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November 8, 2019

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

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Francine Sinkoff, Editor

New York judge sets opioid crisis trial for January

Clarkson University Researchers Seeking Individuals for Study of Mental Health Care Services in St. Lawrence County

State mandated addiction treatment in jails contested by county lawmakers - St. Lawrence

New drug trends reach Clinton County

Northwinds awarded grant to bolster opioid crisis response - Franklin

Jefferson County officials worry about bail reform

Local impact of bail reform - Capital Region

New bail reform laws likely to change the face of Bronx 'Opioid Court' - NYC

Overdoses Lead To Alert For Fentanyl-Laced Heroin In Area - Ulster

Opioid epidemic has deep roots - Sullivan

Cayuga County participates in study to help curb opioid overdose deaths

Bail reform: 200 inmates to be released from the Monroe County Jail in December

Steuben Prevention Coalition receives Drug Free Communities Award

Cheektowaga Police program tackles mental health issues - Erie

NYS OASAS Announces Award of Funding to Establish New Opioid Treatment Program in Chautauqua County
CMS Announces Approval of Groundbreaking Demonstration to Expand Access to Behavioral Health Treatment

On Wednesday the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the approval of a first-of-its-kind Medicaid demonstration project that broadens treatment services available to Medicaid beneficiaries living in the District of Columbia ("the District") diagnosed with serious mental illness (SMI) and/or serious emotional disturbance (SED).  At the same time, CMS is approving the District's request to begin providing new services for its beneficiaries diagnosed with substance use disorder (SUD). 

The District is the first in the nation to receive federal approval of the new SMI/SED opportunity since the Trump Administration issued  a letter describing the opportunity to state Medicaid Directors in late 2018 . The SMI/SED section 1115 demonstrations will allow state Medicaid programs to overcome a longstanding payment exclusion which will, in turn, allow them to treat individuals with SMI who are short-term residents in settings that qualify as institutions for mental disease (IMD). The District is also taking advantage of CMS's demonstration opportunity that offers similar flexibilities for Medicaid beneficiaries diagnosed with opioid use disorder (OUD) or other SUDs. Read more here.

For Young People With Psychosis, Early Intervention Is Crucial

CDC: Childhood Trauma Is A Public Health Issue And We Can Do More To Prevent It

Uber expands ride donation program to 12 cities in North America

New Method for Tracking Self-Injury and Suicide IDs Risk Factors

There's 'Scarce Evidence' to Suggest Cannabis Improves Mental Health Symptoms, a New Research Review Says

New Workplace Violence Training Program Focuses on Healthcare Settings

Walmart, Doctor on Demand join forces in primary care telemedicine deal
OPWDD's Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities Awarded $1.95 Million NIH Grant to Study Rare Diseases

The New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities' (OPWDD) Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities (IBR) has received a $1.95 million grant, for a five-year period, from the National Institute of Health's National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) to support IBR physician-scientist Gholson Lyon, MD, PhD, in his research on rare diseases. The grant is part of the NIGMS's Maximizing Investigators' Research Award for Early Stage Investigators initiative, which provides science investigators who have demonstrated ability to make major contributions to medical science the freedom to embark on ambitious, creative, and/or longer-term research projects.

Dr. Lyon plans to expand his studies related to the discovery and genetic characterization of rare human diseases. Among these diseases are ones involving severe developmental delay and physical malformations, such as Ogden syndrome. Read more here.
Healthify Raises $16M to Curate Social-Services Networks
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Healthify, which helps coordinate referrals to social-services nonprofits, said Monday it has raised $16 million in a Series B round to expand its client base.  The company links insurance companies to networks of community organizations that address the social determinants of health, which include access to nutritious food, housing and transportation.

Its software allows health plans to see whether their members followed through on a referral to a food pantry, for example, and provides community groups with data showing how their services affect health outcomes.

