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August 24, 2017

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

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Francine Sinkoff, Editor

NYS OMH Seeks Suicide Prevention Proposals

The New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) is seeking proposals from non-profit organizations with experience conducting suicide prevention activities on a statewide or regional level. 
The awardee will be expected to coordinate suicide prevention efforts described in "1700 Too Many:  New York State's Plan for Suicide Prevention 2016-17."  These activities include:
  1. Zero Suicide implementation support in health and behavioral health settings,
  2. Clinical, peer, and gatekeeper training and evaluation,
  3. Coalition support,
  4. Public awareness and education dissemination, and coordination of NYS Suicide Prevention Conference
  5. Stakeholder engagement.
Coordination activities include logistical and administrative support for suicide prevention activities, reimbursement of travel and stipends for non-state employee trainers, and supporting implementation of evidence-based community suicide prevention programming.
OMH intends to select a contractor that has demonstrated an ability to successfully coordinate suicide prevention and other mental health programs. 
Proposals are due October 11, 2017 for a contract start date of January 1, 2018. Click here to view full RFP details.

Register to Attend a Learning Collaborative

Strengthening Our System: 
A Collaborative Approach

Learning from The Balancing Incentive
Program (BIP) Transformation Grants
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Empire State Convention Center

This event will provide an opportunity for dissemination of information and foster dialogue regarding the optimum methods for implementing system change. The goal of the conference is to promote information sharing and to highlight BIP Transformation projects that are system changing, will become self-sustaining, and have the ability to be replicated on a larger scale.  The conference is open to individuals, families, service providers, and policy makers. 

Conference registration begins at 8:30 am
For more information on the event or to register to attend click  here.

August 25, 9 - 11 am, NYS Office of Health Insurance Programs

August 28, 1 - 2:30 pm, OMH

August 31, 2 - 3 pm, National Council for Behavioral Health

September 5, 4 - 5 pm, SAMHSA-GAINS Center

September 6, 10 - 11 am, OMH

September 7, 12 - 1 pm, National Council for Behavioral Health

September 8, 2 - 3 pm, OMH

September 12, 2:30 - 3:30 pm, National Council for Behavioral Health

September 13, 2:30 - 3:30 pm, National Council for Behavioral Health

September 14, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

September 19, 1 - 2 pm, Pathways RTC

Enable Access to Client-Level Data in PSYCKES
September 20, 10 - 11 am, OMH

September 28, 12 - 12:30 pm, PsychU



Officers, Chairs & Regional Reps Call
September 6:  8 - 9 am

Fall Full Membership Meeting
September 11 - 12
Crowne Plaza, Lake Placid

Children & Families Committee Meeting
September 19:  11:30 am - 1 pm

Contact CLMHD for all Call In and Go To Meeting information, 518.462.9422 
OPWDD Acting Commissioner Delaney's Message on the Approval of an HCBS Waiver Amendment

Dear Friends and Colleagues, 


As part of the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities' (OPWDD) continuing efforts to enhance the service delivery system for New Yorkers with intellectual and developmental disabilities, I am pleased to announce the approval by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) of a Home and Community-Based Services Waiver amendment.  

Passage of this amendment will help people living in the community who need nursing services such as medication administration to be supported in a way that helps them take part in community life. The amendment allows providers of HCBS waiver services to be approved or certified to provide delegated nursing services to individuals in private homes or other community settings that are not certified by OPWDD.  Read more  here.
Public Members Appointed to New Federal Effort To Address Serious Mental Illness

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced today the appointment of national experts to guide a new initiative to better serve Americans with serious mental illness.

The Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee (ISMICC) was established by the 21st Century Cures Act to improve federal coordination of efforts that address the pressing needs of adults with serious mental illness and children and youth with serious emotional disturbance.  Individuals with these conditions too often lack access to evidence-based treatment and supports and experience high rates of suicide, unemployment, homelessness, criminal justice involvement and other negative outcomes.

