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May 17, 2018

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

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Francine Sinkoff, Editor
New York State Partners with Crisis Text Line to Provide 24 Hour Support for People in Crisis

Overdose 101: New York inmates trained to use opioid antidote kit - NYC

'Save The Michaels' president offers to find help for addicts within 24 hours - Western NY

Early origins of Buffalo's mental health treatment - Erie County

Opioid overdoses decline in Buffalo; epidemic still severe - Erie County

Arc, Oneida-Lewis chapter launches telehealth program

Drugs on the rise in Jefferson County

WMCHealth telepsychiatry reaches rural students - Delaware County

Governor Cuomo Announces Grand Opening of $61.2 Million Affordable and Supportive Housing Development in the Bronx

Empire BlueCross BlueShield HealthPlus and NYC Health + Hospitals Announce Agreement to Increase Access for Medicaid Managed Care Consumers
SAMHSA Announces Funding Opportunity up to $2,000,000 Annually for CCBHC Expansion

This week SAMHSA released a funding opportunity announcement for fiscal year 2018 Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs) Expansion Grants. SAMHSA anticipates awarding 25 eligible providers up to $2,000,000 annually to increase access to and improve the quality of community behavioral health services through the expansion of CCBHCs. CCBHCs and community behavioral health providers in states that participated in the CCBHC planning year are eligible to apply. These states include: AK, CA, CO, CT, IA, IL, IN, KY, MA, MD, MI, MN, MO, NC, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OK, OR, PA, RI, TX and VA. 

Applications are due July 9, 2018. For a program description and details on eligibility click here.
Social Determinants of Health Innovation Application Now Available

The NYS Department of Health (DOH), Office of Health Insurance Programs (OHIP), Bureau of Social Determinants of Health, is launching a new initiative to identify innovative ideas to effectively address the Social Determinants of Health (SDH) for Medicaid members across New York State. The intent of this 'Call for SDH Innovations' is to solicit input from interested parties across the state and around the country. Innovations will be reviewed by a team of healthcare experts identified by DOH. Top innovations will receive special recognition but all innovations, with the consent of the submitting organization, will be shared publicly by DOH.  
Later this fall, the Department of Health will host a Social Determinants of Health Innovation Summit that will allow the applicants with the best solutions to pitch their product or idea to a panel of expert judges and audience members. It will be a chance for top healthcare professionals and investors who are focused on driving transformational change, to hear new and exciting ways to better health outcomes for millions of New Yorkers on Medicaid. At the summit, winners of each category will be honored with a '2018 SDH Health Innovation Award'!
While there is no funding from the State available for this initiative, it is a chance for innovative companies and organizations to receive exposure to key healthcare decision makers including, but not limited to, healthcare providers, Managed Care Organizations, and DSRIP Performing Provider Systems.
Innovations are due by June 15, 2018 at 5:00 pm. The Call for Social Determinants of Health Innovation application is now available  here.
Questions can be sent to

As '13 Reasons Why' Returns, Schools Try To Help Students Who Are Thinking of Suicide

MH Self-Direction Shows Promising Results for Housing and Employment Outcomes


Evaluation of Data Collection with Rochester Regional Health
May 18, 12 - 1 pm, CTAC

Addressing Behavioral Health Needs of Older Veterans: In our Communities and in Partnership
May 22, 12 - 1 pm, SAMHSA

Understanding Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT)
May 22, 2 - 3 pm, SAMHSA

Social Media/Technology for Outreach and Engagement
May 23, 1 - 2 pm, SAMHSA

PSYCKES Train the Trainer
May 23, 10 - 11 am, OMH

Children's Medicaid Redesign HCBS Workflow Guidance Webinar
May 23, 10 - 11:30 am, MCTAC

The Roles of Behavioral Health in Early Diversion
May 24, 2 - 3:30 pm, SAMHSA

Redefining Care Management in Medicaid Managed Care
May 24, 3 - 4 pm, Manatt Health

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

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

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

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

June 12, 12 - 1 pm, SAMHSA

June 12, 3 - 4 pm, Manatt Health

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

Agency Meeting: NYS OASAS
May 23: 10 am - 12 pm
1450 Western Ave., Albany

Agency Meeting: NYS OMH
May 23: 1 - 3 pm
44 Holland Ave., Albany

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 
De Blasio's Office Unveils Plan for Opioid Consumption Sites in NYC

After repeated calls to action from state legislators and drug policy groups, New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio has made the decision to bring safer consumption sites into the city. "After a rigorous review of similar efforts across the world," said De Blasio on Twitter, "and after careful consideration of public health and safety expert views, we believe overdose prevention centers will save lives and get more New Yorkers into the treatment they need to beat this deadly addiction."

