cover photo1 - smiling people
February 8, 2017

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

Evidence-Based Training for the Children & Families World of Managed Care 

The NYS OMH Evidence Based Treatment Center (EBTDC) provides clinical training and consultation to mental health professionals on evidence based treatment protocols. The Center aims to enhance the quality of life for children and families by increasing clinician access to treatments shown to be effective.  

Current EBTDC offerings include a set of webinar-based trainings on specific evidence-based clinical skills, and agency-wide training on Managing and Adapting Practice (MAP), a decision support tool to help better tailor treatments to the needs of children and families in New York State. Free CEs  are available to licensed social workers who satisfy training requirements.

The training is conducted by The Child Study Center at NY Langone Medical Center. Click here for additional information including registration. 
Team-Based Care: A Foundation for New York Medicaid Health Home Efforts in 2017

January 2017 marked the fifth anniversary of the launch of the  New York Medicaid Health Homes  program, one of the first to be implemented across the country. Established by  the Affordable Care Act , health homes enable states to provide a valuable array of care coordination services for Medicaid beneficiaries with chronic conditions.

New York's program has served more than 260,000 high-risk adults to date, helping many back on their feet.   Team-based care, which is  central to New York's health home model , is critical for individuals like S. to help address their often-fragmented care and wide-ranging needs. Yet, while health homes and their community-based partners recognize the importance of team-based care, they often encounter numerous barriers to implementing it. The  Primary Care Development Corporation  (PCDC) recently released a report,  "Delivering Team-Based Chronic Care Management: Overcoming the Barriers,"  that highlights approaches health homes are using to implement team-based care, as well as challenges they face in doing so.  Read more here.

6 Behavioral Health Design Trends

HGA has designed behavioral health facilities across the country-including several mental health units within hospitals and numerous addiction treatment facilities-and has identified six approaches that not only help reduce the stigma associated with mental health issues but also fully address the needs of patients' physical and mental well-being. Consideration of these trends in healthcare planning and design can positively impact costs, functional capabilities, and safety for patients and staff.  Read more about behavioral health design trends  here.
NYS Developmental Disabilities Planning Council Launches YouTube Channel

The DDPC recently announced its launch of a new YouTube channel. The new channel contains videos that highlight DDPC-funded projects, and provide general agency information and training for individuals and organizations that want a better understanding of what the agency does.

Subscribe to the new channel by clicking here.
FAQs: What New SAMHSA Confidentiality Regulations Mean to You

Until last month, the applicable federal regulations governing confidentiality of patient records for substance abuse disorders had been in place since 1987-the same year President Reagan told Gorbachev to "tear down this wall" and Windows 2.0 was introduced. SAMHSA recently published its long-awaited final rules which are scheduled to take effect on February 17, 2017.

The following are the highlights of these new regulations, and what treatment centers need to know about them.

Do the regulations apply to me?
If you answer any of the following questions "yes," then the new regulations apply to you:
  • Are you a part 2 program? Part 2 programs are defined as federally assisted programs which provide substance use disorder diagnosis, treatment, or referral to treatment.  A "program" is one which focuses on substance disorder diagnosis, treatment or referral, but can also apply to anyone within a general medical facility (such as a hospital) which provides the same services. A program is considered "federally assisted" if it is conducted directly or indirectly by a federal agency, receives federal financial assistance directly or indirectly through a state or local government, or receives income tax deductions for contributions to the program or tax exempt status by the Internal Revenue Service.
  • Do you have patient identifying information from a part 2 program? The regulations also apply expressly to a "lawful holder of the patient identifying information," third party payers and other individuals or entities who receive patient records from one of these sources.
  • Does your state regulatory authority adopt the federal confidentiality rules? Many state regulatory authorities have expressly adopted the federal confidentiality rules and require compliance with those rules for state-regulated treatment centers. If your state does so, then you must comply with the confidentiality regulations even if you are not a "part 2 program."
Read more here.

February 13, 9 - 11 am



RPC Leads & Coordinators Call
February 9:  8 - 9 am,  GTM

OMH Agency Meeting
February 13:  10 am - 12 pm
44 Holland Ave., 8th Fl., Albany

OASAS Agency Meeting
February 13:  1 - 3 pm
1450 Western Ave., 4th Fl., Albany

Children & Families Committee
February 21:  11:30 am - 1 pm, GTM

RPC Leads & Coordinators Call
February 23:  8 - 9 am,  GTM

MARCH 2017

Officers, Chairs & Regional Reps Call
March 1:  8 - 9 am, GTM

RPC Leads & Coordinators Call
March 9:  8 - 9 am,  GTM

Directors & Executive Committee Combined Meeting
March 15:  9:30 am - 12:30 pm, GTM

Children & Families Committee
March 21:  11:30 am - 1 pm, GTM

RPC Leads & Coordinators Call
March 23:  8 - 9 am,  GTM

Contact CLMHD for all Call In and Go To Meeting information, 518.462.9422 
CLMHD Testifies at Joint Legislative Joint Fiscal Committees 2017-18 Mental Hygiene Budget Hearing  

On Monday, February 6, Kelly Hansen, Executive Director of CLMHD, testified on behalf of the Conference at the 2017-18 Joint Legislative Budget Hearing on Mental Hygiene in Albany.  

