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March 15, 2018

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

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Francine Sinkoff, Editor
Northwell, CHSLI to launch ED opioid pilots - Long Island

Hudson River Health Care (HRHCare) and Brightpoint Health Announce Intent to Merge - Mid-Hudson/Long Island/NYC

Jefferson County wants state funding for jail substance abuse programming

St. Lawrence County Saw Higher Opiate Prescription Rate Than State

Niagara County Jail offering treatment for opioid-addicted inmates

A 'broken system' for mental health, criminal justice - Chautauqua

Rochester teen who tried to overdose at 15 grows up to lead Mental Health Association - Monroe County

Ulster County Legislature policy requiring seven-day-a-week methadone services doesn't apply to HealthAlliance clinic

Southern Tier AIDS Program Wants To Operate Ithaca's Proposed Safe Injection Site

Staten Island Healthcare Leaders Make Medicaid Redesign and Population Health Work
New Study Links Housing Stability, Reduced ER Use to NYC Supportive Housing Program

A newly available study published in Health Services Research found that living in publicly funded supportive housing in New York City led to increased housing stability and reduced use of emergency healthcare services.

The study, entitled "Impact of a New York City Supportive Housing Program on Housing Stability and Preventable Health Care among Homeless Families" found that the NY/NY III supportive housing program was associated with improved housing stability among heads of homeless families who had underlying mental and physical health conditions or substance use disorders.

"Nearly 90% of the program participants experienced housing stability in the 2 years after baseline, whereas only 1% of applicants not placed in the program achieved housing stability through government-subsidized housing. 75% of nonplaced applicants were in (or transitioned to) noninstitutional settings, while nearly one in four (24%) were consistently in unstable housing-primarily homeless shelter.

Placement in the housing program was also associated with reduced preventable ED visits when stratified by housing pattern. Compared with homeless
families who spent most of the postbaseline period in unstable government housing such as homeless family shelters, those placed in the NY/NY III program were less likely to make ED visits for chronic conditions that may have been avoided with proper primary care."
CBO Planning Grant Reissue for Rest of State Regions Announced

The New York State Department of Health, Office of Health Insurance Programs is announcing the re-issuance of a Request for Applications (RFA) to support strategic planning activities for Community Based Organizations to facilitate their engagement in DSRIP and VBP activities in the Rest of State Region. This RFA is designed to provide funding to one CBO consortium comprised of non-Medicaid billing Community Based Organizations, with an operating budget of less than $5 million, who address the social determinants of health.

The RFA is intended to solicit applications from CBO Consortiums to assist them in planning activities that will identify business requirements and formulate strategies for short-term needs as well as longer term plans that the consortium may envision for CBO support and sustainability in system transformation. Read more here.

To Track Opioid Use, More Cities May Soon Screen Wastewater

The Opioid Crisis Is Surging In Black, Urban Communities

Mental Health Plays Role in Long-Term Teen Opioid Use

CNN Exclusive: The more opioids doctors prescribe, the more money they make

Amid efforts to expand naloxone access, a controversial new study questions its value

Data Analytics for Behavioral Health Providers - Part II
March 16, 11 - 12 pm, BHIT

March 20, 12 - 1 pm, Care Transitions Network

March 21, 1:30 - 3 pm, Center for Health Care Strategies

Integrating HIV and Substance Use Disorder Treatment to Optimize Care for Vulnerable Patients
March 21, 2 - 3:30 pm, SAMHSA-HRSA

March 22, 1 - 2 pm, Transitions ACR

The Impact of Technology on Healthcare Access & Costs
March 22, 2 - 3 pm, Employee Benefit News

March 28, 1 - 2 pm, Manatt

April 26, 2 - 3:15 pm, National Association of Counties


MARCH 2018

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

APRIL 2018

Mental Hygiene Planning Committee
April 3: 1 - 2:30 pm, GTM

Officers, Chairs & Regional Reps Call
April 4: 8 am

Children & Families Committee Meeting

Directors/Executive Committee Meeting
April 18: 9:30 am - 12:30 pm, GTM

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

Contact CLMHD for all Call In and Go To Meeting information, 518.462.9422 
CLMHD, Sheriffs and NYSAC Urge State Leaders to Fund Addiction Treatment in Jails

Pictured from Left: Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple; Senator Rob Ortt, Senator George Amedore, SHARP Program Graduate, Chris; Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal; Assemblyman John McDonald; CLMHD Executive Director Kelly Hansen

On Tuesday, the Conference, along with representatives of the New York State Sheriffs' Association and the NYS Association of Counties, convened a press conference to advocate for $12.8 million in annual state funding for jail-based substance use disorder (SUD) treatment and post-release transition services. 

Speaking at the event in support of this funding request were Senator George Amedore, Chair, Senate Alcohol & Drug Abuse Standing Committee, Co-Chair, Joint Senate Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction; Assemblywoman Linda B. Rosenthal, Chair, Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse; Senator Rob Ortt, Chair, Senate Mental Health & Developmental Disabilities Committee; Assemblyman John McDonald, Member, Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse; Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple and Christopher, a graduate of the Albany County SHARP (Sheriff's Heroin Addiction Recovery Program) program.

