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November 15, 2019

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

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Francine Sinkoff, Editor

Montefiore exec touts commitment to care management despite layoffs - NYC

City to expand mental health services for veterans - NYC

Brooklyn's Mental Health Court celebrates one thousand graduates diverted from prison system - NYC

Alcohol misuse down but still a concern on Long Island: report

UnitedHealthcare Funds Housing on Long Island

Arc of Yates adds health home care management services

UB forum tackles opioid addiction treatment - Erie
Erie County Leading the Way in Dealing with the Opioid Crisis

Erie County has been nationally recognized for how it is handling the opioid crisis. Leaders from counties across the country have come to Western New York to find out what Erie County is doing that sets them apart.

"We can't arrest our way out of this. What we need to do is get help for people, because addiction is a disease and recovery is possible," Michael Ranney, the Erie County Mental Health Commissioner, said.

The group is learning from Erie County's Opiate Epidemic Task Force, Opioid Intervention Court and Bestself's Recovery Connections Mobile Unit. Those who traveled came from counties in Oregon, Ohio, Georgia, Indiana and Florida. The biggest take away was team work.  Read more here.
Study Reveals New York's Hidden Victims of the Opioid Epidemic: 125,000 Kids

An estimated 125,000 kids in New York had parents addicted to opioid drugs or were addicted themselves in 2017, according to a  study released this week.

The report says 114,000 of these children were primarily affected by their parents' drug use. They lived with addicted parents, had parents incarcerated or die of overdoses, or were put in foster care because of opioid issues. Another 11,000 New York children became addicted to opioids or accidentally ingested the drugs.

The analysis by the United Hospital Fund, a Manhattan-based health policy group, and Boston Consulting Group shows the opioid epidemic put an estimated 2.2 million U.S. children and teens -- or 28 out of 1,000 kids -- in crisis in 2017. Read more here.

Screening tool administered in pediatric ER accurately gauges suicide risk

CDC: Preventing ACEs May Mitigate Chronic Health Issues

Culture Change Is the Cutting Edge of Mental Health Benefits at Work

Mental health studies lump transgender teens under one umbrella - and miss clues to help them in the process

NYTimes: Getting a Handle on Self-Harm

Financial Focus: Eligibility, Authorization & Credentialing Best Practices
November 18, 3 - 3:50 pm, National Council for Behavioral Health

Enable Access to Client-Level Data in PSYCKES
November 19, 10 - 11 am, OMH

Technology and Mental Health: Defining the Current Landscape
November 19, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

Re-Conceptualizing & Boosting Engagement for Young Adults with Serious Mental Health Needs in Community-Based Services
November 19, 3 - 4 pm, Transitions ACR

Center of Excellence Launch: Resources and Tools for Enhancing Integrated Care
November 20, 2 - 3 pm, SAMHSA

Improving Equity and Inclusion in Drug Court Programming
November 20, 2:30 - 4 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

Parents with PTSD: How Addiction Can Re-traumatize Families
November 20, 3 - 4 pm, NAADAC

Using PSYCKES Recipient Search
December 3, 3 - 4 pm, OMH

What Addiction Professionals Should Know About Medical Marijuana
December 4, 3 - 5 pm, NAADAC

Using Data to Identify and Serve People who Frequently Utilize Health, Human Services and Justice Systems
December 5, 2 - 3:15 pm, NACo

Leveraging Telehealth for Justice-Involved Individuals: Expanding Access to Mental and Substance Use Disorder Treatment
December 11, 1 - 2:30 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

Using PSYCKES Quality Indicator Reports
December 12, 2 - 3 pm, OMH

PSYCKES Mobile App for iPhones & iPads
December 18, 10 - 11 am, OMH

Successful Treatment of Methamphetamine Addiction
December 18, 3 - 4:30 pm, NAADAC

Using PSYCKES for Clinicians
December 19, 2:30 - 4 pm, OMH



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

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

Mental Hygiene Planning Committee Meeting
November 21: 1 - 3 pm, GTM

Office Closed - Thanksgiving
November 28 - 29


Executive Committee Call
December 4: 8 am, GTM

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

Office Closed - Christmas
December 25

Contact CLMHD for all Call In and Go To Meeting information, 518.462.9422 
CMS Wants to Crack Down on Supplemental Medicaid Payments

The CMS on Tuesday proposed a  new rule that would increase transparency for Medicaid state supplemental payments and financing arrangements to help hold states more accountable for Medicaid spending.

The Medicaid Fiscal Accountability Rule would help the CMS cut down back on unauthorized Medicaid spending to ensure the sustainability of the Medicaid program, CMS Administrator Seema Verma said Tuesday at a National Association of Medicaid Directors conference. The new rule would force states to give the federal government provider-level information about Medicaid supplemental payments.

