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April 19, 2018

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

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Francine Sinkoff, Editor
NYC Mural Arts Project Paint Fest - collaborative mural making project helps to destigmatize mental illness

Child Advocacy Center provides 'safe space' - Clinton County

DSRIP year three wraps with positive results for [North Country] region

Governor Cuomo Announces Grand Opening of $20.2 Million Rehabilitation of 59 Affordable Apartments in the City of Auburn - Cayuga County

Suicide Prevention Coalition formed in Seneca County

Naloxone program gains approval in Tompkins County

$26M federal boost for program to fight opioids on Long Island

Nassau police see decline in opioid overdoses

New York state okays three health expansions [in Western NY]

Recognizing & handling a mental health crisis - Erie County

Changes in Store in NYS for the Way Services for the Disabled are Coordinated

A state-driven initiative is replacing the Medicaid Service Coordination program for families with disabled members.

"In essence the Medicaid Service Coordination is moving from providers to care coordination organizations to expand services," said Howard W. Ganter, executive director of the Jefferson Rehabilitation Center.

Families and guardians who receive such services have a decision to make. The new program begins Sunday, July 1.

For its part, JRC recently sent out letters to families that say the Medical Service Coordination program, also known as Plan of Care Support Services, is being replaced by a new program called Health Home Care Management.

"Life plans" are being replaced with "individualized service plans." The new management plan will provide coordination of services received from other systems, such as mental health, medical and dental care.

The new Health Home Care Management program will be provided by care coordination organizations. Read more here.

Click here to view the list of winners!

SPA/HCBS Provider Designation and Authorization Processes Webinar
April 19, 2:30 - 4 pm, DOH, OMH, OASAS, OCFS, OPWDD 

Using PSYCKES Recipient Search
April 24, 11 am - 12 pm, OMH

Children's Medicaid System Transformation Update
April 24, 2 - 3 pm, DOH

April 26, 2 - 3:15 pm, NACo

April 30, 12 - 1 pm, SAMHSA's Gains Center

May 2, 1 - 2 pm, Behavioral Healthcare Executive

May 3, 12 - 1 pm

Supervising Peer Support Staff: What does it take?
May 9, 12 - 1 pm

Addressing Emergency Department Psychiatric Boarding: A Continuum of Solutions
May 15, 12 - 1 pm

Avoiding Burnout: Learning To Live & Work Well In Health Care
May 17, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

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

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

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

June 6, 12 - 1 pm


APRIL 2018

CLMHD Spring Full Membership Meeting
April 30 - May 1, Saratoga Springs

MAY 2018

Children & Families Committee Meeting
May 15: 11:30 am - 1 pm, GTM

Mental Hygiene Planning Committee Meeting
May 15: 1 - 2:30 pm, GTM

Developmental Disabilities Committee Meeting 
May 17: 1 - 2:30 pm, GTM

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

Contact CLMHD for all Call In and Go To Meeting information, 518.462.9422 
1 in 2 New Yorkers are Touched by Opioid Abuse, Survey Finds

One in four New Yorkers knows someone who has died after overdosing on opioids and more than half have been directly touched by opioid abuse, according to a first-of-its-kind poll released on April 15.

The survey by Siena College Research Institute is the first comprehensive measure of the epidemic's reach in New York - quantifying its impact beyond officially reported deaths and hospitalizations and gauging the opinions of nearly 1,400 New Yorkers about who is responsible for the crisis, how it's been handled to date and what more ought to be done. Results will be released in stages over the next four weeks.

"Often we're asked what finding is surprising in a poll," said Don Levy, director of the institute. "That one in four of us know someone that this epidemic has taken and nearly six in 10 of us are currently touched by it is shocking."  Read more here .
Human Services Council Releases Blueprint for Integrating CBOs and Health Care Providers

As the state moves toward a value-based payment system, New York human services nonprofits that want to form relationships with health care providers have been limited by their own technology, the complexities of contracting and their ability to take on financial risk, according to a  new report from the Human Services Council.

To encourage integration of the community based organizations and health care providers, the report recommended that the state help bridge the technology divide that impedes data sharing, review regulations that make it difficult for community-based organizations to partner with providers and health plans and standardize contract language to make it easier for these nonprofits to enter value-based contracts, among other things.

Community-based organizations should be part of health care providers' efforts to lower health care costs given their influence on the social determinants of health-such as access to food, transportation and housing-said Allison Sesso, executive director of the Human Services Council. But most of these nonprofits' revenue comes from government sources, and they aren't equipped to face the penalties that some value-based contracts include, she said. Read more here.
Will New Payment Model for Treating Opioid Abuse Help Meet Demand for Treatment?

The American Medical Association and the American Society of Addiction Medicine on Monday advocated for a new way to reimburse physicians who treat patients for opioid use disorder, hoping it will help meet the increasing demand for medication-assisted therapies.

