May 12, 2022
Hundreds of Suicidal Teens Sleep in Emergency Rooms. Every Night.

On a rainy Thursday evening last spring, a 15-year-old girl was rushed by her parents to the emergency department at Boston Children’s Hospital. She had marks on both wrists from self-harm and a recent suicide attempt, and earlier that day she confided to her pediatrician that she planned to try again.

At the E.R., a doctor examined her and explained to her parents that she was not safe to go home.

“But I need to be honest with you about what’s likely to unfold,” the doctor added. The best place for adolescents in distress was not a hospital but an inpatient treatment center, where individual and group therapy would be provided in a calmer, communal setting, to stabilize the teens and ease them back to real life. But there were no openings in any of the treatment centers in the region, the doctor said. Read more here.

Additional articles of interest: Teens in Distress Are Swamping Pediatricians
Governor Hochul Signs Legislation to Provide Addiction and Mental Health Services Training for First Responders

Governor Kathy Hochul today signed legislation S.07144/A.07686 providing addiction and mental health services training, including crisis intervention team training, mental health first aid, implicit bias and naloxone training, to firefighters and emergency medical services personnel in regions where crisis stabilization centers are located.

This bill will ensure that the appropriate emergency services personnel complete the most up-to-date training in issues related to addiction and mental health issues. Read more here.
How Robust Care Coordination Can Help Us Deliver Effective Behavioral Health Crisis Care

Currently, there are approximately 200 regional crisis centers across the U.S. that will be required to field calls via 988 by the impending July 16, 2022, deadline. However, for states and local governments already facing a plethora of public health challenges due to the lingering effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond, identifying where to start is a daunting task.

To make the vision of the 988 lifeline a reality and a success, the best starting point is to implement a behavioral health crisis response system that can coordinate services effectively and ensure that teams and technologies can closely interact and cooperate with each other. These services include dispatching, appointment scheduling, hospital bed registry and more. Read more here.
National Addiction Treatment Locator Has Outdated Data and Other Critical Flaws

At a psychiatric hospital in Michigan, Dr. Cara Poland’s patients were handed a sheet of paper to find follow-up care.

The hospital had entered local ZIP codes on a website — run by the nation’s top substance use and mental health agency — and printed the resulting list of providers for patients to call.

But her patients who tried to use it often hit a wall, Poland said. They’d call a number only to find it disconnected, or they’d learn that a facility wasn’t accepting new patients, or that the clinician had retired or moved. Read more here.
End of COVID-19 Emergency Endangers Substance Use Treatment

Members of vulnerable and hard-to-reach groups could find it more difficult to get treatment for substance use disorders if the end of the public health emergency also brings the end of policies that allow health care providers to prescribe medications through video or audio calls, experts say.

In the two years since the COVID-19 pandemic has begun, the Drug Enforcement Administration has allowed providers to prescribe the gold-standard addiction treatment to patients with opioid use disorder through telehealth without first doing an in-person evaluation that addiction experts say is a barrier to underserved communities. Read more here.
Measuring What Matters: Opportunities for States

States are keenly interested in supporting person-driven care for people with serious or complex health status and have a range of policy levers to do so. NASHP research indicates that the following areas of policy may offer states particular opportunities to support the adoption of PDO measures and better track the “person-centeredness” of the care received by people with serious or complex care needs:

Home and Community Based Services (HCBS): HCBS, primarily authorized through Medicaid 1915(c) waivers, provide a range of services and supports to people with nursing-home level care needs, so they can remain at home and in less-restrictive care settings. Read more here.
CHCS Brief: Integrated Care Planning for Medicaid Members with Complex Needs: Lessons from MassHealth

Integrated, cross-organizational care teams can offer high-quality care for people with complex health and social needs — individuals who often encounter fragmented health and social service systems. This interdisciplinary approach places individuals at the center of their care, ensuring coordination across multiple providers, health systems, and community-based organizations. This brief outlines lessons from the Center for Health Care Strategies’ MassHealth Care Planning Learning Collaborative, where Massachusetts Accountable Care Organizations and Community Partners integrated care planning across their organizations to improve care for Medicaid members with complex needs.
Measuring Performance—Data Integration Matters

Most provider organization executive teams don’t have an option for what performance metrics they report to their payers—whether states, counties, employers, Medicaid, Medicare, or health plans. The challenge is that those measures are not the same from one payer to the next—at last count, more than 500 different measures of behavioral health performance alone. And those measures can change—as payers’ areas of focus and policies change.