New York is currently in the throes of an opioid epidemic - one that, according to De Blasio "has killed more people in our city than car crashes and homicides combined."
Safer consumption sites, known also as safe injection facilities, are designated spaces where opioid drug users can inject themselves with pre-obtained drugs under medical supervision. Users are provided with clean needles and social services workers are on staff to try and steer those suffering from addiction away from further use. Safer consumption sites are already in use across Europe and in Canada. There has never been a recorded death by overdose in a safer consumption site. 

Facilities would be established in the neighborhoods of Gowanus, Midtown West, Washington Heights and Longwood. A representative of the mayor said in an email that "These sites were recommended to us by New York City harm reduction advocates, are currently needle exchanges, and can operate an overdose prevention center without City funding."

De Blasio's plan would only affect New York City. And although the mayor's blessing is a big step forward, the Big Apple is still far from cutting the ribbon on its first site. Read more here.
NYS OASAS Announces Availability of Up to $1.4 Million in Annual Funding to Increase Problem Gambling Awareness and Education in New York State

The New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) this week announced the availability of up to $1.4 million in annual funding to increase New Yorkers' awareness and education of problem gambling and the prevention, treatment and recovery services available to them. To expand the network of care in New York State, the funding will also provide training for addiction field professionals as well as state-licensed practitioners working outside of the addiction treatment field on how to assess and treat gambling-related problems.

The up to $1.4 million in annual funding will be available through a five-year contract with OASAS. A provider to deliver the statewide services will be selected through a competitive Request for Proposals (RFP) process. The RFP can be viewed here.
Responses to the RFP are due June 29, 2018.
Governor Announces More than $200 million to Create 2,800 Affordable Homes and Strengthen Regions Across the State 

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo last week announced that $18million has been awarded to three affordable housing developments in the Capital Region that will create or preserve 167 affordable homes. The funding is part of more than $200 million the state is awarding to build or preserve more than 2,800 affordable apartments across New York's 10 regions, revitalize communities, and generate $1.1 billion in economic activity.

The Governor's commitment to providing all New Yorkers with access to safe, affordable housing is reflected in the state's unprecedented $20 billion, five-year Housing Plan. The plan makes housing accessible and combats homelessness by building and preserving 112,000 units of affordable housing, and 6,000 units of supportive housing. The plan is a comprehensive approach to statewide housing issues and includes multifamily and single-family housing, community development, and rent stabilization.

The funds were available through New York State Homes & Community Renewal's 2017 Unified Funding Application, a streamlined process to apply for Low Income Housing Tax Credits and low-interest loans for affordable, multifamily developments. Projects are funded in every region of the state. 

A full list of funding awarded statewide is available  here.
His College Knew of His Despair. His Parents Didn't, Until It Was Too Late.

Clinton, NY - In the days after her son Graham hanged himself in his dormitory room at Hamilton College, Gina Burton went about settling his affairs in a blur of efficiency, her grief tinged with a nagging sense that something did not add up.

She fielded requests and sympathy notes from the college, promising the dean of students a copy of his obituary "so you can see how special Hamilton was to him." This was why his suicide "makes no sense," she added in a puzzled aside. The next day, Ms. Burton accepted condolences from the college president, and assured him "how right a choice Hamilton was" for her son.

But two weeks later, she read her son's journal and everything changed. Mr. Burton, a sophomore, wrote that he was flunking three of his four classes and called himself a "failure with no life prospects." He had struggled to sleep, missed classes, turned in assignments late. The college had known of his difficulty, he wrote, but had been slow to offer help and understanding.

"Would you care to shed some light on this?" Ms. Burton asked in an angry email sent at 2:53 a.m. to the academic dean, with copies to the president and the dean of students. "If this is what drove Graham, I don't think I'll be able to cope."

