Cover image 5
February 1, 2018

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

Connect With Us:
Like us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter    View our profile on LinkedIn
Francine Sinkoff, Editor
Oneida County Officials Talk Plans for 'Raise the Age' Implementation

Orleans County joins suit against drug companies

Monroe County files lawsuit against opioid makers, announced plan to fight epidemic

Fighting the opioid crisis, from the ER to treatment centers - Monroe

Opioid prescriptions declined in Westchester, Rockland, but death toll still climbed

Officials to tour juvenile center, explore ideas - St. Lawrence

Mental Health First Aid training in NYC gets $5 million boost in funding, launches ad campaign

Governor Cuomo Announces $750,000 in Annual Funding to Expand Addiction Treatment Services for Women on Staten Island - NYC

NYC's Homeless Pre-K Kids with Special Needs Face Steep Barriers to Getting Help

NYC considers supervised injection sites for drug users

FDA takes new steps to help mitigate overprescribing of opioid medications as effort to reduce rates of new addiction

Why don't Americans get regular mental health checkups? It's complicated.

An Uncle's Overdose Spurs Medicaid Official To Change Course

Better Antipsychotic Drugs May Be on the Horizon

New York teacher overdoses on opioids at public school

Study: In heroin addiction, glial cells play key roles in regulating the motivation for the drug
SAMHSA Funding Opportunity to Treat People Affected by Homelessness, Mental Health Disorders

SAMHSA is accepting applications for up to $52 million in grants under its Treatment for Individuals Experiencing Homelessness program. The funding will be used to help local service providers offer behavioral health and recovery support services to people experiencing homelessness along with a serious mental illness or serious emotional disturbance. Grantees will also offer treatment for substance use disorders as needed. SAMHSA expects to make as many as 16 grants of up to $500,000 or $1 million annually, depending on the grantee. The grants will be awarded for up to five years and are subject to availability of funds.  Read more here.
SAMHSA Funding Opportunity for Early Diversion

SAMHSA's Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), are accepting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2018 Law Enforcement and Behavioral Health Partnerships for Early Diversion grants. The purpose of this program is to establish or expand programs that divert adults with a serious mental illness (SMI) or a co-occurring disorder[1] (COD) from the criminal justice system to community-based services prior to arrest and booking. Special consideration will be given to applicants proposing to use grant funding to support early diversion services for veterans.  Applications are due March 5.  Read more here.
February 7, 1 - 2 pm, SAMHSA

Addressing Social Determinants of Health through Medicaid Accountable Care Organizations: Early State Efforts
February 14, 11:30 - 12:30 pm, Center for Health Care Strategies
February 16, 12 - 1 pm, CTAC

What Are the Megatrends Shaping Data-Driven Healthcare?
February 27, 1 - 2 pm, Manatt Health

Social Determinants Of Behavioral Health: Addressing Suicide In The Community
February 28, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

March 1, 12 - 1 pm, CTAC

March 8, 2 - 3 pm, Alliance for Strong Families & Communities



Officers, Chairs & Regional Reps Call
February 7: 8 am

Office Closed - Lincoln's Birthday
February 12

Office Closed - President's Day
February 19

Children & Families Committee Meeting
February 20: 11:30 am - 1 pm, GTM

Mental Hygiene Planning Committee Meeting
February 20: 1 - 2:30 pm, GTM

MARCH 2018

OMH Agency Meeting
March 2: 10 am - 12 pm
44 Holland Ave., Albany

OASAS Agency Meeting
March 2: 1 - 3 pm
1450 Western Ave., Albany

Officers, Chairs & Regional Reps Call
March 7: 8 am

Children & Families Committee Meeting
March 20: 11:30 am - 1 pm, GTM

Directors/Executive Committee Meeting
March 21: 9:30 am - 12:30 pm, GTM

Developmental Disabilities Committee Meeting
March 22: 1 - 2:30 pm, GTM

Contact CLMHD for all Call In and Go To Meeting information, 518.462.9422 
Film Documents Anti-Addiction Efforts in New York State

The New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services has made the documentary "Reversing the Stigma" available to view on YouTube.   The film highlights the work being done in New York state to combat addiction and reminds viewers that addiction is a chronic disease that is treatable.

The film, narrated by television journalist Laurie Dhue, profiles multiple people in various stages of recovery, who share their stories and experiences.

Dhue, a former television news anchor who hosted programs on CNN, MSNBC and Fox News, speaks throughout the film about her own nearly two-decades-long struggle with addiction and her recovery process.  Read more here.
PPS Earn $3.01 Billion at DSRIP Halfway Mark

The Medicaid Redesign Team recently announced that Performing Provider Systems (PPS) have earned a total of $3.01 Billion to date, which equates to 95% of all possible funds.

This report brings to a close the second quarter of DSRIP Year 3 (DY3), which ended on September 30, 2017, and marks the completion of the half-way mark for DSRIP. PPS have also successfully met all state and/or PPS implementation requirements for 13 projects in DY3, Q2, bringing the total number of complete projects to 44. These results show that PPS across the State are performing as designed and patient outcomes are clearly improving.