For most organizations, coping operationally with the wide range of metrics requested by payers depends on having the right framework for data collection and the right reporting platform. Read more here.
Senators Seek to Reauthorize Mental Health Reforms, Grants in Latest Bid to Improve Access

A bipartisan duo of senators introduced legislation Monday to reauthorize a series of mental health and substance abuse programs expected to expire later this year. The Mental Health Reform Reauthorization Act of 2022 would reauthorize key block grant programs, expand access to pediatric mental health and aims to boost the mental health workforce. The legislation would reauthorize key programs passed in 2016 under the 21st Century Cures Act.

“While we had already recognized the need for further improvement of these programs in the interim, the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Americans’ mental health has further informed our approach to reauthorization,” according to a fact sheet on the legislation. Read more here.
DOH Issues Enacted New York State Budget Medicaid Presentation

The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) Office of Health Insurance Programs held an All-Stakeholder 2022-2023 Enacted Medicaid Budget Briefing Webinar on Thursday, April 26, 2022. Materials from this Webinar, including a copy of the slide presentation and a link to the recording, have been posted on the NYSDOH Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT) Budget Information Web page here.
Governor Hochul Announces New Watchdog Bureau to Tackle Prescription Drug Costs

Governor Kathy Hochul on Wednesday announced the first-in-the-nation approach to bring much needed oversight to Pharmacy Benefit Managers with the creation of the Department of Financial Services' Pharmacy Benefits Bureau. Pharmacy Benefit Managers are key intermediaries in the prescription drug supply chain that have, without regulatory oversight, long controlled the price of drugs for health plans and reimbursement rates for pharmacies. The new bureau will be tasked with licensing and supervising the industry, keeping a watchful eye on Pharmacy Benefit Managers' impact on consumers and the cost of health care. Read more here.
HHS Launches New Maternal Mental Health Hotline

On May 6, the U.S. Health and Human Services Department’s Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announced the launch of the Maternal Mental Health Hotline, a new, confidential, toll-free hotline for expecting and new moms experiencing mental health challenges. With an initial $3 million investment, the hotline will launch on Mother’s Day, May 8, 2022, with counselors available to provide mental health support. The President’s Fiscal Year 2023 Budget would more than double this initial investment, allowing HRSA to expand the Maternal Mental Health Hotline’s expert staffing and build additional capacity in its future phases. Read more here.

May 12, 2 - 3 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

May 16, 1 - 3 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

May 17, 10 - 11:30 am, NYAPRS

May 17, 12 - 1:30 pm, CCSI

May 17, 1 - 2 pm, OPEN MINDS

May 17, 1:30 - 3:30 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

May 18, 12:30 - 3:45 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

May 18, 2 - 3 pm, OMH

May 18, 2 - 3 pm, HANYS

May 18, 2 - 3 pm, NASMHPD

May 19, 1 - 2 pm, Qualifacts

May 19, 2 - 3 pm, Center for Health Care Strategies

May 20, 1 - 2:15 pm, Center for Health Care Strategies

May 23, 2 - 3:30 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

May 24, 1 - 2:30 pm, OMH

May 24, 2 - 3:15 pm, CSG Justice Center

May 25, 1 - 2 pm, Camden Coalition for Complex Care

May 25, 1 - 2 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

May 25, 5:30 - 7 pm, NYAPRS

May 26, 10 - 11:30 am, OMH


Developmental Disabilities Committee Meeting
May 12: 1 - 2:30 pm

Mental Health Committee Meeting
May 12: 3 - 4 pm

Regional Reps Call
May 18: 8:30 - 9 am

CLMHD Membership Call
May 18: 9 - 10:30 am

Children & Families Committee Meeting
May 17: 11:30 am - 1 pm

CLMHD Office Closed - Memorial Day
May 30


Executive Committee Call
June 1: 8 - 9 am

AOT Coordinators Meeting
June 3: 10 - 11:30 am

Addiction Services & Recovery Committee Meeting
June 9: 11 am - 12 pm

Mental Health Committee Meeting
June 9: 3 - 4 pm

LGU Clinic Directors Meeting
June 14: 10 - 11:30 am

CLMHD Membership Call
June 15: 9 - 10:30 am

Mental Hygiene Planning Committee Meeting
June 16: 1 - 3 pm

CLMHD Office Closed - Juneteenth
June 20

Children & Families Committee Meeting
June 21: 11:30 am - 1 pm
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)