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May 31,  2019

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

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Francine Sinkoff, Editor
Lawmakers tweak recreational marijuana proposal

As marijuana debate rages, New York's medical program poised for growth

White Plains, St. Vincent's hospitals to open integrated behavioral health center - Westchester County

How Hurricane Sandy improved mental health treatment on Rikers Island - NYC

Simple but effective - NYPD turns to rope and wedge to help contain emotionally disturbed people - NYC

New York's Toughest Homeless Problem - NYC

$7.5 million in state grants will fund Ithaca affordable housing plans - Tompkins County

Insight House explores merger with Syracuse nonprofit - Onondaga County

Governor Cuomo Announces Opening of $17.6 Million Affordable and Supportive Housing Development in Syracuse - Onondaga County

'Raise the Age' Costs Oneida County

'I didn't know I was numb for three years': Trauma takes a toll on teachers, too - Erie County
Northwell Offers New Help Against Opioid Epidemic at its Emergency Departments

Northwell Health this week announced its new "Pathways to Recovery" program, unveiling a more-effective tool in its emergency departments (ED) in response to the opioid and substance use epidemic. Instead of simply reviving, stabilizing and discharging people who come in because of an overdose, this program will allow clinical team members at Northwell's 18 emergency departments to provide a set of critical interventions that can put patients on the road to recovery from opioid use disorder.

Providing services in EDs to those struggling with substance use disorder is the latest initiative in Northwell's robust campaign addressing the opioid epidemic. "Health care providers talk about the golden hour - the critical time after an accident or trauma when the right care can make all the difference," said  John D'Angelo, MD, senior vice president and executive director of the emergency medicine service line at Northwell Health, who spearheaded the adoption of opioid-focused interventions throughout the health system's emergency departments. "There's a similar golden opportunity when someone comes into the emergency department for treatment of an overdose. Providing the services that are needed at that decisive moment is a key step in stemming the opioid epidemic." Read more here.
Embedded psychiatrist in pediatric clinic improves evaluation access, short-term treatment

Psychiatrist in Urban Pediatric Clinic Improves Access to Psychiatric Care for Latinos

Youth behavioral health cases doubled over a decade

College Students (And Their Parents) Face A Campus Mental Health 'Epidemic'

A new study backs up a lifesaving approach to the opioid epidemic

Not Just For Soldiers: Civilians With PTSD Struggle To Find Effective Therapy

NFL, NFLPA announce mental health initiative
NYSDOH Stakeholder Meetings for Medical and Transportation Providers

The New York State Department of Health is pleased to announce the stakeholder meetings for both medical and transportation providers. Meetings are scheduled throughout the State in the upcoming weeks.

The Department oversees the administration of Medicaid transportation and works closely with its contracted transportation manager, MAS, to ensure quality services are provided to Medicaid enrollees. Regular communication with and feedback from stakeholders are important tools that assist in evaluating the quality of Medicaid transportation services. The Department cordially invites all medical and transportation providers to participate at one of several regional meetings.

Medical Providers register online here.

Transportation Providers register online here.

Online registration is required to participate in person or via webinar. The online registration will provide a complete list of meeting dates and times along with locations. Registrants have the option of submitting questions through the online registration to facilitate improved communication and allow for thorough responses. For additional questions, please contact the Bureau of Medicaid Transportation at 518-473-2160 or MAS

Trauma-Informed Jails: Incorporating Wellness for Deputies
June 4, 1 - 2 pm, Justice Clearinghouse

Connecting the Dots: Lessons Learned from a Comprehensive Juvenile Justice Systems Improvement Initiative
June 4, 1:30 - 2:30 pm, National Reentry Resource Center

Integrating a Trauma-Informed Approach into Substance Use Disorder Treatment
June 4, 2 - 3:30 pm, Center for Health Care Strategies, Inc.