The ISMICC is composed of senior leaders from ten federal agencies including HHS, the Departments of Justice, Labor, Veteran Affairs, Defense, Housing and Urban Development, Education, Labor and the Social Security Administration along with 14 non-federal public members.  Read more here.
OMH Managed Care Update - August 2017

The August 2017 update includes information on the following:
  • Adult BH HCBS Rate Increases Announced
  • VBP University
  • Release of Children's System Transformation MCO Requirements and Standards
  • NYAPRS Peer-to-Peer Presentations: Kick-Off Webinar
  • Assisting with HARP Enrollment: Guidance for Providers
Click here to read the update.
Cost Savings Unclear for Medicaid Alternative Payment Models
Medicaid alternative payment models and healthcare costs
Alongside Medicare and private payers, states are making the switch to value-based reimbursement, but states and independent researchers have yet to demonstrate the impact of Medicaid alternative payment models on healthcare costs and patient outcomes, a recent Deloitte  analysis of 45 models across 28 states revealed.

"Although many state initiatives are underway, relatively few have been evaluated for their impact on total cost of care or health outcomes," wrote researchers. "One reason may be that many initiatives are relatively new and there has not been sufficient time to observe full program effects. The cost and complexity of conducting formal evaluations also may be a limiting factor."

The literature review of Medicaid alternative payment models uncovered that state value-based reimbursement initiatives are primarily centered on patient-center medical homes (PCMHs), Medicaid Home Health models, accountable care organizations (ACOs), and bundled payments.

However, evidence was limited on how effective the four Medicaid alternative payment models were with reducing healthcare costs and improving care quality. A recent  initiative to catalog alternative payment model evaluations from across payers showed that less than 5 percent of publicly-available evaluations were for state Medicaid programs.  Read more here.
SAMHSA Releases New Behavioral Health Barometers Provide In-Depth Data for All 50 States and DC

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released the fourth edition of its Behavioral Health Barometer state reports that provide a powerful overview of behavioral health in each state and the District of Columbia (DC). Each report includes data about key behavioral health issues such as the prevalence of substance use, serious thoughts of suicide, serious mental illness, and related treatment, as well as their comparisons with the corresponding national annual averages.

The Barometer state reports also include analyses using several demographic categories such as gender, age, income level, health insurance status and race/ethnicity. These data representations can help decision makers identify behavioral health differences among these groups. Information such as this can assist in developing programs to address potential health disparities.   Click here   to read New York's report.  Continue article here.
Public Hospitals Treat Greater Share of Mental Health Patients

It has grown into a grim ritual of late in New York City: a burst of violence in which a person with mental illness is the victim or aggressor, followed by the city mapping out breakdowns in care and pledging to stitch the safety net tighter.

But the late stages of a sick person's struggle - medications missed, doctors' declining last-minute appointments, hospitals that discharge patients with little follow-up care - are often only a coda to years of moving between home and a hospital bed.

A new report shows that those patients are being cared for more and more by the city's strained public hospital system, as financial pressures on some private hospitals drive them to divert psychiatric patients and close beds.

The number of mental health admissions at public city hospitals increased sharply over the five years ending in 2014, even as private hospitals shed psychiatric inpatients over the same period, according to the report, released last month by the city's Independent Budget Office. The share of beds that public hospitals designated for psychiatric patients was more than three times greater than in private hospitals.

The report, providing a fresh look at a longstanding issue, points to the slow churn of change in mental health care.  Read more here.
Hospitals Are Clogged With Patients Struggling With Opioids

Recent research on hospitalizations related to opioid use depicts a problem of increasing urgency.   According to a series of government briefs published this year, nearly 1.3 million hospitalizations involving opioids occurred in the United States in 2014. The figure includes hospitalizations for abuse of both prescription and illegal drugs, including heroin.   The numbers reflect a 64 percent increase in inpatient stays and a doubling in emergency room visits related to opioids since 2005.

The reports, based on data collected from hospital bills, also analyzed opioid hospitalizations by state, sex, age and characteristics of the communities in which patients lived.   Over all, the data show that "there is no immunity to the opioid problem," said Anne Elixhauser, a senior research scientist at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality , which published the briefs.  Read more here.
Hospitals Could Do More For Survivors Of Opioid Overdoses, Study Suggests

To get a sense of how severe the opioid crisis is in the U.S., you can look at the number of fatal overdoses - more than 33,000 in 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That means, on average, 91 people are dying after overdosing on opioids each day. And for every fatal overdose, there are believed to be roughly 30 nonfatal overdoses.

Clinicians and researchers trying to get a handle on the epidemic look at those nonfatal experiences as opportunities to jump in and figure out whether there is overprescribing going on or whether the patient needs help getting treatment for an addiction. But a paper  published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, suggests such interventions don't happen often enough.  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.