Executive Director, Kelly Hansen, explained that incarceration provides a unique opportunity to offer treatment supports during periods when people are clean and sober.  However, more than half (51%) of New York State jails report that they have no funding for SUD treatment services. By investing a relatively small, but functionally impactful, amount of funding in jail-based SUD treatment and transition services, our state has the opportunity to save lives, reduce crime, reap cost savings, and help people suffering from addiction to move along the pathway to recovery. 

To learn more about this initiative, click  here.
How a Rural Community Addresses the Opioid Crisis

In rural communities like upstate New York's Sullivan County, where the bus runs twice a week and cab fare is expensive, people who need substance abuse treatment often have a hard time getting to it.

A few years ago, one public official in the county wanted to show state officials how vital transportation is to addressing access, especially in a county the size of Rhode Island. She started by inviting them to Sullivan County. Instead of meeting in a conference room, she took them for a drive.

"I tried to really give them a visual," she said. "They were shocked that it took an hour to get from one end of the county to the other, and that's just straight."

It's clear that America has an opioid problem. In conversations with people on the frontlines of the epidemic, however, it is not so clear that lawmakers in Albany or Washington D.C. understand the realities of the crisis - like the challenges of accessing services in remote rural communities.

This disconnect between the communities fighting opioids on a day-to-day basis and lawmakers devising solutions in the state's Capitol weakens the response to the opioid crisis. How can we expect state and federal officials to craft relevant solutions to a problem we don't fully understand? Read more here.
SAMHSA Is Accepting Applications for Up to $16.8 Million for the Healthy Transitions Program

SAMHSA is accepting applications for the Healthy Transitions: Improving Life Trajectories for Youth and Young Adults with Serious Mental Disorders grant program, which will provide up to $16.8 million over the next 5 years. The program aims to improve access to treatment and support services for youth and young adults ages 16-25 who have a serious emotional disturbance or a serious mental illness. SAMHSA expects to fund four grantees with up to $1 million per year for up to 5 years. 
Medical Academy to do Market Research on DSRIP

Although many in the New York health care community are well versed in the intricacies of DSRIP, the state's $8 billion Medicaid reform effort, the program is still virtually unknown otherwise. That might change soon.

The state Health Department has awarded a $335,875 contract to the New York Academy of Medicine to conduct market research in preparation for a campaign to educate consumers about the state's health care transformation efforts under DSRIP, the Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment program.

During the next year and a half, the academy plans to lead focus groups of uninsured and Medicaid-insured New Yorkers and test messages related to DSRIP efforts. It then will provide recommendations for a statewide campaign to educate consumers about DSRIP principles, the Health Department said Friday.

The consumer-education campaign is required under the terms and conditions governing DSRIP, according to the Health Department. 

-- Crain's Health Pulse 3.12.18
Severe Shortage Of Psychiatrists Exacerbated By Lack Of Federal Funding

A growing shortage of psychiatrists across the U.S. is making it harder for people who struggle with mental illness to get the care they need - and the lack of federal funding for mental health services may be to blame.
After the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., last month, President Trump promised to "tackle the difficult issue of mental health." But his 2019 budget proposal doesn't devote much funding to mental health care.

While the shortage of primary care physicians has been linked to recruitment, the deficit of psychiatrists is not because medical students lack interest in the field. In recent years, nearly every available training position in psychiatry has been filled, says Dr. Darrell Kirch, president and CEO of the Association of American Medical Colleges, who is a psychiatrist and neuroscientist.

"The thing that's really driving the shortage is the baby boom," he tells Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson. "Every day we have 10,000 baby boomers turning 65. The population is growing, but this segment of the population growing the most are those over 65, and they have the highest health care needs and that includes mental disorders." Read more here.
School-Based Health Centers Struggle

Dr. Chris Kjolhede wants more money to help children get access to primary, dental and mental health care.

So he went to Washington, D.C., in late February to talk about the Bassett Healthcare Network school-based health centers, of which he is director, as part of a panel discussion hosted by the School-Based Health Alliance for members of Congress and their staffs. The session focused on helping children who have been hurt by the opioid epidemic because of a loved one's addiction. Bassett's network covers a large rural area that has been hard hit by the epidemic.

"Those of us working in school-based health say, yeah, we're doing that, but school-based health is way more than opioids," Kjolhede said.

But the centers are underfunded and Kjolhede will explore any avenue to get the federal government and state to spend more. Read more here.
The Doctor Will Text You Now

A U.K.-based mental health care innovator that combines artificial intelligence, data, and the millennial generation's love affair with texting has landed in Dallas to establish a beachhead for its U.S. expansion.

Ieso Digital Health, based in Cambridge, England,  provides cognitive behavioral therapy via a real-time online written conversation between a credentialed counselor and the patient in a secure virtual therapy room. They never see each other. Everything is typed.

"It essentially feels like you are getting your counseling via WhatsApp," Clark says. "Think of it like text messaging."

While online therapy isn't unique to ieso (pronounced i-eeso) Digital, the company has developed its own ability to capture data, analyze it, and use it to improve behaviorial health outcomes. Its success comes as the U.S. healthcare industry moves toward an outcomes-based payment system that reimburses providers for successful treatment and penalizes them for poor results. 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.