"Everyone in the network can have visibility of what happened," said Manik Bhat, Healthify's co-founder and CEO. "It can help insurers determine where is the best return on investment"

Healthify, which is based in Chelsea, has about 50 U.S. employees and plans to grow to 80 in the next six months, with an emphasis on hiring in sales, marketing and business development. Read more here.

Using PSYCKES for Clinicians
November 12, 1 - 2 pm, OMH

PSYCKES New Features Training Webinar
November 13, 11 am - 12 pm, OMH

Health in Rural America: Innovative Solutions to Address Disparities
November 13, 2 - 3:30 pm, The National Institute for Health Care Management (NIHCM)

Making an Impact: Using Telehealth to Address Social Determinants of Health for Medicaid Members
November 13, 2:30 - 3:30 pm, Medicaid Health Plans of America

Trauma-Informed Care to Support Tobacco Cessation in Individuals Diagnosed with PTSD 
November 13, 3 - 4 pm, National Council for Behavioral Health

Data Sharing in Human Services to End Homelessness - Challenges and Solutions
November 14, 3 - 4 pm, Corporation for Supportive Housing

Physical Health Monitoring for Diverse Populations with Serious Mental Illness: Opportunity to Fill Gaps in Care
November 15, 12 - 1 pm, SAMHSA

Financial Focus: Eligibility, Authorization & Credentialing Best Practices
November 18, 3 - 3:50 pm, National Council for Behavioral Health

Enable Access to Client-Level Data in PSYCKES
November 19, 10 - 11 am, OMH

Technology and Mental Health: Defining the Current Landscape
November 19, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

Center of Excellence Launch: Resources and Tools for Enhancing Integrated Care
November 20, 2 - 3 pm, National Council for Behavioral Health

Re-Conceptualizing & Boosting Engagement for Young Adults with Serious Mental Health Needs in Community-Based Services
November 19, 3 - 4 pm, Transitions ACR

Improving Equity and Inclusion in Drug Court Programming
November 20, 2:30 - 4 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

Parents with PTSD: How Addiction Can Re-traumatize Families
November 20, 3 - 4 pm, NAADAC

Using PSYCKES Recipient Search
December 3, 3 - 4 pm, OMH

What Addiction Professionals Should Know About Medical Marijuana
December 4, 3 - 5 pm, NAADAC

Using Data to Identify and Serve People who Frequently Utilize Health, Human Services and Justice Systems
December 5, 2 - 3:15 pm, NACo

Using PSYCKES Quality Indicator Reports
December 12, 2 - 3 pm, OMH

PSYCKES Mobile App for iPhones & iPads
December 18, 10 - 11 am, OMH

Successful Treatment of Methamphetamine Addiction
December 18, 3 - 4:30 pm, NAADAC

Using PSYCKES for Clinicians
December 19, 2:30 - 4 pm, OMH



Office Closed - Veterans Day
November 11

Children & Families Committee Meeting
November 19: 11:30 am - 1 pm, GTM

CLMHD Membership Call
November 20: 9 - 10:30 am, GTM

Mental Hygiene Planning Committee Meeting
November 21: 1 - 3 pm, GTM

Office Closed - Thanksgiving
November 28 - 29


Executive Committee Call
December 4: 8 am, GTM

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

Office Closed - Christmas
December 25

Contact CLMHD for all Call In and Go To Meeting information, 518.462.9422 
ACT: Serving Those Who Fall Through the Cracks 

There are many kinds of people in Niagara County, but not all of them have it as easy as others. For some, even every day tasks are a difficulty.

That's where the ACT team of Spectrum Health and Human Services comes in. ACT is an acronym for assertive community treatment and while it's been in Erie County for 16 years, the team is just a month away from their first anniversary in Niagara County.

Bruce Nesbit, CEO and president of Spectrum, describes ACT as a practice that offers treatment, rehabilitation and support services for individuals that have been diagnosed with severe mental health diagnoses and for whom traditional treatment has not been effective.

