Ulster County Executive Ryan Announces Mobile Mental Health Team is Up and Running

As a part of National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, County Executive Ryan announced that the Mobile Mental Health Team now includes a full-time social worker available to respond to 911 calls based out of the County’s 911 Center. Through the 2021 Executive Budget, $900,000 in funding was allocated to expand the Mobile Mental Health Team. The increase allowed for the hiring of a full-time social worker to be located at the 911 Emergency Center. Residents who are experiencing a mental health crisis who call 911 will now be met with a trained trauma-informed emergency response. Read more here.
Funds to Aid Regional Efforts to Address Opioid Epidemic

UTICA — Addiction services providers in the region will soon receive a much-needed boost of funding to support their critical work in addressing the opioid epidemic, thanks to a $1.48 million grant from the New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports.

The Mohawk Valley Behavioral Health Care Collaborative and the South Central Behavioral Health Care Collaborative, soon to be one merged organization, will use this funding to strengthen their prevention, treatment, and recovery care services throughout 11 counties: Broome, Cortland, Chenango, Delaware, Fulton, Herkimer, Madison, Montgomery, Otsego, Schoharie, and Tompkins. Read more here.
Research Highlight: NIMH Addresses Critical Need for Rapid-Acting Interventions for Severe Suicide Risk

Suicide rates have been steadily rising in the U.S. for the past two decades. While recent progress has been made in bending the curve in this trajectory, much work remains to be done to save lives. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has been working to meet the urgent need for rapid-acting suicide prevention interventions by supporting research investigating the feasibility and safety of treatment protocols that have the potential to quickly reduce severe suicide risk in youth and adults.

Research shows that up to 80% of people who die by suicide visit health care settings in the year before their death, and about a fifth of people who die by suicide are seen in a health care setting within the week of their death. Despite advances in psychiatric treatments and psychosocial interventions that reduce repeat suicide attempts, there remain few evidence-based interventions that rapidly reduce suicide risk within healthcare settings. Read more here.
FCC COVID-19 Telehealth Program Application Portal To Open April 29

The FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau will begin accepting applications for Round 2 of the COVID-19 Telehealth Program on Thursday, April 29 at Noon (EST). The filing window will last seven calendar days and close on Thursday, May 6 at Noon (EST). There is $249.95 million available. Application may be accessed here.

Applicants must obtain an eligibility determination for the lead health care provider listed on the application via an FCC Form 460. All round 2 applicants must have a health care provider number assigned to them by USAC at the beginning of the FCC Form 460 application process before they can apply.

Examples of eligible services and connected devices:
  • Telecommunications Services and Broadband Connectivity Services: Voice services and Internet connectivity services for health care providers or their patients. These expenses are eligible for up to 12 months of funding. 
  • Information Services: Remote patient monitoring platforms and services; patient reported outcome platforms; store and forward services, such as asynchronous transfer of patient images and data for interpretation by a physician; platforms and services to provide synchronous video consultation. These expenses are eligible for up to 12 months of funding. 
  • Connected Devices: Tablets, smart phones, or connected devices to provide telehealth services (e.g., broadband, Wi-Fi, or Bluetooth enabled blood pressure monitors; pulse-oximeters) for patient or health care provider use; telemedicine kiosks/carts for health care provider site. General office scanners and printers are not considered connected devices for purposes of this Program.


