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February 21, 2020

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

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Francine Sinkoff, Editor

Three possibilities for future of St. Lawrence County mental health, substance abuse services

Jail program seeks to help inmates who are getting released - Warren

Outpatient mental health care changeover delayed till summer - Warren/Washington

OneCity Health Partners With NowPow to Address Food and Housing Insecurity Among NYC Health + Hospitals' Patients

NYPD hiring team of psychologists to combat spike in cop suicides - NYC

East Harlem center will provide alternative to ER for mental health patients - NYC

Opioid fatalities fall in Ulster

Nassau's Mobile Recovery Unit Helps Over 150 People Tackle Addiction In 1st Year

Corning area man who suffered with schizophrenia for decades makes 'phenomenal' recovery - Chemung

Broome County Announces Third Round of $25,000 in Mini-Grant Funding for Opioid Overdose Prevention Efforts

Residential Addiction Treatment Center Opens in Onondaga County
Policy Research, Inc. Brief Examines Jails and Behavioral Health

Rethinking Jails and Behavioral Health: Strategies, Challenges, and Successes Midway through the MacArthur Foundation's Safety and Justice Challenge , authored by PRI Senior Project Associate Ashley Krider, examines the behavioral health strategies implemented by sites participating in the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation's Safety and Justice Challenge (SJC).

The SJC began in 2015, with a commitment to provide support to local leaders determined to address the overuse of jails in America. Through a competitive solicitation process and multiple rounds of funding, the initiative has grown to include over 50 jurisdictions, known as Network Sites, across 32 states. The MacArthur Foundation engaged PRI to provide intensive technical assistance to Network Sites on issues related to the over-incarceration of individuals with mental illness and/or substance use disorders.

New Educational Initiative Aims to Boost Psychiatric Care Workforce - California

UVM researcher leads fight against rural opioid crisis

Optum and OptumLabs Contribute to Major New Opioid Use Disorder Treatment Study

Addressing Mental Health Needs in Children Before They Reach the ED

Approaches to complex care innovation are 'naïve and insufficient.' We need systems and design thinking

How a new wave of technology startups is tackling social determinants of health challenges

Study: Family Factors Are Tied to Suicide Thoughts and Attempts in Children

Medication-assisted Treatment in Drug Courts: Addressing Barriers to Effective Implementation
February 24, 12:30 - 2 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

PSYCKES Access and Implementation
February 25, 12 - 1 pm, OMH

Implementing Medications for Opioid Use Disorder in Jails and Prisons: Lessons from the Field
February 25, 2 - 3:30 pm, National Council for Behavioral Health

Optimizing Clinical and Mental Health Provider Performance
February 26, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

Best Practices for Tobacco Cessation Billing in Behavioral Health Settings
February 26, 1 - 2 pm, National Council for Behavioral Health

PSYCKES New Features Training: QI Trends, HARP HCBS, PCP, and More!
February 26, 3 - 4 pm, OMH

Using Social Needs Screening and Patient Feedback for Complex Care
February 27, 12 - 1 pm, National Center for Complex Health and Social Needs

Social Determinants of Health 2020
February 27, 1 - 2 pm, Manatt Healthcare

Recovery LIVE! Supervision Basics for Organizations New to Employing Peer Support Workers
February 27, 2 - 3 pm, SAMHSA

Telepsychiatry: The CCBHC Staffing Solution
March 4, 1 - 2 pm, National Council for Behavioral Health

PSYCKES New Features Training: QI Trends, HARP HCBS, PCP, and More!
March 5, 10 - 11 am, OMH

Sleep Disturbances and Depression: Understanding the Relationship to Improve Patient Outcomes
March 11, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

Justice Center Code of Conduct Training
Various locations, Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs

Opioids and Child Maltreatment: Neighborhood Factors To Protect Families
April 16, 1 - 2 pm, Child Maltreatment National Peer Learning Team


MARCH 2020

Agency Day - OASAS
March 4: 9:30 - 11:30 am, 1450 Western Ave., Albany

Agency Day - OMH
March 4: 12:15 - 2 pm, 44 Holland Ave., Albany

Agency Day - OPWDD
March 4: 2:15 - 4 pm, 44 Holland Ave., Albany

Children & Families Committee Meeting
March 17: 11:30 am - 1 pm, GTM

Developmental Disabilities Committee Meeting
March 19: 1 - 2:30 pm, GTM

Contact CLMHD for all Call In and Go To Meeting information, 518.462.9422 
Telemedicine Increasingly Used For Behavioral Health Services
Newly released data shows telemedicine, which is health care treatment provided by phone or secure video chat, is increasingly being used for behavioral health services, such as treating mental health conditions and substance abuse disorders.

According to health insurer Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, about one-third of all the telemedicine visits from its patients in upstate New York last year were used for behavioral health services, up from 25 percent in 2018. Those utilizing this service to treat patients include social workers, psychologists, counselors, and nurse practitioners. It's especially popular with patients 40 and younger, who represent 70 percent of telemedicine users.