"These are people who have not been able to be engaged in traditional outpatient mental health clinics," he said. 

"We're a little bit different," said Shana House, one of the ACT team in Niagara County. "It seems that the ACT team model is getting to be a little more popular opposed to traditional clinic just, because for a lot of people it just doesn't work."

"One of the biggest things establishing a presence here, is we had to do a lot of educating with other providers in the area about what ACT is," Funk said. "What exactly we do, and what we don't do, and just making the connections with other providers so that way we can collaborate more."  Read more here .
Request for Submissions - NYS Health Workforce Transformation Compendium 

The Department of Health, in collaboration with the SHIP/DSRIP Workforce Workgroup, is creating a Health Workforce Transformation Compendium and is seeking submissions. The goal of the compendium is to serve as a guide for actionable workforce initiatives. The intention is to share innovative approaches with those seeking to enhance and implement health care workforce practices for application toward the new initiative.  
The compendium will be an online resource housed on the Department of Health website for easy access. Each Innovative Practice will include a short description of the problem being addressed, the planning process for implementation, and links to useful resources that were submitted by the organization where the practice was implemented.  
Please use this template to submit innovations for consideration of inclusion. The evaluation rubric to determine inclusion has also been included for reference. The official compendium launch is scheduled for the winter of 2019. To be included in this launch, you must submit by December 1, 2019 . Submissions will continue to be accepted on a rolling basis after the launch.   
The Department welcomes submissions from all workforce leaders and encourages the dissemination of this message to others. Similarly, joint Innovative Practices involving two or more organizations are encouraged to submit for inclusion. 
If you would like to receive email notifications as new Innovative Practices are added or if you have questions, please contact
Former Medicaid Chief Cindy Mann on DSRIP's Next Phase

By the end of the month, New York state will have submitted its application to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to extend the Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment programby four years and $8 billion.

The success or failure of that application could translate into a swing of tens of millions of dollars for some New 
York City health care organizations and affect whether the 25 Performing Provider Systems around the state will maintain the well-staffed offices they have established to improve the health of communities.

At the Crain's fall health summit, Cindy Mann, the former director of the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services, is expected to address that uncertain future. Mann, now a partner at Manatt Health, can share insights about how states around the country have used federal waivers to change their Medicaid programs. Read more here.
Governor Cuomo Signs Legislation Requiring Death Certificates to Specify Opioid Involved in Overdose

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo this week signed legislation (S.1668/A.4915) requiring that death certificates in cases of opioid overdose specify which opioid was involved in the death, if known. This new law requires that information be recorded so that more data will be available to better address the opioid crisis. 

"New York has taken the most aggressive actions to combat the opioid crisis of any other state in the country," Governor Cuomo said. "This commonsense law will go a great length to ensure we have the most accurate information to be able to stop this public health scourge once and for all."

Under current law, if a person dies of an opioid overdose, there is no requirement that the death certificate specify which opioid was involved. The legislation signed today takes effect immediately. Read more here.
Behavioral Health Joint Venture Partners with Arcadia

Innovative Management Solutions, a new joint venture between Coordinated Behavioral Care and Coordinated Behavioral Health Services, has partnered with Arcadia, a population health management company based in Burlington, Mass.

During the next year the partnership will see Arcadia securely collect and standardize data from the joint venture's network of more than 80 providers. Arcadia's platform will connect with more than a dozen electronic health record systems holding information on 150,000 Medicaid beneficiaries to provide Innovative Management Solutions and its network of providers better data analytics. The information will help to identify high-risk patients and make more personalized care decisions. It will also aid in developing health analytics on entire populations of patients across the city and in the Lower Hudson Valley. Read more here.
Behavioral Health Diversion Interventions: Moving from Individual Programs to a Systems-Wide Strategy
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A growing number of communities have been implementing behavioral health diversion programs as alternatives to conventional criminal justice case processing and incarceration. However, these have often largely been kept to individual, or one-off, recognizable programs that are insufficient for meeting the needs of the community and reducing the over-representation of people who have behavioral health needs in the criminal justice system. The Council of State Governments Justice Center released  Behavioral Health Diversion Interventions: Moving from Individual Programs to a Systems-Wide Strategy to provide communities across the country with a conceptual framework for creating a continuum of diversion opportunities that span the community's criminal justice system.
NACo Report: Addressing Substance Use at the County Level