April 26, 2 - 3:30 pm, NASMHPD

April 27, 10 - 11:30 am, OMH

April 27, 1 - 2:30 pm, SAMHSA

April 27, 2 - 3:30 pm, National Council for Behavioral Health

April 28, 12 - 1:30 pm, Suicide Prevention Center of NYS

April 28, 1 - 2:30 pm, COSSAP

April 28, 2 - 3:30 pm, NASMHPD

April 28, 3 - 4:15 pm, FORE

April 28, 3 - 4:30 pm, CMS

April 29, 1:30 - 3 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

April 29, 3 - 4:30 pm, National Council for Behavioral Health

April 30, 2:30 - 4 pm, SAMHSA

May 4, 3 - 4 pm, Mother Cabrini Health Foundation

May 6, 3 - 4 pm, OMH

May 7, 1 - 2:30 pm, CSH

May 13, 1 - 2 pm, OMH

May 13, 1:30 - 3 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

May 18, 2:30 - 4 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

May 19, 11 am - 12 pm, OMH

May 26, 10 - 11 am, OMH

May 27, 2 - 4 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center


Executive Committee Meeting
May 5: 8 - 9 am, GTM

LGU Billing Staff Call
May 6: 2 - 3 pm, GTM

LGU Clinic Operators Call
May 11: 10 - 11:30 am, GTM

CLMHD Spring Full Membership Business Meeting
May 11: 2 - 5 pm, GTM

Addiction Services & Recovery Committee Meeting
May 13: 11 am - 12 pm, GTM

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

911 Diversion: Blueprint for Supporting Individuals in Mental Health Crisis
May 20: 10 - 11:30 am, Zoom

CLMHD Offices Closed - Memorial Day
May 31

Contact CLMHD for all Call In and GoToMeeting (GTM) information, 518.462.9422 
NYS OASAS Announces More Than $200,000 to Expand Mobile Addiction Treatment On Long Island

The New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS) on Tuesday announced the award of $208,554 to Central Nassau Guidance and Counseling Services for a new mobile addiction treatment van. The funding is being administered by OASAS and was awarded to New York State through the federal State Opioid Response grant. The “Hope Rides Here” mobile treatment unit is a renovated 144-square foot box truck which contains an onboard exam table, medical refrigeration, workstation, restroom, and waiting area. Read more here.
Can New York Reform Its Responses to People in Mental Health Crises?

When officers from the Rochester Police Department arrived on the scene of a family dispute involving a 9-year-old girl in emotional distress in January, a brand-new tool was at the city’s disposal: Rochester’s new Person in Crisis team. Launched earlier that month, the PIC team was created as an alternative response to mental health, substance abuse and other emergency calls that would normally involve police or paramedics. Instead of police officers being the first responders to these calls – and risking the potential that the encounter could escalate into a violent one, as was the case in the death of Daniel Prude in Rochester last year – a two-person team of crisis intervention counselors and social workers would show up with the aim of de-escalating, assessing what level of care the person in crisis needed and helping to connect the person to the relevant resources, such as a mental health urgent care center.

The PIC team was not dispatched that January day, however. Because the original call to 911 was to report a stolen car within the family, not a child in distress who was suicidal, it didn’t trigger a PIC team response.
Read more here.

Ortt & Hawley Announce Dwyer Budget Success

Last week, New York State Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt was joined by Assemblyman Steve Hawley, Orleans County Chairwoman Lynne Johnson, and Orleans County Veterans Services Director Nancy Traxler in announcing over half of a million dollars in New York’s 2021-2022 fiscal budget for the Joseph P. Dwyer Veterans Peer to Peer Program.

The final enacted budget for the 2021-2022 fiscal year included $4,505,000 for the Dwyer Program across New York State, with $185,000 allocated for Niagara County, $185,000 for Monroe County, and $185,000 for Orleans, Genesee, and Wyoming Counties. Read more here.
Peer Workers, Better Outcome Measures Key to Successful Value-Based Care in Behavioral Health

Behavioral health proponents often tout value-based care as an efficient way for providers to deliver better services, giving them the chance to be paid based on the quality outcomes they produce for patients rather than the historically low fee-for-services reimbursement rates they typically receive.

The payment model has picked up steam in recent years, as new federal rules have modernized statutes and laws in an attempt to reduce obstacles to value-based payment and care coordination. Plus, the coronavirus has accelerated things further, reinforcing behavioral health’s role in improving overall health outcomes and lowering total care costs.