Marya Vande-Doyle, director of telemedicine at Excellus, said a lot of people in upstate are embracing telemedicine because of the access it offers as it can be challenging for some to take time off or find the necessary transportation to receive in-person care. Read more here.
Suicide Rates for Younger Veterans Doubles in NYS

There are alarming new numbers about suicide rates among younger veterans. A new report issued by the  New York State Health Foundation says rates for those 18 to 34 has more than "doubled" in the state.

"You feel like you are living on the other side of a pane of glass, like you're watching everyone around you," reflected Alyssa Vasquez, program manager, Veterans One-stop Center of WNY.

Vasquez describes what it feels like after coming home from war. She was deployed twice to Iraq and once to Afghanistan and served more than 13 years in the Army.

Returning veterans are finding a whole new battleground as they transition back into civilian life. Read more here.
Twin County Recovery Services (Columbia County) is Hiring 

Twin County Recovery Services, Inc. is seeking to fill the position of  Primary Project Coordinator (PPC) for a Bureau of Justice Assistance Grant for
Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Program Rural Responses to the Opioid Epidemic.  Click here  for a detailed job description.
Payout From a National Opioids Settlement Won't Be as Big as Hoped

As talks escalate to settle thousands of opioid-related lawsuits nationwide, a harsh reality is emerging: The money the pharmaceutical industry will pay to compensate ravaged communities will likely be far less than once envisioned.

Lawyers on all sides have been stepping up efforts to reach a national agreement before the start of a New York trial next month. But even plaintiff lawyers now believe the payout from dozens of opioid makers, distributors and retailers is likely to be less than half of what the four Big Tobacco companies agreed to pay more than 20 years ago in a landmark settlement withstates over costs associated with millions of smoking-related deaths.

Whatever the final amount, it will certainly fall well short of what public health experts say is needed to heal the long-term effects of the opioid crisis. Read more here.
The Primary Care First Model Is Flawed: CMS Can Fix It With Stronger Support For Behavioral Health Integration

In October 2019, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) postponed the launch of Primary Care First (PCF), a voluntary, risk-based initiative intended to reduce Medicare spending by preventing avoidable hospital admissions and improving quality of care, especially for patients with complex chronic conditions. Originally slated for January 2020, the rollout was moved to January 2021 to allow for more time to collect and assess stakeholder feedback. The program will use performance-based adjustments to reward high-quality, patient-focused care. PCF uses a phased approach; reductions in acute hospital utilization rates are the primary clinical measure in Year 1, and other quality measures, such as patient experience and HbA1c control, will be added in the second year. 

We believe the administration should take full advantage of this delay to incorporate evidence-based strategies for behavioral health integration (BHI) within the PCF model. BHI refers to the collaboration among primary care and behavioral health clinicians to provide patient-centered, accountable care for a designated population. Read more here.
Making Integration Work: Key Elements for Effective Partnerships between Physical and Behavioral Health Organizations in Medicaid

Medicaid enrollees with behavioral health conditions - mental illnesses and/or substance use disorders - often have higher rates of chronic physical conditions, poor social outcomes such as homelessness and unemployment, and early mortality. Medicaid expenditures for this population are more than four times higher than for those without behavioral health needs, largely the result of increased physical health care spending. Informed by the growing evidence that physical and behavioral health integration can improve health outcomes and quality of life as well as reduce health care costs for this population, many states are supporting new partnerships between physical and behavioral health plans and providers to advance integrated care.

To examine how such partnerships can best promote physical and behavioral health integration, CHCS 
interviewed leaders of organizations that are partnering to integrate care for Medicaid enrollees. Interviewees represented physical and behavioral health care in four states: Colorado and Oregon, which have regional Medicaid accountable care organizations, and Arizona and Arkansas, which have integrated specialty health plans for those with serious behavioral health needs. This resulting brief describes how these states transformed the management of behavioral and physical services. Read more here.
The Big Questions For Specialists In An Integrated World

The U.S. health system continues its path to a more integrated approach to serving consumers. The push is driven largely by demands for better value-lower costs, better outcomes, and improved consumer experience. But if you were talking about integration a decade ago, the discussion would have been focused on developing integrated models for primary care and behavioral health services. It's been ten years since the National Council introduced its four-quadrant grid for planning integrated behavioral health and primary care services.

What a difference a decade "plus" makes. The integration that matters for strategy in the health care system is far different now -from virtual specialty care professionals embedded in health plans to fully-integrated health plan/health system models.
To address long-term sustainability in this shifting market, executive teams need to make the fundamental decision about whether to remain independent specialist organizations or become part of integrated service delivery systems. Read more here.
Study Renews Hope for Care Management, Coordination Effectiveness
care management coordination effective
A new study is shedding light on complex care management and care coordination, suggesting that those strategies are effective at improving patient health outcomes and cutting healthcare spending.

This comes on the heels of previous research suggesting the contrary, that care coordination and complex disease management do not improve outcomes.

The study,  published in the American Journal of Managed Care, revealed that complex care management can boost key performance indicators, such as hospital utilization, and cut down on healthcare spending.

These findings come as the medical industry continues its work to address complex patient populations. Individuals experiencing social risk factors - known as the social determinants of health - as well as one or more chronic illnesses make up only a portion of the US population but account for the lion's share of healthcare spending. 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.