PSYCKES Mobile App for iPhones & iPads
June 5, 10 - 11 am, OMH

Revisiting Cognitive Deficits In Bipolar Disorder
June 11, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

Improving Access To Behavioral Health Care For Rural Consumers - How Telepsychiatry Is Closing The Gap
June 11, 1 - 2:30 pm, Genoa Healthcare

Navigating Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)
June 12, 2 - 3:30 pm, Corporation for Supportive Housing

Changing Minds: Implementing Harm Reduction
June 12, 3 - 4 pm, NAADAC

Considering the Whole Person: Contexts for LGBTQ People of Color Mental and Behavioral Health Treatment
June 12, 3 - 4:30 pm, National Council for Behavioral Health

Enable Access to Client-Level Data in PSYCKES
June 13, 3 - 4 pm, OMH

The Role of the Criminal Justice System in Reducing the Duration of Untreated Psychosis
June 18, 2 - 3:30 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

Using PSYCKES for Clinicians
June 20, 3 - 4:30 pm, OMH

Using PSYCKES Recipient Search
June 25, 10 - 11 am, OMH

Aligning Care Delivery to Emerging Payment Models
June 25, 1 - 2 pm, AHA Center for Health Innovation

How Can Medicaid and CHIP Support Children's Emotional Health?
June 26, 2 - 3 pm, Manatt Health

Cognitive Functioning & Neuroprotection In Schizophrenia
June 26, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU


JUNE 2019

CLMHD Executive Committee Call
June 5: 8 am, GTM

CLMHD BH Portal Webinar: Other Resources - OMH Statistics and Reports (2 of 2)
June 12: 12 - 12:30 pm, GTM

CLMHD Agency Day - OASAS
June 13: 10 am - 12 pm
1450 Western Ave., Albany

CLMHD Agency Day - OMH
June 13:  1 - 3 pm
44 Holland Ave., Albany

Children & Families Committee Meeting
June 18: 11:30 am - 1 pm, GTM

CLMHD BH Portal Webinar: Other Resources - OASAS Client Data System
June 26: 12 - 12:30 pm, GTM

Contact CLMHD for all Call In and Go To Meeting information, 518.462.9422 
Governor Cuomo Announces $5.25 Million In Funding To Facilitate And Expand Access To Medication Assisted Treatment In Primary Care Clinics And Hospital Emergency Departments

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo last week announced $5.25 million in funding to facilitate and expand access to medication assisted treatment in hospital emergency departments and primary care clinics. The funding was awarded through a series of requests for applications issued by the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services and was provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Providing medication assisted treatment (MAT) entails using medications in combination with education, counseling and/or behavioral therapies as appropriate, to treat substance use disorders. MAT is the standard of care for opioid use disorder (OUD) treatment in New York and is safe and effective. Read more here.
Mental Health App Raises $50 Million for Expansion

A startup whose app connects people with mental health clinicians for counseling through text messages and video chats raised $50 million and forged ties with the biggest U.S. health insurer, a sign that the market for delivering psychotherapy remotely is growing.

The company,  Talkspace, said Wednesday that the investment round led by Revolution Growth brings the total amount it has raised so far to about $110 million. Its deal with Optum, a unit of UnitedHealth Group Inc., will make the Talkspace app available to about 2 million Optum customers.

About 57 million adults had mental health or substance-use conditions in 2017, and about 70% of them received no treatment, according to federal estimates. Read more here.
The Future of Juvenile Lockup in New York Looks Like This
raise the age juvenile justice Children's Home Jefferson County
For the Children's Home of Jefferson County, on New York's mostly rural northern border with Canada, creating a rehabilitation program under the new statewide juvenile justice reform law known as " Raise the Age" was an obvious decision.

"We all kind of looked at each other and went, this is what we've always done," said Karen Y. Richmond, executive director of Children's Home. "This wasn't even a why, it was a why not."

Founded as an orphanage in 1859, the Children's Home has evolved to provide a variety of services for youth, from interventions in the home, to foster care, to non-secure detention for youth. Now they are adding a new juvenile justice placement - a residential program for 16- and eventually 17-year-olds who have been found guilty of a crime, as an alternative to prison.

Under Raise the Age, most 16-year-olds started having their cases moved from adult criminal court to family court for adjudication starting last October. This coming October, the same rules will apply to 17-year-olds. Under old rules, 16- and 17-year-olds convicted of misdemeanors and low level felonies had the same punishment options as adults - probation, jail, even state prison for more serious offenses. Read more here.

Washington Post: Fighting Fentanyl - Deaths Soar as Resources Fail to Keep Pace

WASHINGTON COURT HOUSE, OHIO  - In a dungeon-like jail in the center of this depressed farming town, 18 women in orange-and-white-striped prison uniforms are crammed into a two-story cellblock. Many of them are withdrawing from fentanyl.

The jail, built in 1884 to hold 24, now houses 55 men and women, a number that can swell to as many as 90. The inmates are sprawled on metal bunk beds and mattresses that line the floors as they wait for court appearances or serve time on low-level drug offenses.

