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December 21, 2017

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

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Francine Sinkoff, Editor
N.Y. addiction treatment providers ask state for $100M

Opioid deaths in NYS 2000-2015

Report: More Cayuga County residents are seeking treatment for opioid abuse

'They need help': Auburn health center combines primary care and addiction services - Cayuga County

Report: Rural NY counties hardest hit by opioid addiction crisis

Conflicting numbers for opioids in Niagara County

St. Joseph's outpatient substance abuse treatment clinic opening in Massena - St. Lawrence County

Research Reveals Benefits of Treatment Over Enforcement to Tackle Opioid Crisis

Last year saw a new record of 52,000 opioid overdose deaths -an average of about 140 deaths per day - and despite the official declaration of a national public health emergency, government and communities remain unsure as to how to best mitigate the effects of the current opioid overdose crisis. A new evidence brief,  Minimizing Harm: Public Health and Justice System Responses to Drug Use and the Opioid Crisis, released last week from the Vera Institute of Justice, provides an analysis of existing research demonstrating the problems associated with enforcement of drug laws through arrest, prosecution and incarceration of drug users, and the benefits of instead responding with diversion, treatment and other interventions designed to reduce the harms associated with addiction.

Click here to read more about the significant findings described and contextualized in the brief.

A program for college students with serious mental health conditions

Updated 500 Cities Estimates for 2015 - Contains Useful MH and SUD Information
500 Citites Project logo
Last week, updated city and census tract estimates for 20 of the 27 measures published for the 500 Cities project were released. The estimates for adults aged ≥18 years are based on data from the 2015 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). 

Seven of the 27 measures based on BRFSS data are only included in even-year BRFSS administration; therefore, it is not possible to update these 7 measures this year. These measures are all teeth lost, dental visits, mammograms, pap tests, colorectal cancer screening, core preventive services among older adults, and sleep less than 7 hours. However, earlier estimates based on 2014 BRFSS data for these 7 measures remain available. Visit   the 500 Cities website for the 2015 data updates.



Office Closed - Christmas
December 25


Officers, Chairs & Regional Reps Call
January 3:  8 - 9 am

Mental Hygiene Planning Committee Meeting
January 9:  1 - 2:30 pm, GTM

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

Directors & Executive Committee Combined Meeting
January 17:  9:30 - 12:30 pm

Developmental Disabilities Committee Meeting
January 25:  1 - 2:30 pm, GTM

Contact CLMHD for all Call In and Go To Meeting information, 518.462.9422 
NYSCLMHD Releases White Paper:  "Completing the Recovery Treatment Continuum: Jail-Based Substance Use Disorder Services"
The Conference is proud to release "Completing the Recovery Treatment Continuum: Jail-Based Substance Use Disorder Services," a new white paper which discusses the vital need to address a gap in the Substance Use Disorder (SUD) treatment continuum by funding treatment and transition services in the jail setting. The paper requests annual state funding of $12.8 million from the NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) to LGUs.

The state is taking aggressive steps to address the heroin/opioid epidemic, including the rapid expansion of community-based treatment and support services to create a continuum of care to support the individual and family in their recovery.

LGUs recognize that there remains a gap in the treatment and support continuum: the local jail. CLMHD engaged Policy Research Associates (PRA) and the NYS Sheriffs' Association to quantify the needs and illustrate the reductions in recidivism and public policy benefit to providing SUD treatment and support during incarceration and through re-entry.  Read more here.
Federal Committee Calls for Creating a 'Care Continuum' to Meet Unmet Needs of Patients with Serious Mental Illness

A federal committee tasked with recommending ways the federal government can help provide more mental healthcare says the system is ill-equipped.

The Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee established under the 21st Century Cures Act reported to Congress on Thursday that there aren't enough psychiatric beds and community-based alternatives to hospitalization, and that more first responders need training to deal with the mentally ill and that there should be universal screening for mental illnesses and substance use disorders.

