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March 29, 2019

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

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Francine Sinkoff, Editor

Westchester Receives Grant For Communities Affected By Opioids

Broome County declares opioid state of emergency

Baldwin brothers plan to open a drug rehab center in Central New York

Oneida County strikes back against opioids in light of overdose spike

Local Jurisdictions Pay the Price for Nation's Opioid Crisis

As the nation's opioid crisis has devastated thousands of families, it also has taken a crippling financial toll on cities, small towns and counties around the country.

Packed jails, increased ambulance runs and overworked coroners, sheriff's deputies and public defenders are just some of the consequences of the massive epidemic that has forced localities to divert millions of dollars to overdose-related emergencies and addiction treatments. That cost was acknowledged this week in a settlement between OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma and the state of Oklahoma, a settlement that included $12.5 million for local governments.

But is it enough? Read more here.
Building a Better Process for Developing Medical Necessity Criteria in Behavioral Health

As patients tell apps they're feeling suicidal, digital health startups scramble to respond

The 'Next Frontier' for Juvenile Justice: Reinvest in At-Risk Youth

Widespread Outbreaks of Hepatitis A among People Who Use Drugs and People Experiencing Homelessness across the United States

North Dakota doesn't have enough psychiatrists. Telemedicine is helping to fix that

A Psychotherapist Goes To Therapy - And Gets A Taste Of Her Own Medicine

Saratoga WarHorse; A Creative Strategy for Veterans with PTSD
April 1, 10 - 11:30 am, OMH

PSYCKES Train the Trainer
April 2, 10 - 11 am, OMH

April 2, 2 - 3 pm, National Association of Counties

Maximizing System-Level Data to Address Health and Social Complexity in Children - Spotlight on Oregon
April 2, 2 - 3 pm, National Academy for State Health Policy

What Do Providers Want to Know About Peer Support Services (Part 2)
April 3, 12 - 1:30 pm, Academy of Peer Services

Risk Assessment and Mitigation Strategies for HCBS
April 3, 2:30 - 4 pm, Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS)

Complex Care among Medicaid Beneficiaries with Comorbid Substance Use Disorders and Other Chronic Conditions
April 3, 3 - 4 pm, National Academy for State Health Policy

HCBS Person-Centered Planning - Lessons From the Field
April 8, 10 am - 12 pm, DOH

Using PSYCKES Quality Indicator Reports
April 11, 12 - 1 pm, OMH

Using PSYCKES for Clinicians
April 17, 10 - 11:30 am, OMH

Addiction Services 101: What Is Your Agency's Overdose Plan?
April 17, 1:30 - 2:30 pm, Corporation for Supportive Housing

Meeting the Needs of Individuals with Substance Use Disorders: Strategies for Jails
April 18, 2- 3:15 pm, National Association of Counties

Effective Implementation of RNR in Treatment Court Settings
April 22, 1:30 - 3 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

The Opioid Crisis: Perspectives From Addiction Specialists In Primary Care & Psychiatry
April 23, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

PSYCKES Mobile App for iPhones & iPads
April 23, 2 - 3 pm, OMH

Enable Access to Client-Level Data in PSYCKES
April 30, 11 am - 12 pm, OMH


APRIL 2019

Executive Committee Call
April 3: 8 am

CLMHD BH Portal Webinar: OPWDD Enrollment Summary
April 10: 12 - 12:30 pm, GTM

Children & Families Committee Meeting
April 16: 11:30 am - 1 pm, GTM

Developmental Disabilities Committee Meeting
April 18: 1 - 2:30 pm, GTM

CLMHD BH Portal Webinar: Juvenile Justice
April 24: 12 - 12:30 pm, GTM

CLMHD Spring Full Membership Meeting
April 29 - 30, Holiday Inn, Saratoga Springs

Contact CLMHD for all Call In and Go To Meeting information, 518.462.9422 
New York Sues Sackler Family [Purdue Pharma] Members and Drug Distributors

As investigators closed in on Purdue Pharma, the maker of the opioid painkiller OxyContin, more than a decade ago, members of the family that owns the company began methodically erasing a paper trail of profits and shifting hundreds of millions of dollars from the business to themselves through offshore entities, the state of New York alleged in a lawsuit on Thursday.

