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October 5, 2016

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

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Francine Sinkoff, Editor


Proposed Changes to 42 CFR Part 2 Will Affect Providers

Although it has been nearly 30 years since the addiction treatment disclosure rules of  Title 42 CFR, Part 2  have undergone change, the climate of gathering, sharing and protecting data has been anything but static. Proposed rule modifications are now in development, and they will require the careful attention of providers.

Title 42 CFR, Part 2 limits certain disclosures regarding addiction treatment without the treated individual's written consent. However, for-profit programs and private practitioners that do not receive federal assistance are not subject to the requirements of 42 CFR, Part 2.

On  February 9, 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released proposed rules designed to modify aspects of 42 CFR, Part 2. In the main, these changes would allow providers to share information more freely about an individual who has been diagnosed with or treated for addiction. 

Although the proposal is extensive  and still maintains  HIPAA 's requirement that the individual must grant prior consent for the disclosure of his or her personal health information, the new rules would allow treatment programs to obtain a general disclosure consent from the individual-such as the name of a health information exchange or "my treating providers," rather than requiring the individual to include the name or title of the specific individuals or organizations in a written consent form to which disclosures may be made, as is currently the case.   Read more here .
New Rule Helps Finalize Move to Provide more Medication-Assisted Treatment to People with Opioid Disorders

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), as part of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), has issued new reporting requirements for physicians who will be authorized to prescribe the opioid use disorder treatment medication buprenorphine at the new limit of 275 patients.  The requirements, published on September 27, 2016 in the  Federal Register, are a key step in increasing access to medication-assisted treatment for opioid-related disorders.

On July 8, 2016, SAMHSA/HHS published a  final rule, "Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorders," which allows practitioners who have had a waiver to prescribe buprenorphine for up to 100 patients for a year or more, to now obtain a waiver to treat up to 275 patients. 

Practitioners are eligible to obtain the waiver if they have additional credentialing in addiction medicine or addiction psychiatry from a specialty medical board and/or professional society, or practice in a qualified setting as described in the rule. As of this week, 1,665 practitioners have applied for and been granted waivers to prescribe at the increased limit. This rule was accompanied by a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking, which solicited public comment on proposed reporting requirements for practitioners who increase their patient limit to 275. More information about the NPRM can be  found here.  Read more here.



MCTAC is offering a second round of
in-person   small business initiative regional forums specifically geared toward smaller agencies that have little to no experience billing Medicaid or managed care.

October 26, 12 - 1 pm




OMH Agency Meeting &  Director's & Executive Committee Meeting - In Person
October 17:
10 am - 12 pm ( 44 Holland Ave., Albany - 8th Fl.)
1 - 3 pm ( 41 State Street, Ste. 505, Albany)

Children & Families Committee
October 25:  11:30 am - 1 pm
GTM Only


Officers & Chairs - Call In
November 2:  8 - 9 am

Contact CLMHD for all Call In and Go To Meeting information, 518.462.9422 
CLMHD Holds 2016 Fall Full Membership Meeting in Rochester

CLMHD's Fall 2016 Full Membership Meeting was held on September 26-27 at the Woodcliff Hotel & Spa in Rochester.   On Monday morning, James Button, Regional Planning Consortium (RPC) Project Director, gave an update on the RPC initiative and introduced newly hired staff who will be coordinating the implementation of RPCs statewide.  DCSs then engaged in detail planning for their respective regions.  Later in the day, a  panel of DCSs presented their experiences with piloting the CLMHD Jail / Health Home Matching Tool in their counties.

On Tuesday, Kathy Coons, LCSW-R (Rensselaer County),  Chair of the Children & Families Committee, presented on CLMHD's children's projects, including  a c ollaborative effort with six child-serving statewide advocacy organizations to identify existing state and national measures of children's behavioral health to begin preparing for value-based payment for children's services.  In addition, Kathy gave a n update on CLMHD's annual Youth Mental Health First Aid Train-the-Trainer program, now in its third year of operation. To date, 59 instructors have been trained throughout the state, with another 30 individuals scheduled to participate in a training in late October.   The meeting culminated with an update on children's Medicaid and systems redesign by Donna Bradbury,  Associate Commissioner, OMH Division of Integrated Community Services for Children and Families.

The Conference would like to offer sincere congratulations to Scott LaVigne (Seneca County), who has taken a position out of state, thereby leaving his role as CLMHD Board Chair.  We appreciate all of your valuable time and input, Scott, and wish you the best in your new endeavor!

DCSs broke into RPC workgroups by region to discuss next steps for the initiative.

Donna Bradbury (OMH) speaks to our members about children's system redesign.
Jim Haitz (Wayne County), Finger Lakes Regional Rep, congratulates Scott LaVigne (Seneca County).
Governor Signs Historic Education Bill to Teach Mental Health to Youth

Middle schools and high schools have been teaching about various health topics since the 1970s. The current State Education Law requires schools to provide instruction in topics such as the use and misuse of alcohol, tobacco, and substances and the early detection of cancer. Now, under new
legislation signed by Governor Cuomo, mental health instruction will be added to the list of critical health issues that youth will learn about.

The new legislation, sponsored by Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan (D-Queens) and Senator Carl Marcellino (R-Nassau), passed with near unanimous support in
the State Legislature. "This legislation represents a policy goal that the Mental Health Association in New York State, Inc. (MHANYS) has advocated for over the past five years" according to MHANYS' CEO Glenn Liebman. "We are celebrating the passage of this vital legislation on behalf of young people in New York and their families. By ensuring that young people are educated about mental health, we increase the likelihood that they will be able to recognize signs in themselves and others that indicate when help is needed and how to get help," Liebman said.

Some 20 percent of Americans will be diagnosed with a mental illness at some point in their lives, and about half of them will begin experiencing symptoms as early as 14 years of age. Too often, however, these signs are missed and young people go without treatment for years, often suffering
academically, abusing alcohol and drugs, getting into legal trouble, and too often, tragically losing their lives to suicide. In the same way that people can be taught to recognize the early signs and symptoms of other illnesses and get the help they need, the same can be taught about mental illness according to proponents of the new law. 
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.