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September 28, 2017

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

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Francine Sinkoff, Editor

Finger Lakes-Area Nonprofits Can Apply for Health Awards up to $4,000 Each

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield announced its annual application process for Community Health Award grants. Nonprofit organizations in the six-county Finger Lakes region (Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Seneca, Wayne and Yates) are invited to apply by Oct. 10 for an award of up to $4,000 each.

Throughout the Finger Lakes and Utica/North Country regions of upstate New York nonprofits will share in a total of $55,000, the health insurer announced. Excellus BCBS expects to issue a total of $165,000 in Community Health Awards by the end of 2017. Earlier this year, the health plan awarded $110,000 in grants to 36 nonprofits from throughout its entire 31-county upstate New York operating area.

The award can be used for programs that have clear goals to improve the health or health care of a specific population. Read more here.

CVS Will Limit Opioid Prescriptions to 7 Days

In a new effort to tackle the deadly opioid addiction crisis in the United States, pharmacy giant CVS announced Friday that it will limit opioid prescriptions to seven days for certain conditions. This restriction will apply to patients who are new to pain therapy.

The new pharmacy program will also limit the daily dosage of pain pills based on their strength and will require use of immediate-release formulations before extended-release opioids - intended for severe, long-term pain treatment - are dispensed.

The changes will roll out February 1 and cover all commercial, health plan, employer and Medicaid clients.  Read more here.

October 5, 3 - 4 pm, CHCS

October 12, 2 - 3:15 pm, Stepping Up 

October 16, 1 - 2:30 pm, CHCS

October 19, 1 - 2 pm, EHR Intelligence

October 19, 2 - 3:15 pm, Stepping Up

October 24, 3:30 - 5 pm, National Academy for State Health Policy

October 25, 9:15 - 10:45 am, National Academy for State Health Policy

October 30, 12:30 - 2 pm, CHCS

November 7, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU


Officers, Chairs & Regional Reps Call
October 4:  8 - 9 am

Developmental Disabilities Committee Meeting
October 5:  1 - 2:30 pm, GTM

Office Closed - Columbus Day
October 9

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

Mental Hygiene Planning Committee Meeting
October 17:  1 - 3 pm,  GTM

Directors & Executive Committee Combined Meeting
October 18:  9:30 - 12:30 pm

OMH Agency Meeting 
October 24:  9 am - 12 pm
44 Holland Ave., Albany

OASAS Agency Meeting
October 24:  1 - 4 pm
1450 Western Ave., Albany

Contact CLMHD for all Call In and Go To Meeting information, 518.462.9422 
September Issue of OMH News 
Highlights the LGU 
The Conference is pleased to share t he September issue of OMH News , which  
focuses not only on the duties and responsibilities of the LGU, but the important local, regional and statewide innovation that is occurring in LGUs across the state.  Articles highlight Central NY's Regional Crisis Response System, the transition to managed care/RPCs, and how LGUs respond to the needs of diverse populations within their communities.
Click here to view the current issue.
NYS OASAS Announces Opening of New Recovery Community and Outreach Center in Newburgh

The New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) today announced the grand opening of Onward Recovery Community and Outreach Center in Newburgh. The Center will provide free supports and services for people who are in recovery from a substance use disorder, as well as for their families.   The Center, operated by Independent Living, Inc., is supported through a $1.75 million award from the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services.

Providing locally based recovery support services through Recovery Community and Outreach Centers is part of the Governor's multi-pronged approach to addressing substance use disorders in communities across New York State. These Centers promote long-term recovery, by providing professional staff, peers and volunteers to engage and support people in recovery. Individuals and families also have the opportunity to engage with others who are going through similar life challenges, so they can benefit from shared experiences and commitment to common goals for recovery.  Read more here.
Nowhere To Go: Young People With Severe Autism Languish In Hospitals
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Teenagers and young adults with severe autism are spending weeks or even months in emergency rooms and acute-care hospitals, sometimes sedated, restrained or confined to mesh-tented beds, a Kaiser Health News investigation shows.

These young people - who may shout for hours, bang their heads on walls or lash out violently at home - are taken to the hospital after community social services and programs fall short and families call 911 for help, according to more than two dozen interviews with parents, advocates and physicians in states from Maine to California.

There, they wait for beds in specialized programs that focus on treating people with autism and other developmental disabilities, or they return home once families recover from the crisis or find additional support.

Sixteen-year-old Ben Cohen spent 304 days in the ER of Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo. His room was retrofitted so the staff could view him through a windowpane and pass a tray of food through a slot in a locked door. His mother, who felt it wasn't safe to take him home, worried that staff "were all afraid of him ... [and] not trained on his type of aggressive behaviors."  Read more here.
SAMHSA Awards $89 Million to Community Coalitions To Prevent Youth Substance Use

The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) announced $89 million in Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program grants to 719 local drug prevention coalitions - the largest number of single-year grantees since the program's founding. Directed by ONDCP, in partnership with SAMHSA, these grants will provide local community coalitions with funding to prevent youth substance use, including prescription drugs, marijuana, tobacco, and alcohol. 
Read more here .
New SAMHSA Report Available: Suicidality and Death by Suicide Among Middle-Aged Adults in the United States

SAMHSA's Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality announces the release of a new short report, Suicidality and Death by Suicide Among Middle-Aged Adults in the United States. The report, based on data from the annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health and the National Vital Statistics System, analyzes suicide attempts and suicide death rates among adults ages 45 to 64 from 2009 to 2014.

Click here to view the full report.
New Telehealth Law Boosts Access to NY Schools, Day Care Centers

New York has expanded the list of originating sites for telehealth to include schools, giving Empire State children virtual access to doctors, dentists and mental health counselors.

Governor Andrew Cuomo's signature last week on A4703 expands the list of state-sanctioned delivery sites for telehealth to public, private and charter elementary and secondary schools, child care programs and day care centers. The legislation opens those programs to reimbursement from Medicaid and private payers.

"This is another important step in expanding health care access for New York State residents," New York Assemblywoman Addie A.E. Jenne, who submitted the bill, said in a press release. "It will be extremely beneficial for areas of the state, including the North Country, that struggle with healthcare provider shortages."

"It also ties in nicely with the community schools model that seeks to expand services to meet all of our students' needs," she added. "We know it's hard to focus on learning if a student is sick or suffering from dental or mental health issues."  Read more here.  
To Improve Health Care, How Do We Build Trust And Respect For Patients?

Over the past several years, there has been a proliferation of health insurance benefit designs and tremendous growth in new care delivery settings that have moved health care beyond the traditional brick-and-mortar physician offices to retail and even virtual settings. In the face of these rapid changes, consumers encounter many more choices when they are shopping for their health insurance and health care.

To better understand this evolving landscape, the  Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) awarded grants for eleven research studies in 2015. These studies are concluding in 2017, and they sought to better understand how consumers are navigating the health care system, with a particular focus on consumers' experiences, preferences, and values. The studies cover a diverse array of topics, from the physician and hospital qualities that consumers value to whether consumers are engaging in cost-conscious, or value-promoting, behaviors in high-deductible health plans.  

While trust was not the explicit focus of any of the eleven studies, this portfolio has generated some enlightening early observations and findings around consumers' trust in the health care system
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.