on the number of treatment beds available and more on the issue of counselors available to effectively manage those in treatment.

Another article published by Recovery Treatment Centers of America stated that approximately one in four treatment staff personnel leave the job each year. This information is backed up by the Institute of Medicine, which has tracked the steady decline of people entering the profession over the past 20 years.

The problem is being felt both nationally and locally.  Read more here .
Assessing Providers for Participation in Value-Based Care Contracts 

Creating strong networks of high-quality healthcare providers can be a major challenge for any payer looking to expand its value-based care contract portfolio.

Providers aren't the only ones accepting risk when entering into pay-for-performance arrangements since payers are also putting revenue and reputation on the line. In order to ensure that a contracting arrangement can deliver exceptional patient experiences that will improve outcomes and inspire beneficiary loyalty, payers must choose their partners carefully.

How can payers evaluate potential participants in a value-based care arrangement, and what are some of the common challenges of navigating the process? Read more here.
Behavioral Health Workforce Faces Critical Challenges in Meeting Population Needs

The US mental health system faces considerable challenges in delivering behavioral healthcare to populations in need. In a special supplement to the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, experts focus on the key issue of behavioral health human resources for which substantial investment is needed to effect change. Articles in this issue cover research on workforce planning, service delivery and practice, and workforce preparation, and advocate for intelligent allocation of resources to ensure all clients have access to behavioral healthcare.

A 2016 report by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) on the projected supply and demand for behavioral health practitioners through 2025 indicated significant shortages of psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, mental health counselors, and marriage and family therapists. The magnitude of provider shortages, however, is not the only issue when considering access to behavioral health services. Another major concern is maldistribution, since parts of the US have few or no behavioral health providers available, and access to mental health services is especially critical in areas of poverty. Read more here .
The Future Of Housing Support 

Housing is big news in the health care field these days. On May 18, Kaiser Permanente announced they are investing $200 million in housing projects with a financial return with the goal of being able to support more projects in the future. While the Kaiser Permanente announcement is significant in the amount of money being offered, other health plans are partnering with community organizations to finance housing projects.

The move by health plans to support housing initiatives is based on studies that link housing insecurity and health care costs and outcomes. For example, A 2016 study conducted by the Center for Outcomes Research and Education (CORE) found housing reduced overall health care expenditures by 12% ($48 per month) for Medicaid recipients. 

And a study of chronically homeless individuals in Massachusetts found that after housing, costs fell $8,603 per consumer.
Additionally, stable housing can improve access to health care services; and reduce hospitalizations, length of hospital stays, and emergency department visits. 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.