The  legal complaint, released at a news conference by the state attorney general Letitia James, was heavily redacted. Even so, it contains striking details alleging systematic fraud not only by the Sacklers but by a group of large but lesser-known companies that distributed alarming amounts of prescription painkillers amid a rising epidemic of abuse that has killed hundreds of thousands of people nationwide. Read more here.
Montgomery County to Host Pilot Opioid Court Program
Montgomery County to host pilot Opioid Court program
Sometimes the best place for someone addicted to drugs is neither a courtroom nor a jail cell.

"Anybody who's going through withdrawal, it's not a fun situation," said Montgomery County Sheriff Jeff Smith.

Montgomery County has a protocol in place for when individuals who are addicted to drugs, particularly opioids, are arrested and placed in the county jail, Smith said. Despite their best efforts, the sheriff said, these detentions are often problematic. They're exceptionally stressful for the inmates and they strain law enforcement and correctional officers at his Montgomery County Correctional Facility.

"It creates medical problems," Smith said. "We have medical protocol, and we have nurse practitioners who provide the medical care that's needed, but, still -- you're in a jail cell going through withdrawal and that's not an easy task -- there is no specific inpatient or outpatient counseling."

"We have counseling programs, but nothing really on a regular, daily basis, so there's nothing that's helping the person to stop," he said.

Until now, that is. Read more here.
Behavioral Health News - Spring 2019
Click here to read the Spring 2019 issue.
Centene to Buy WellCare for $17B to Create Big Medicaid, ACA Player

Centene Corp. on Wednesday said it will buy fellow Medicaid insurer WellCare Health Plans in an estimated $17.3 billion deal.

All in all, the two insurers would cover nearly 22 million people in Medicare, Medicaid and the ACA exchanges. Centene CEO Michael Neidorff will serve as chairman and CEO of the merged company.

Combined, the merged company would boast $80.5 billion in revenue and $1.3 billion in net income. It would include more than 12 million Medicaid beneficiaries and almost 1 million Medicare members, along with a Medicare prescription drug plan WellCare is acquiring from Aetna. Read more here.
Report Highlights Cross-Agency Strategies to Address Substance Use Disorder

Across the country, states are realigning policies, funding, staffing, and data across agencies to better serve people living with or at risk of substance use disorder (SUD). NASHP and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials convened Medicaid and public health leaders recently to discuss effective strategies for working across agencies to address SUD. Their new report offers four recommendations for states to align policies and programs across agencies to address SUD prevention and treatment.   
Report: Only Four States Have Adequate Addiction Coverage

Manhattan-based nonprofit Center on Addiction released a report Tuesday that found only four states provided adequate insurance coverage for addiction treatment in 2017. The Affordable Care Act requires certain plans to cover substance-use-disorder benefits.

Rhode Island provided comprehensive coverage for substance-use-disorder treatment in two ACA plans reviewed. And California, Minnesota and Oregon provided comprehensive coverage in at least one plan.

While New York was one of just a few states to explicitly cover methadone - a medication used for opioid-use-disorder treatment - one of the state's plans lacked coverage for at least one opioid-reversal drug, said Lindsey Vuolo, director of health law and policy at Center on Addiction and lead author of the report. Additionally, tobacco-cessation services here were limited to two attempts per year.

"Untreated substance-use disorder significantly contributes to health care costs," Vuolo said. "Plans really should be making an investment. It will save costs over the long term and lives."
--Crain's Health Pulse 3.27.19
Supporting Health Care and Community-Based Organization Partnerships to Address Social Determinants of Health

Increasingly, health systems, providers, and payers recognize the significant influence that social factors such as housing, food insecurity, employment status, and transportation have on well-being and health care spending. These social determinants of health (SDOH), in addition to health behaviors, influence 
80 percent of health outcomes in the United States, and disproportionately affect low-income populations. As reimbursement models transition away from fee-for-service to value-based payment, there has been a greater focus on innovative models of care that integrate medical and nonmedical services to improve health outcomes. 

This  Grantmakers in Health blog post explores a series of case studies and tools developed after a national scan of promising HC/CBO partnerships that examine the operational, financial, and strategic components of successful partnerships. 
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.