From early childhood development to education, homelessness and health, counties invest in services that help residents thrive. Counties spend more than $80 billion annually on community health systems while also serving as the front-line social safety net for disadvantaged individuals and families through local health departments, community health centers, county hospitals, long-term care facilities and behavioral health clinics.4 By coordinating and partnering across agencies, counties develop innovative strategies, programs and policies to meet the unique needs of residents. 

This report outlines five key strategies that local leaders have deployed in supporting high-impact and high-engagement programs, with a focus on model practices for other county leaders to incorporate into their local youth substance use efforts.

Additional article of interest: NACo submits comments on proposed changes to 42 CFR Part 2 regulations
Joining Forces to Address the Opioid Crisis

Last March, Professor Nabila El-Bassel received a phone call from Redonna Chandler,  director of the HEALing Communities Study at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). "Are you sitting down?" Chandler asked. El-Bassel was not. She was still excited from learning a half an hour earlier that she was going to be named a University Professor, the highest academic honor that Columbia bestows. Chandler congratulated her on her promotion and then went on to tell El-Bassel that she and her team at the School of Social Work would be awarded an $86 million grant to reduce opioid overdose deaths in New York State.

The study, which was funded on April 16, brings together Columbia and academic institutions in Kentucky, Massachusetts and Ohio to generate evidence about how best to prevent and treat opioid use disorder using proven interventions in opioid-affected communities. In New York, the Columbia team will be working in 16 counties across the state to reduce opioid overdose-related deaths by 40 percent over three years. Interventions in the communities will begin in December 2019. Read more here.
A Medication To Treat Meth Addiction? Some Take A New Look At Naltrexone

Melinda McDowell had used drugs since she was a teenager. But she didn't try methamphetamine until one fateful night in 2017 after her mother died suddenly of a stroke. She went to a neighbor's house and he had crystal meth.

"I tried it and I was hooked from the first hit," McDowell says. "It was an explosion of the senses. It was the biggest high I'd ever experienced."

Afterward, McDowell says, that big high started getting more elusive. But she kept using the drug frequently, and it took a toll. She went from 240 pounds to 110. Eventually, she lost custody of her children, who were put in foster homes. McDowell started having hallucinations.

McDowell tried many times to stop using meth, but when she'd quit for a few days, she'd have severe panic attacks and begin to shake uncontrollably. One night, she remembers lying on her bathroom floor thinking that if she didn't get help, she'd die. Read more here.
Kaiser Family Foundation Report: State Options for Medicaid Coverage of Inpatient Behavioral Health Services

Since Medicaid's inception, federal law has generally prohibited states from using Medicaid funds for services provided to nonelderly adults in "institutions for mental disease" (IMDs). The IMD payment exclusion was intended to leave states with the primary responsibility for financing inpatient behavioral health services. However, the lack of federal funding may limit access to needed inpatient services and contribute to high levels of unmet need. In recent years, the federal government has provided new mechanisms for states to finance IMD services for nonelderly adults through Medicaid in certain situations. There are now four options for states to cover these services: Section 1115 demonstration waivers, managed care "in lieu of" authority, disproportionate share hospital payments, and the SUPPORT Act state plan option.


This report provides new data to understand current patterns of Medicaid enrollees' use of inpatient and outpatient substance use disorder (SUD) and mental health treatment services; explains the options for states to access federal Medicaid funds for enrollees receiving IMD services; analyzes current waiver activity; and draws on interviews with policymakers in two states and one county using IMD waivers to examine successes and challenges.
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.