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June 21, 2017

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

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Francine Sinkoff, Editor

What Health Plans Are Looking For?  Hint: It's Not A Bigger Provider Network

A couple weeks ago at The 2017 OPEN MINDS Strategy and Innovation Institute, I had the opportunity to hear from two health plan executives about what they are looking for from provider organizations. Most interesting to hear was what they were not looking for - more contracted provider organizations. What they are looking for is provider partnerships that improve performance: in terms of consumer outcomes, access to service, HEDIS measures, and financial alignment.

Speaking to this trend, I heard from Matthew O. Hurford, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, Community Care Behavioral Health Organization and Alyssa L. Rose, JD/MSW, Director, Network Strategy, Beacon Health Options during the session,  Finding New Opportunities With Health Plans: How To Market To Managed Care, led by OPEN MINDS Senior Associate, Steve Ramsland Ed.D.

From the perspective of Dr. Hurford there are three keys to contracting with health plans-clarity, alignment, and flexibility. Read more here.
AARP: States Lag In Keeping Medicaid Enrollees Out Of Nursing Homes 

States are making tepid progress helping millions of elderly and disabled people on Medicaid avoid costly nursing home care by arranging home or community services for them instead, according to an AARP report released Wednesday.

"Although most states have experienced modest improvements over time, the pace of change is not keeping up with demographic demands," said the report, which compared states' efforts to improve long-term care services over the past several years. AARP's first two reports on the subject were in 2011 and 2014.

The organization ranked state performance on long-term care benchmarks such as supply of home health aides, nursing home costs, long nursing home stays, the employment rate of people with disabilities and support for working caregivers.

With 10,000 people a day turning 65 and the eldest baby boomers beginning to turn 80 in 2026, the demand for long-term care services is expected to soar in coming years.  Read more here.
Treating Patients with Opioid Disorders is Not Just About Treating Addiction - Here's Why

Patients with opioid use disorder are much more likely than the general population to have a host of other health conditions, including hepatitis C, post-traumatic stress disorder, and anxiety.

That's according to a new  analysis from health care company Amino, which culled data from the claims of 3.1 million privately insured patients between 2014 and 2016. It calculated the frequency of a slew of health conditions - from back pain to binge drinking - in patients diagnosed with opioid use disorder.   Then, it compared those rates to the general patient population.  Read more here.


June 28, 2 - 3 pm, Behavioral Healthcare Executive

June 29, 2 - 3 pm, National Council for Behavioral Health

June 29, 2 - 3:15 pm, National Association of Counties

June 29, 6:30 - 9 pm, CO*RE / ASAM

July 12, 1 - 2 pm, Behavioral Healthcare Executive

July 18, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

July 19, 1 - 2:30 pm, Manatt Health

August 16, 3 - 4:30 pm, Rural Behavioral Health


JULY 2017

CLMHD Office Closed
July 3 - 4:  Independence Day 

Officers, Chairs & Regional Reps Call
July 5:  8 - 9 am

Mental Health Committee Meeting
July 13:  11 am - 12:30 pm, GTM

Chemical Dependency Committee Meeting
July 14:  11 am - 12:30 pm, GTM

Children & Families Committee Meeting
July 18:  11:30 am - 1 pm, GTM

Directors & Executive Committee Meeting
July 19:  9:30 am - 12:30 pm, GTM

CSPOA / DOH / OMH Monthly Call
July 20:  3 - 4 pm, GTM

Contact CLMHD for all Call In and Go To Meeting information, 518.462.9422 
CLMHD 2017 Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) Instructor Certification Program - Now Accepting Applications!

As part of our efforts to reduce the stigma of mental illness and expand the number of people trained to teach Youth Mental Health First Aid, the Conference is once again providing scholarships for to up to 30 individuals throughout the state to participate in a 5-day YMHFA Instructor Certification program.
The program will be offered the week of October 23, 2017 in Albany, NY.  CLMHD will cover the cost of the training, materials, travel, meals and lodging for attendees.  A "blended training" will once again be offered for those already trained as Adult MHFA instructors - these individuals will only need to attend the first 2.5 days of the training.
If you or someone you know is interested in applying, click  here  for the application. Completed applications are to be submitted to your county's Director of Community Services (DCS) for approval, and will then be forwarded to CLMHD for review by an advisory committee.  Individuals will be notified of their selection by mid-September, and must commit to the requirements established by the committee.    For more information, please contact Francine Sinkoff at CLMHD at or 518-462-9422.
Governor Cuomo Launches Second Phase of Unprecedented $20 Billion Housing Plan to Provide Affordable and Supportive Housing

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo earlier this week announced the second phase of a historic $20 billion five-year  plan  for the creation or preservation of 100,000 affordable and 6,000 supportive housing units. State agencies issued three separate Requests for Proposals  to provide more than $650 million in capital funding and $30 million in service and operating funding for supportive housing. 