Please click here  for video from the hearing. Click here  for CLMHD's written testimony.
Governor Cuomo Announces a New $19.5 Million Community Health Care Revolving Capital Fund

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo last week announced the establishment of a $19.5 million Community Health Care Revolving Capital Fund. The public-private partnership will deliver low-cost loans to health care providers across the state for capital projects that will improve access to care for all New Yorkers.

The Community Health Care Revolving Capital Fund is designed to improve access to capital for clinics and other organizations that have limited resources and are seeking to broaden access to primary care services. This revolving loan fund will provide affordable and flexible loans to these groups that are often unable to obtain or afford commercial financing.

DASNY, in consultation with the New York State Department of Health, selected the Primary Care Development Corporation to administer the fund. Borrowers will be chosen by PCDC through an application process that is approved by DASNY and NYSDOH. The funds will be used to provide loans for projects at eligible facilities. Eligible projects may include construction, renovation, expansion and upgrading costs. The funds may also be used for credit enhancement and loan and debt service reserves to allow a facility to stimulate greater private sector investment. For more information, visit PCDC's  website .  Read more here.
Key Questions About Medicaid Block Grants & Per Capita Caps 

As policymakers in Washington discuss Affordable Care Act repeal and a possible block grant for Medicaid, a new issue brief  from the Kaiser Family Foundation lays out key questions to consider in restructuring federal financing of the nation's health insurance program for low-income Americans.

Capping federal funding for Medicaid through a block grant or a per capita cap financing system would make federal spending more predictable and achieve federal budget savings. It also could be structured to give states greater flexibility in how they operate their Medicaid programs, eliminate the entitlement to coverage, reduce federal Medicaid spending and shift costs to states, which would also affect beneficiaries and providers. A cap on federal spending would render state Medicaid programs less responsive to changes in demand, economic circumstances and medical costs.

The new brief explains how a per capita cap or block grant system would work as well as the details needed to evaluate any policy proposals and implications of restructuring Medicaid's financing. It also examines the implications of shifting to such a system. Read more here.

As states test new care delivery models that focus on integrated, patient-centered, and value-driven care, a number of state Medicaid agencies have established multi-sector partnerships focused on addressing population health. Often called  Accountable Communities for Health (ACH), these models bring together partners from a broad range of sectors - health care, behavioral health, public health, and social service - using community-driven approaches to tackle both clinical factors and social determinants that influence health.

ACHs go beyond most delivery system and reform efforts to focus on community-wide prevention services and strategies that improve the health of an entire population, aligning nicely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's  Three Buckets of Prevention. Building on  research
demonstrating  that multi-sector partnerships significantly reduce mortality from chronic conditions, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, these population-based models may help close geographic and socioeconomic disparities in health outcomes, and complement care delivery innovations at the clinical level. Although these efforts are starting with Medicaid, the vision for ACHs is to have multi-payer participation.  

Pioneering states,  including  California ,
Michigan Minnesota , and  Washington,  are testing new ACH models and several other states are pursuing ACH-like approaches. Even though each of these states has approached the development of ACHs slightly differently,  core elements among state ACH models  are emerging. Read more here.
NYS Developmental Disabilities Planning Council Awards Grant to Niagara University for First Responder Training

Niagara University's first responder disability awareness training program has received a three-year, $320,000 grant from the New York State Developmental Disabilities Planning Council.

The award will fund the development of training in New York state for emergency managers, those who have a role in emergency response, individuals with disabilities and service provider agencies. Its intent is to educate these constituents on planning, preparedness, response and recovery for individuals with disabilities.

NU FRDAT project director David Whalen will oversee the grant and its development, ensuring its full implementation through continued work with several state offices, including the Office of Emergency Management and the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities. He will also be working closely with the disability community in the development of core advisory groups that recognize individuals with disabilities as partners in the planning process.   Read more here .
How Technology Can Help Sustain Rural Providers

As 2017 begins, around 81 percent of Americans live in urban areas, up from 79 percent in 2000. At the same time, urban and suburban areas where vacant land exists (so, not you, San Francisco) have been expanding, redefining what used to be rural.

With this demographic shift comes a transition of resources and tax bases that leave rural areas and rural services, including healthcare, struggling to survive.

Indeed, we can learn a lot about the state of rural healthcare from several access-related statistics:
  • As of last year, more than 70 rural hospitals had closed since 2010 and 673 were vulnerable to closure, of which 68 percent were critical access.
  • The distance patients must travel to hospitals in rural America is often much further than in urban areas, sometimes meaning the difference between life and death.
  • The number of doctors per 10,000 residents is 13.1 in rural areas and 31.2 in urban environments, simply making care more difficult to get. With regard to specialists per 100,000 residents, the average is 30 in rural areas and 263 in urban.
  • More than half the counties in the country have no practicing psychiatrist, psychologist or social worker to deal with mental health and addiction issues.
More generally, America's rural population is older, makes less money, smokes more, is less healthy and uses Medicaid more frequently. All these factors dramatically complicate access issues and yield predictable results.  Read more here.

STAT surveyed dozens of universities about their mental health services. From major public institutions to small elite colleges, a striking pattern emerged: Students often have to wait weeks just for an initial intake exam to review their symptoms. The wait to see a psychiatrist who can prescribe or adjust medication - often a part-time employee - may be longer still.

STAT requested information from 98 
campuses across the country and received answers from 50 of those schools.  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.