The next PPS payments will be determined following the completion of DY3, Q4 on March 31, 2018.  The latest PPS Quarterly Report and AV Scorecards are posted here.
Assessments Often Miss Mental Health Issues for Youth on Probation

An assessment tool used by many jurisdictions within the juvenile justice system that is intended to help recognize the effects of adversity and trauma in children's lives is not the best means of evaluating mental health problems faced by at-risk youth, according to new study by a University at Buffalo social work researcher.

The groundbreaking research, which lead author Patricia Logan-Greene believes is among the first to connect the adverse childhood experience (ACE) assessment for juveniles on probation to mental health problems, could help improve the justice system's responses to court-involved youth, especially those who have experienced maltreatment and trauma.

"The United States continues to have a massive juvenile justice system that does not, generally speaking, serve youth well," says Logan-Greene, an assistant professor in UB's School of Social Work. "We suspect that the way mental health is often assessed in the juvenile justice system is missing many mental health problems - in particular with disadvantaged youth."  Read more here.
Sick and Alone: High-Need, Socially Isolated Adults Have More Problems, but Less Support

High-need adults - those with two or more chronic medical conditions and physical or cognitive limitations - are more likely to feel socially isolated than those who do not have these health issues, according to a previous Commonwealth Fund analysis. The higher rate of isolation among high-need adults is particularly concerning since previous research has shown isolation and loneliness can exacerbate health problems, increase mortality, and cost Medicare more.

To explore how isolation affects high-need adults, we analyzed data from the Commonwealth Fund Survey of High-Need Patients conducted from June to September 2016. We found that high-need adults who are socially isolated (defined as people who report often feeling a lack of companionship, left out, or isolated from others) are more likely to have mental, emotional, and financial issues. They are also less likely to receive timely, good-quality care than high-need adults who do not report feeling alone.  Read more here.
Most Physicians Don't Think Value Based Payment Models Work

A majority of physicians don't believe pay for performance programs are effective solutions for quality improvement and cost control, according to a new survey from Leavitt Partners.

Just 22% of the 621 doctors surveyed thought accountable care organizations would lower spending, and 21% supported using bundled payments to drive down costs. At the same time, 29% of doctors thought both ACOs and episode-based payment would improve patients' health outcomes.

Physicians' apprehension toward these models is likely because most don't have much knowledge or experience in them, said David Muhlestein, an author of the report and chief research officer of Leavitt Partners.
Read more here.
No Car, No Care? Medicaid Transportation At Risk In Some States

EVERETT, Wash. - Unable to walk or talk, barely able to see or hear, 5-year-old Maddie Holt waits in her wheelchair for a ride to the hospital.  The 27-pound girl is dressed in polka-dot pants and a flowered shirt for the trip, plus a red headband with a sparkly bow, two wispy blond ponytails poking out on top.

Her parents can't drive her. They both have disabling vision problems; and, besides, they can't afford a car. When Maddie was born in 2012 with the rare and usually fatal genetic condition called Zellweger syndrome, Meagan and Brandon Holt, then in their early 20s, were plunged into a world of overwhelming need - and profound poverty.

"We lost everything when Maddie got sick," said Meagan Holt, now 27.

Multiple times each month, Maddie sees a team of specialists at Seattle Children's Hospital who treat her for the condition that has left her nearly blind and deaf, with frequent seizures and life-threatening liver problems.  The only way Maddie can make the trip, more than an hour each way, is through a service provided by Medicaid, the nation's health insurance program started more than 50 years ago as a safety net for the poor. Read more here.
If 1 In 8 Community-Based Organizations Are Insolvent, The Answer Is?

A new report confirmed on a broad scale what my colleagues and I have seen up close for the past decade. The organizations providing community-based health and human services are, as a group, in serious financial trouble. The report findings included:
  • Nearly 1 in 8 human services community-based organizations (CBOs) are technically insolvent, with total liabilities exceeding total assets.
  • Nearly half of all human services CBOs reported a negative three-year operating margin, with the bottom quarter reporting a three-year margin of -5% or less.
  • 30% of human services CBOs have virtually no margin for error with cash reserves that cover less than one month of operating expenses.
  • Insolvency rates are highest among small human services CBOs with less than $1 million in annual revenue.
  • 7% of CBOs with more than $10 million in annual revenue maintain at least six months of expenses in cash reserves, compared to 17% of mid-size CBOs (with $1-$10 million in revenue) and 34% of small CBOs. However larger CBOs are also more likely to maintain non-cash sources of funding, such as lines of credit and liquid short-term investment accounts.
The report,  A National Imperative: Joining Forces to Strengthen Human Services in America , is an analysis of IRS Form 990 reporting for non-profit CBOs sponsored by the Alliance for Strong Families & Communities and the American Public Human Services Association.  Read more here.
How Are States Using Telemedicine to Tackle the Opioid Abuse Crisis?

With the nation in the grip of an opioid abuse crisis, doctors and pharmacists see telemedicine and telehealth as an opportunity to improve outcomes by improving the distribution and management of controlled substances.

But the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency's Ryan Haight Act, passed in 2008, sets very strict limits on how those digital health platforms and tools are used, and while federal officials have hinted at amending that law to help practitioners on the front lines of the crisis, no action has yet been taken.

As a result, state legislatures and medical boards are tackling the issue.

In a recent post in the National Law Review, Bradley S. Davidsen, an associate in the Health Care and Life Sciences Practice with the Epstein Becker Green law firm, highlights three states that are taking different approaches to telemedicine guidelines. 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.