New York leads the nation in affordable housing preservation and construction. The State Fiscal Year 2018 Enacted Budget continues funding to advance Governor Cuomo's $20 billion comprehensive, five-year plan for affordable and supportive housing to ensure New Yorkers have access to safe and secure housing. The Budget includes $2.5 billion in funding toward the creation or preservation of 100,000 affordable and 6,000 supportive housing units.  

The first RFP, developed by the Governor's Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative Interagency workgroup, will provide service and operating funding for at least 1,200 units of supportive housing for homeless persons with special needs, conditions or other challenges.  Read more here.
New York City's StreetSmart App Feeds into Single Citywide Database for Homelessness

New York City is rolling out an app called StreetSmart, which enables homelessness outreach workers in all five boroughs to communicate and log data seamlessly in real time while in the field.

City officials estimate there about 400 people who work daily with homeless individuals in New York, interacting and collecting data about their situations and needs. With StreetSmart, these workers will be able to enter that information into a single citywide database as they collect it, a stark contrast to the prior system, which saw individual outreach workers keeping their own files in systems that were generally not interconnected.

StreetSmart presents a particularly useful set of benefits for efforts in New York, where it is not uncommon for individuals to move between boroughs, meaning outreach workers run the risk of duplicating each other's work. Read more here.

The first 1,000 days of a child's life  are a critical window for cognitive, physical, and social development.  Exposure to adverse experiences during this period and beyond in early childhood dramatically increases the potential for lifelong poor health and social outcomes. This in turn can result in substantially increased health care costs across an individual's life span. Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) - including neglect, abuse, exposure to violence, family dysfunction, etc. - also drive negative social outcomes, such as involvement in the juvenile justice system and poor school
performance, often leading to poor health consequences later in life.  Read more here .
In Just One Year, Nearly 1.3 Million Americans Needed Hospital Care for Opioid- Related Issues

The coast-to-coast opioid epidemic is swamping hospitals, with  government data published Tuesday showing 1.27 million emergency room visits or inpatient stays for opioid-related issues in a single year.
The 2014 numbers, the latest available for every state and the District of Columbia, reflect a 64 percent increase for inpatient care and a 99 percent jump for emergency room treatment compared to figures from 2005. Their trajectory likely will keep climbing if the epidemic continues unabated.

The report, released by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), puts Maryland at the very top of the national list for inpatient care. The state, already struggling with overdoses from heroin and prescription opioids, has seen the spread of the synthetic opioid fentanyl, which can be mixed with heroin or cocaine and is extraordinarily powerful. Gov. Larry Hogan (R) this year declared a state of emergency
in response to the crisis.  Read more here.
Data's Critical Role in Reversing Opioid Epidemic - Cincinnati, OH

An app like the one Cincinnati has created to track heroin overdoses can help first reponders and others deploy their resources more effectively.

The opioid addiction crisis rampaging across the country hit my home city of Cincinnati with a terrible fury last summer. In one sweltering week in August, our first responders were deluged with emergency calls to deal with a record 174 overdoses of heroin. Worse, this heroin often was (and still is) laced with carfentanil, a synthetic opioid designed to render elephants unconscious.

The sad reality, of course, is that Cincinnati is by no means unique. Our 2016 spike was just one piece of a scourge afflicting cities, towns and r ural areas across the country.  These heart-breaking maps  of American deaths due to overdose, created by our data-platform partner Socrata, illustrate the vast scope and rapid growth of the epidemic since 2002. Our efforts to reverse this expansion require the involvement not only of first responders but of public and private institutions across our communities.
Read more here.
The Smartphone Psychiatrist
Frustrated by the failures in his field, Tom Insel, a former director of the National Institute of Mental Health, is now trying to reduce the world's anguish through the devices in people's pockets.

Sometime around 2010, about two-thirds of the way through his 13 years at the helm of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)-the world's largest mental-health research institution-Tom Insel started speaking with unusual frankness about how both psychiatry and his own institute were failing to help the mentally ill. Insel, runner-trim, quietly alert, and constitutionally diplomatic, did not rant about this. It's not in him. You won't hear him trash-talk colleagues or critics.

Yet within the bounds of his unbroken civility, Insel began voicing something between a regret and an indictment. In writings and public talks, he lamented the pharmaceutical industry's failure to develop effective new drugs for depression, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia; academic psychiatry's overly cozy relationship with Big Pharma; and the paucity of treatments produced by the billions of dollars the NIMH had spent during his tenure.  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.