The medical exam room, used to treat minor ailments, is tucked into a broom closet beneath a concrete stairwell. With few drug treatment options, prisoners strung out on fentanyl go through days of withdrawal with little help, shivering and curled up on the beds and floors of the jail.

"It's definitely our detox center right now. They just sit there, and they withdraw there," Fayette County Deputy Health Commissioner Leigh Cannon said. "Treatment is where we need help. We keep hearing that money is coming, but we haven't really seen it." Read more here.

In Midst Of Opioid Crisis, FDA May Block New Addiction Drug From Market

More than 130 people in the U.S. die of an opioid overdose every day. One of the most effective ways to save lives is to get those struggling with addiction treated with medication to stop their cravings. But a loophole in federal law might block at least one new opioid-addiction drug from coming to market for years.

Many patients have to try several medications before finding one that works for them and that they can stick with.

Some use methadone, which they get every day. Others use Vivitrol, which can be injected once a month. And many use buprenorphine, which comes in tablets and a dissolvable film that people take once or twice a day. Buprenorphine is an opiate, but it blocks the cravings associated with addiction without giving people the same high.

A handful of patients at the university's clinics have moved to a form of buprenorphine called Sublocade that's injected just once a month.  And if the company that makes Sublocade gets its way, the drug will be the only long-acting buprenorphine on the market for five more years. Read more here.
Rockefeller Institute Symposium: Public Health in New York State in the 2020s

The Rockefeller Institute and Binghamton University will host a symposium on June 5th, 2019 examining the major public health challenges New York State is likely to face in the next decade and how to prepare  policies, analytical capacities, and public health infrastructure to overcome them.

Leading health policymakers, researchers, and practitioners will discuss pressing topics in public health, including:
  • Early childhood health
  • Environmental health
  • Health equity and social determinants
  • Population health and health infrastructure
  • Mental health and addiction
  • Infrastructure for an aging population
  • And more
For more information or to register, click here.
A Secret to Better Health Care

It seems obvious: better social services. So why are things like food stamps and housing not part of the conversation?

Health care is at the center of the national policy conversation, and with the 2020 presidential election now in full swing, that is where it will probably remain. But for all the talk about how to increase access and reduce costs, we're missing a critical piece of the puzzle: the inverse relationship between health care costs and spending on social programs.

One reason the United States spends more on health care than any other nation - more than 17 percent of gross domestic product, compared with an average of 9 percent for other advanced economies - is that we spend far less on social services like food stamps, free school lunches and public housing.

If our spending on social programs were more in line with other developed countries, our health care costs would fall. That means that as policymakers evaluate a social program, they should weigh not only its direct and second-order benefits - from reducing crime and recidivism to increasing productivity - but also its effect on lowering federal health care costs. Read more here.

Additional article of interest: The 'Three D's Of Health Care: How Determinants And Data Are Creating Delivery Improvements
Health Plans & Social Services -
The Current Craze Or Permanent Shift

There has been lots of activity by health plans around the social determinants of health-and arranging and/or paying for social services. My question is whether this a passing interest by health plan managers or will this become a permanent shift in health plans service array which will provide a sustainable funding stream for provider organizations.

What has been happening? Eighty percent of health plans moving to make social support part of their service array. The Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC) and the Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) Institute launched foodQ, a six-month food delivery pilot program, and the Humana Foundation Dedicating $7 Million To Address Social Determinants Of Health. The American Medical Association (AMA) and UnitedHealthcare (UHC) announced a collaboration to support the creation of 23 new ICD-10 codes related to social determinants of health and Anthem is making a push to whole person care, as well as person-centered care .

There are several initiatives coming out of the Kaiser system. Kaiser Permanente last year announced they are investing $200 million in housing projects with the goal of supporting more housing projects in the future and recently announced a $5.2 million investment in a 41-unit affordable housing complex in East Oakland, California. And the organization just unveiled plans for a partnership with social coordination platform Unite Us as part of their comprehensive health network-Thrive Local. The goal of this new network is "to connect health care and social services providers to address the pressing social needs including housing, food, safety, utilities and more for millions of people across the United States". The roll out will begin this summer and expand to Kaiser Permanente's 12.3 million members and the 68 million people in the communities Kaiser Permanente serves, within three years. The network will track community partner referrals and service outcomes to measure if consumer needs are being met.

The big question-will this be "referrals only" to already overburdened social service programs or will the health plans pay health and human service provider organizations for selected types of social services? 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.