Medicaid supplemental payments rose from 9.4% of all Medicaid payments in 2010 to 17.5% in 2017. The Senate Finance Committee, U.S. Government Accountability Office and HHS Office of Inspector General have recommended that the CMS increase its oversight of these payments to control Medicaid spending better and to ensure that states are complying with federal law. Read more here.
CMS Expands Telehealth Coverage for Opioid Abuse Disorder Treatment

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is moving forward with new reimbursement codes for care providers who use telehealth to treat patients dealing with opioid abuse.

As part of the 2020 Physician Fee Schedule, CMS is adding three CPT codes that will allow providers to bill Medicare for telehealth services included in bundled episodes of care for opioid abuse treatment, including care delivered to the home. The codes were first proposed in July as a means of applying connected health technology to the ongoing opioid abuse epidemic.

"We are announcing proposals so that the government doesn't stand in the way of patient care, by giving clinicians the support they need to spend valuable time coordinating the care of these patients to ensure their diseases are well-managed and their quality of life is preserved," CMS Administrator Seema Verma said in a July press release 
announcing the proposed codes. Read more here.

Using Medicaid to Advance Evidence-Based Treatment of Substance Use Disorders

In a new toolkit prepared for Arnold Ventures, Manatt Health reviews promising strategies that state Medicaid programs are adopting to address the substance use disorder (SUD) crisis, specifically the opioid epidemic. The paper identifies implementation strategies and action steps and provides examples of implementation tools deployed in leader states.

Highlighted strategies are informed by evidence-based research on what is effective in combating SUD and particularly the opioid epidemic, but it is important to note that the fast-moving nature of the epidemic, the evolving response of state and local governments, and the complexity of teasing out the individual impact of concurrent interventions mean that such evidence is limited. Recognizing the limits of current research, the toolkit also addresses how states might monitor and evaluate their selected strategies, both to allow for timely policy adjustments and to amplify the body of evidence-based research.

To read the full toolkit, click  here.
Telepsychology Resources Grow In Upstate New York

Nancy Gerlach's kitchen was a flurry of chopping and mixing. Pots steamed on the stove, and bowls and Tupperware filled the counter space in her Finger Lakes home.

"We're up to our elbows," she said.

It was a weekend of mixed emotions. Her son Bill and his fiancĂ©e were expecting a baby.  And another son, Derek, was dead.  The baby shower and the burial of Derek's ashes were scheduled for the same day.

"We are moving from sadness to joy," she said.

Derek died of an opioid overdose during the same time that Bill, who's had addiction struggles of his own, was developing an app that he said might have saved his brother's life.

"That's the hard thing," Bill Gerlach said, his voice catching in his throat. "If we'd got this going, he could have been alive today." 

Gerlach's app is called HereNOW Help. It's like Uber, he said, but for mental health. Read more here.
Governor Cuomo Announces Opening of $52 Million Affordable and Supportive Housing Development in the Bronx
Image result for Governor Cuomo Announces Opening of $52 Million Affordable and Supportive Housing Development in the Bronx
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo this week announced the opening of a new $52 million state-of-the-art affordable and supportive housing complex at 111 East 172nd Street in the Mount Eden neighborhood of the Bronx. With 126 apartments, the development addresses priority housing needs for low-income New Yorkers, including formerly homeless individuals and furthers ongoing community revitalization in the Bronx. The building includes on-site support services for 60 people living with mental illness, allowing them to live independently with improved health outcomes and reducing the need for costly emergency department and inpatient services.

The newly constructed 14-story building is just a half block from the Grand Concourse in the Bronx and was developed by Community Access, Inc., which will also manage the property and provide on-site supportive services for the building's 60 supportive housing units. All of the units will be affordable to households with incomes at or below 60 percent of the Area Median Income. Read more here.
OMH Behavioral Health Managed Care Update

Click here to read the November 2019 issue.
A Few Simple Questions Could Help Doctors Stem the Suicide Epidemic
A few simple questions could help doctors stem the suicide epidemic
Edwin Boudreaux remembers the first time he was left in charge of a patient as a graduate student training to be a psychologist. The patient had come in for routine diabetes treatment but it quickly became apparent she was suicidal.

"She was so suicidal, I had to walk her from our clinic to the emergency department just to make sure nothing would happen in between," Boudreaux said.

Almost three decades later, Boudreaux has produced compelling research showing an alarming number of emergency room patients coming in for unrelated problems have nascent, undetected suicidal thoughts - a large population who might be saved if doctors and nurses would simply ask if they're having suicidal thoughts. Read more here.
Strategies for Managing Chronic Conditions in Rural Areas

Over half of American adults have a chronic condition, including hypertension, diabetes, and chronic lung disease, the leading drivers of health care costs. Access to proper medical treatment, proper diet, and physical activity can improve these conditions.

Individuals in rural areas are disproportionately affected by chronic disease, yet they are also less likely to have access to high-quality health services and programs that promote healthy lifestyles.

Three community-based programs discuss  how they are overcoming this challenge and working to promote evidence-based programs in rural areas.  While each program tackles a different chronic condition  through unique strategies, their success provides best practices for promoting health equity in rural areas and overcoming the most common challenges to improving health disparities. 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.