The ISMICC was one of a number of provisions included in the 21st Century Cures Act that focused on improving mental healthcare access, including a requirement that insurers provide the same level of coverage for behavioral healthcare services as they do for physical health.  Congress has asked several times for progress on the law. Last week, some lawmakers lamented the lack of funding available to implement many of the most significant provisions that aimed to fix a broken system.  Read more here.
SAMHSA Releases 2017 Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee Report to Congress

Last week, the Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee (ISMICC) released its 2017 Report to Congress. This report, The Way Forward: Federal Action for a System That Works for All People Living With SMI and SED and Their Families and Caregivers, shines the spotlight on critical issues and services for Americans with serious mental illnesses (SMI) and serious emotional disturbances (SED), and the importance of concerted efforts by the federal government to address their needs.  Read more here.
Governor Cuomo Announces 459 Housing Opportunities for New Yorkers with Developmental Disabilities Across the State

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo this week announced the creation of 459 new certified housing opportunities for residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities living at home across New York State. The Governor committed $58.9 million in the FY 2017 State Budget for these housing opportunities, which will be primarily geared to meet the needs of those living at home with aging caregivers, or whose caregivers can no longer support their loved ones.

In this first phase of a multi-year strategy, developed by the New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities, the state is partnering with 53 provider agencies who will develop 83 new homes for 459 individuals across the state. The initiative primarily targets individuals living at home with their families.

Click here to view a list by region of the awarded provider agencies, number of new certified housing opportunities, and number of homes.
Health Affairs Blog: The Blended Accountability Model: Aligning Incentives And Support Structures For Value-Based Programs

As the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) continues to drive care from volume-based reimbursement to value-based arrangements, providers are participating in a variety of alternative population health management strategies. Both accountable care organizations (ACOs) and episodic payment models (EPMs) offer providers flexibility in the way they engage clinicians and manage the care of beneficiaries across geographies and disease states. With the recent publication of the ACO and Bundled Payments for Care Improvement initiative results, discussions have arisen regarding which model appears to be most successful in achieving valued-based results of improved quality and reduced cost. In this post, we would like to suggest a way in which both models can be integrated into one strategic initiative.

Providers have found that using both of these programs in tandem creates greater strategic alignment across networks and drives better outcomes. This post focuses on practical methods to enhance the way these models reinforce each other to produce better care, specifically through a blended accountability model.  Read more here.
PODCAST:  What To Consider When Evaluating or Recommending Technology For Use By Individuals With Mental Illness

Technology is increasingly being used to help people with mental illness improve wellbeing, but not everyone knows which of the many apps available might be effective. During this interview you'll hear from an expert in evaluating apps designed to help consumers with mental illness. Stephen Schueller, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Preventive Medicine at Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine and a member of Northwestern's Center for Behavioral Intervention Technologies.
Hospitals Turn to Telemedicine to Tackle ER Triage, Overcrowding

A telemedicine platform that helps emergency departments triage patients just might be the answer to crowded ERs and physician staffing issues.

The virtual visit platform, developed by the Wisconsin-based startup EmOpti, is currently being used in eight hospitals in four health systems: Wisconsin's Aurora Health Care, MedStar in Washington D.C., Philadelphia's Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals and Charlotte, N.C.-based Carolinas HealthCare
In those hospitals, patients admitted to the ED who aren't immediately seen by a doctor can be seen by secure video-conferencing technology by a doctor or physician assistant in a remote "command center." The physician or PA examines the patient with the help of on-site triage nurses and can order tests or prescribe medications.  Read more here.
Overburdened Mental Health Providers Thwart Police Push For Drug Treatment

CHARLESTON, W.Va.- Police officers in the drug unit here have ended their routine of arresting every drug user who shoplifts and steals weed whackers off porches to pay for their drug habit. Instead, they're referring some of them to treatment, leaving more time to pursue major drug arrests.

The approach seems to be working. In the last three years, more than 170 low-level drug offenders have decided to sign up for addiction treatment instead of being taken into custody, and more than 70 percent of them have turned their lives around.

But in a worsening opioid epidemic, West Virginia's effort to replicate Charleston's Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program has run into a daunting obstacle: wariness among overburdened mental health providers.

Like much of the rest of the nation, West Virginia has a severe shortage of behavioral health professionals who can help people beat their addictions to drugs and alcohol. 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.