The new alternative payment model, called Patient-Centered Opioid Addiction Treatment, would give providers an initial, one-time payment to cover the costs associated with evaluating, diagnosing and planning treatment for a patient, as well as a month of outpatient medication-assisted treatment.

After the initial payment, subsequent reimbursement would come in the form of monthly "maintenance" payments to cover the cost of providing ongoing outpatient medication-assisted treatment, psychological care and social services.

"Medication-assisted treatment is an evidence-based treatment for opioid use disorder, certainly there is no one-size-fit-all approach, but this is an important therapy," said Dr. Patricia Harris, chair of AMA's Opioid Task Force. "Unfortunately, there are many barriers to patients who need this treatment and having access to this treatment." Read more here.
A Drug to End Addiction? Scientists Are Working on It.

Scrambling for ways to contain America's out-of-control opioid crisis, some experts in the field are convinced that one bit of good advice is to just say no to the enduring "just say no" antidrug message. Addiction, they say, is not a question of free will or a correctable character flaw, as a lot of people would like to believe. Rather, it is an affliction of the brain that needs to be treated as one would any chronic illness.

One possible approach, an experimental vaccine, draws attention in this offering from Retro Report, a series of short video documentaries exploring major news stories of the past and their lasting impact. This vaccine would be intended principally for men and women already hooked on heroin or related opioids like Oxycodone and fentanyl - people who would be at risk of death should they detoxify and then relapse, as all too many do.

If it works, the vaccine would stop opioids by effectively blocking them from reaching the brain by way of the circulatory system. At the same time, it would not interfere with other treatments for addicts, like methadone and buprenorphine, or with a compound like naloxone that reverses overdoses. Read more here.
3 Ways to Face Down the Opioid Crisis

The sheer scale of America's opioid epidemic cannot be overstated. Deaths related to overdoses of both illicit and illegally prescribed opioids increased nearly five-fold in the United States between 1999 and 2016, surpassing 200,000 during that period. This crisis, which has shown little sign of abating, has produced two straight years of life-expectancy decreases in the U.S.

Given these frightening numbers, it shouldn't be surprising that most Americans think that their governments have responded ineffectively and with an insufficient sense of urgency. Roughly six in ten feel that both federal and state governments have failed to the address the crisis in a timely and sufficient manner.

In an era of profound political gridlock at the federal level and in so many state capitols, local government has a compelling need and opportunity to address this paucity of solutions. Lehigh County, Pa., has stepped forward with several promising initiatives that could serve as a model for regional responses across the country. Read more here.
Opioid Crisis: How 4 Health Providers are Using Tech to Fight the Epidemic

America's opioid epidemic shows no sign of letting up. Addiction to legal painkillers and illegal drugs like heroin has resulted in more than 42,000 overdose deaths in 2016, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention figures released at the end of March.

Health Data Management, over the past few months, has profiled a number of healthcare organizations that are turning to health information technology to combat the crisis. What follows is a look at four of those initiatives.

Geisinger: Pairing EHR and E-prescribing Data
Geisinger, an integrated health system, is curbing patient use of opioids by leveraging health information technology and electronic prescribing, according to CIO John Kravitz, who contends that other healthcare organizations can generate similar results through effectively using their EHRs or clinical order entry systems. Read more here.
Addressing Social Determinants of Health through Medicaid Accountable Care Organizations

Medicaid accountable care organizations (ACOs) are designed to improve health care quality while delivering more efficient care. But, medical care is only one of several factors affecting health outcomes. Social determinants of health (SDOH), such as living environment and access to healthy food, affect health outcomes and, consequently, an ACO's 
bottom line. Because most ACOs are ultimately responsible for total cost of care and quality, ACOs have a clear business case to address SDOH.

State Approaches to Addressing SDOH through Medicaid ACOs
Of the  12 early innovator states that have launched statewide Medicaid ACO programs, many have identified SDOH as a critical issue. These states are shaping Medicaid ACO efforts to address SDOH by: (1) encouraging or requiring SDOH interventions; (2) developing risk adjustment strategies; (3) recruiting SDOH-savvy ACOs; and (4) encouraging or requiring community partnerships. In response to these state policies, Medicaid ACOs coordinate care, collect data, 
integrate services, and build partnerships that align with the state's SDOH priorities. Read more here.
Pay For Success Value Lessons for VBP 

Increased pressure on public sector budgets has prompted government to focus on improving value for money in social service contracts. In response, Pay for Success (PFS) has been trialed across a range of sectors, from supportive housing to juvenile recidivism, to improve the measurement and delivery of quality outcomes. Since 2015, Value Based Payment (VBP) models have emerged in the healthcare field. These two innovative contracting models both aim to improve public sector value, and Medicaid entities can use both to more effectively manage population health. 

A new paper from CSH offers a brief overview of both VBP and PFS models, discusses differences between them and how PFS lessons can enhance VBP. Click here to view the paper.
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.