Every year, parents send their children to college, trusting that they will be well, or that word will come if they are not. Ms. Burton had lived every parent's nightmare: a child flunking out, sinking into despair, his parents the last to know. Her discovery set off a wave of pain and soul-searching but also a campaign to strip away some of the veils of confidentiality that colleges say protect the privacy and autonomy of students who are learning to be adults. Read more here.
Telemedicine Opening Doors To Specialty Care For Inmates

When an inmate needs to see a medical specialist, getting that care can be complicated, time-consuming, and expensive. Given the challenges, writes Kaiser Health News, it's no wonder many correctional facilities have embraced telemedicine: A survey by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of prison health care in 2011 found that 30 states out of 45 that responded said they used telemedicine for at least one type of specialty or diagnostic service; the participating states reported that telemedicine was most commonly used for psychiatry (62.2 percent) and cardiology (26.6 percent), according to the research, which was published in 2016. In an article from last week, Kaiser Health News features one of the corrections facilities offering these services, Rikers Island, which houses nine jails on an island near LaGuardia Airport in New York City and recently began to provide telehealth services for female inmates who need oncology, rheumatology and hematology services. Read more  here .
Tobacco Cessation Help Isn't Common in Behavioral Health Facilities

Patients with substance use disorders and behavioral health conditions are at a higher risk of dying from a smoking-related disease -  but many patients in behavioral health facilities don't get help to stop smoking, according to a new analysis. In 2016, just 38% of mental health treatment facilities and and 47% of substance abuse treatment facilities offered tobacco cessation counseling. And roughly 25% of those facilities offer nicotine replacement therapy, like patches or gum. The authors say it's possible - and important - for those facilities to integrate more tobacco cessation treatment.
The 'Forgotten People' of the Opioid Epidemic

Members of the Seneca Nation of Indians and others from the surrounding western New York community gathered together in mourning.

They rang a bell and lit lanterns, symbols of loved ones affected by the opioid epidemic. The bell tolled dozens of times, honoring the dead.

Lanterns flew up into the evening sky.

"That bell would just not stop ringing," Todd Gates, the Seneca Nation of Indians president, recalled nearly a year later, his voice breaking. "It's tough."

American Indians are among those the opioid epidemic has hit the hardest, though scant attention has been paid to how the crisis is ripping through their communities.

At least 20 tribes have formally sued opioid manufacturers and distributors, with at least 10 more suits under contract and expected to be filed soon. They're joining a long list of hundreds of cities, counties and other health care stakeholders who have sued, an effort to recoup money spent fighting the opioid epidemic and force new reforms aimed at turning the tide of the crisis. Read more here.
Why Your Performance Reporting Should Include 'Episodes Of Care'

"Episodes of care" are an increasingly common form of value-based reimbursement. The most widely known episode of care or bundled payment model is the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) bundled rate initiative for Medicare, which pays for acute care hospital stays and related post-acute services through episodic payment mechanisms. Depending on the payment model, bundles include designated episode lengths of 30, 60, or 90 days related to a hospital stay.

Last summer, the Tennessee Health Care Innovation Initiative implemented new cross-payer episodes of care reimbursement for anxiety and non-emergency depression. An episode of care includes health care services delivered in association with a "trigger" diagnosis, or acute health care events such as a surgical procedure or an inpatient hospitalization. The model is retrospective, in that the procedures and services included in the episode have already occurred. The "episode window" is the entire duration of the episode.

And, Optum is utilizing a bundled payments for medication assisted treatment (MAT) models for addiction treatment provider organizations - paying them for a group of services associated with an episode of care.
For example, Optum and MAT provider organization CleanSlate developed a monthly bundled rate that includes a single payment for all services associated with MAT (lab costs, psychosocial supports, care coordination, and medication management) exclusive of pharmacy. 

And, before you think that episode-based reimbursement might not be something you'll see in your specialty, it's important to note that episode-based reimbursement is relevant to almost 75% of health care costs. Episodic reimbursement is being applied to procedures, to acute care episodes, and chronic medical and specialty care. And, episode-based payment is being deployed within accountable care organizations or primary care capitation and shared savings arrangements-where specific groups (such as specialists) are rewarded for managing an episode of care effectively. For this reason, health and human service executives should consider including analytics about episodes of care in your standard performance measures. 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.