But not all value-based care models and adoption practices are created equal. Read more here.
Mott Poll Report: How Has the COVID-19 Pandemic Affected Teen Mental Health?

With teens relying heavily on their friends and social connections for emotional support, the restrictions imposed to contain COVID-19 are especially hard on them. The C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health asked a national sample of parents about the emotional impact pandemic restrictions have had on their teens aged 13 to 18.

In the poll, 46% of 977 parents of teens said their child has shown signs of a new or worsening mental health condition since the start of the pandemic. In addition, 3 in 4 parents say COVID-19 has had a negative impact on their teens being able to interact with friends. Also, 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 5 boys have experienced new or worsening anxiety since March 2020, and half of parents have relaxed family rules to allow their teen more contact with friends. Read more here.

USDA Distance Learning & Telemedicine Grant Program

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced a Distance Learning and Telemedicine grant program to help rural communities utilize telecommunications for education or health care purposes. Eligible applicants can receive up to $1 million and include state and local governmental entities, federally recognized tribes, non-profits, for-profit businesses, and consortia of eligible entities. Learn more and register for a webinar on April 20th from 2:00 to 3:30 pm ET.
Addressing Social Risk Factors In Value-Based Payment: Adjusting Payment Not Performance To Optimize Outcomes and Fairness

As payers are increasingly holding providers financially accountable for outcomes under value-based payment arrangements, there is growing concern that organizations caring for populations with greater social risk factors are unfairly penalized. Those voicing this concern often suggest that it is necessary to adjust performance scores for social risk factors to fairly assess and reward providers caring for populations with differing levels of socioeconomic vulnerability. The underlying premise is that achieving favorable outcomes for patients with greater social risk is more difficult or requires different resources than achieving the same level of outcomes in a more socially advantaged population. Other observers object to adjusting performance scores for social risk factors, seeing this as excusing or accepting of lower-quality care being delivered to socially at-risk populations and as masking lower performance with statistical adjustments. Read more here.
“Change Happens at the Speed of Trust”: OFR Forum Raises Profile of Winning Strategy in Battle Against Substance Abuse

Overdose fatality reviews (OFRs)—confidential death reviews conducted by multidisciplinary teams to identify system gaps and improve overdose prevention and intervention strategies—had a moment in February. A big one.

The 2021 Virtual National Forum on Overdose
Fatality Review (OFR), cohosted by the Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Program (COSSAP) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), turned out to be COSSAP’s largest—and by every measure most successful—online event to date. More to the point, one would be hard-pressed to identify any event that has better demonstrated the value of OFRs to a larger audience of stakeholders capable of incorporating them into local strategies to combat substance abuse. Read more here.
Register to Attend "What's Great In Our State" 2021

Click here to register for the Honoree Recognition Event, scheduled for May 4, 2021.
Clinical Documentation – When Its Good, It’s OK. When It's Bad, It’s Very Bad. 

Effective clinical documentation has been a challenge for decades. But how does it matter and what can be done about it? A panel of provider organization and health plan experts did a deeper dive during the session, Improving The Quality & Timeliness Of Clinical Documentation: A Best Practices Discussion, at our OPEN MINDS Technology & Analytics Institute last month. We heard from the Mental Health Association of South Central Kansas’ Chief Executive Officer, Mary Jones, and Clinical Liaison, Bailey Blair. The panel included expert perspectives from three OPEN MINDS Senior Associates—Cathy Gilbert (formerly Vice President II, Network Development at Magellan Healthcare and Assistant Vice President of Network Operations at Beacon Health Options); Carol Clayton, Ph.D. (formerly Executive Director for the North Carolina Council of Community Programs and Executive Director for Magellan Behavioral Health); and Lisa Strazzante (formerly Director of Client Engagement and Advocacy for Optum). 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.

Affiliated with the NYS Association of Counties (NYSAC)