April 14, 2022
Governor Hochul Announces Agreement on FY 2023 New York State Budget

Governor Kathy Hochul last Thursday announced an agreement to address key priorities in the Fiscal Year 2023 New York State Budget. This bold and fiscally responsible plan makes historic investments in communities across the State that will bring relief to New Yorkers recovering from the pandemic and launch New York's economic comeback.

The State's reserves in this plan will increase to a record level of 15 percent of State Operating Funds spending by FY 2025, as proposed by the Governor in her Executive Budget. Read more here.

DiNapoli: State Needs To Do More for Growing Mental Health Crisis in Schools

Too many of New York school districts’ mental health teams are understaffed, with too few available services and inconsistent and limited oversight of mental health education for students, an audit by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli found.

“The upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic created a crisis for many students in New York, but not enough is being done to make sure they are getting the information and support they need,” DiNapoli said. “The State Education Department should work with state and local entities to ensure resources to address the problem are available and prioritize mental health instruction and outreach among school districts so students and staff can recognize warning signs of distress and know how to get help. I’m encouraged that the department responded positively to our recommendations.” Read more here.

Profit Strategy: Psychiatric Facilities Prioritize Out-of-State Kids

South Carolina children who need immediate, around-the-clock psychiatric care risk being stranded for days — even weeks — waiting for help, only to be sent hundreds of miles away from home for treatment. When no psychiatric residential treatment beds are open in South Carolina, some children must travel across the Southeast to facilities in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Alabama, or Kentucky — anywhere a bed might be available.

The problem in South Carolina isn’t a shortage of psychiatric residential treatment beds, state agency leaders say, but that so many of the state’s 518 licensed beds for children are filled by patients from other states. Read more here.
Quality Measures Collaborative Updates Measures, Identifies Gaps

The Core Quality Measures Collaborative (CQMC) recently announced updates to five of its measure sets, including both the addition of new measures, such as outcomes measures that are patient-focused, and the removal of measures that are no longer supported by evidence. The CQMC core measure sets are the culmination of more than 75 multi-stakeholder member organizations evaluating hundreds of existing quality measures against the CQMC’s selection criteria and recommending consensus-based measures that are evidence-based to promote alignment across public and private payers within value-based contracts. Read more here.
A Major Effort to Link Homeless Response and Health Care

Pilot projects in five communities will test how best to address the health risks that are connected to homelessness. Results could help guide professionals in reducing what has been a chronic problem.

The mantra “housing is health care” has been repeated by advocates for the homeless for decades. In recent years some have examined this concept from the other side, considering the potential for health-care systems to do more than treat and release the unhoused. In 2017, a group of health systems formed the Healthcare Anchor Network, to harness their economic resources and community relationships to directly address social conditions that lead to poor health. The more than 65 organizations that have joined it to date employ over 2 million workers and have more than $150 billion in investment assets. Read more here.
Drug Delivery Technology Enhances Absorption of Widely Used Opioid Replacement Therapy

Researchers at Monash University in Australia have harnessed a new drug delivery technology to allow the oral administration of buprenorphine (BUP), a drug used for severe pain management and opioid replacement therapy. At present BUP cannot be administered in a formulation such as a capsule that is swallowed. The team of researchers, led by Director of the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MIPS) Professor Chris Porter, on Tuesday published preclinical proof-of-concept demonstrating that PureTech's GlyphTM prodrug technology platform has the ability to increase absorption of BUP up to 20-fold, along with statistically significant increases in lymphatic transport. Read more here.

Bipartisan Bill Aims to Create Incentives for Mental Health Providers to Adopt Electronic Records, Health IT Systems

New legislation aims to ensure that mental health providers are not left out in the push to adopt electronic health records (EHRs) and other health IT systems. The bipartisan bill introduced by Reps. Doris Matsui, D-California, and Markwayne Mullin, R-Oklahoma, aims to give targeted funding to providers and community mental health centers aimed at adopting health IT systems. The legislation comes as the COVID-19 pandemic caused an explosion of telehealth use among mental and behavioral health providers. Read more here.
BIPOC Telebehavioral Health Market Has Promise, But Can the Momentum Hold?

More people have become comfortable seeking behavioral health help either online or in person, but problems persist when it comes to minority and underserved populations. For individuals identifying as Black, indigenous and people of color (BIPOC), many have felt that mental health providers, overall, fail to address unique cultural circumstances contributing to adverse behavioral health conditions. Additionally, cultural stigmas about mental health have long been an impediment to many seeking out help. Read more here.
The Payvider Market Map

The merger of health plan and service delivery functions in the field—the payvider phenomenon—continues. Just this week, Optum acquired Kelsey-Seybold Clinic, a large, multi-specialty provider organization with 30 locations in Houston. Kelsey-Seybold has a wide range of specialty care and operates an accountable care organization. As I wrote about this earlier in the week—spurred by other developments at United Healthcare’s Optum—Payvider Evolution – The Strategic Implications—the increasing changes in ownership complicate the market mapping for provider organization executive teams. Every team needs to know the largest health plans in their service areas—and of those health plans, which own treatment capacity (either face-to-face or virtual) and what preferred provider arrangements they have including ACO relationships, center of excellence contracts, and other value-based reimbursement arrangements. Read more here.
Who Doesn’t Text in 2022? Most State Medicaid Programs

West Virginia will use the U.S. Postal Service and an online account this summer to connect with Medicaid enrollees about the expected end of the covid public health emergency, which will put many recipients at risk of losing their coverage. What West Virginia won’t do is use a form of communication that’s ubiquitous worldwide: text messaging.

“West Virginia isn’t set up to text its members,” Allison Adler, the state’s Medicaid spokesperson, wrote to KHN in an email.

Indeed, most states’ Medicaid programs won’t text enrollees despite the urgency to reach them about renewing their coverage. Read more here.
Dr. Pat Deegan on Integrating Medication and Recovery Concepts in Crisis Care

There’s a fundamental truth that’s often left out of behavioral healthcare—that when a person meets with a psychiatric care provider, there are two experts in the room. One is an expert in the science and practice of clinical medicine, says Dr. Pat Deegan. The other expert is the person seeking care. “Providers can’t read our minds,” she points out. “The only way they can help is by working alongside us to determine the best course of treatment.” Shared decision-making includes talking about outcomes the person hopes to achieve with treatment and how their medication affects them. Dr. Deegan is a psychologist and recovery advocate. Read more here.
New York's Medicaid Director Resigns

New York's Medicaid director, Brett Friedman, will step down from his post in May, less than a year after he assumed leadership of the insurance program that covers millions of low-income New Yorkers, the state Department of Health said last Friday. Friedman joined the Health Department in November 2019 as director of strategic initiatives, then served as special Medicaid counsel within the Office of Health Insurance Programs. Read more here.

April 14, 2:30 - 4 pm, Transitions ACR

April 19, 12 - 1:30 pm, CCSI

April 20, 12 - 1:15 pm, CSG Justice Center

April 20, 1 - 2 pm, OMH

April 20, 3 - 4:30 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

April 20, 3 - 5 pm, NAADAC

April 21, 1 - 2:30 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

April 21, 2:30 - 3:30 pm, CHCS

April 26, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

April 26, 2 - 3:30 pm, CSG Justice Center

April 26, 3 - 4 pm, NASHP

April 26, 3 - 4 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

April 26, 3 - 4:15 pm, CSG Justice Center

April 27, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

April 27, 12 - 1 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

April 27, 3 - 4 pm, NAADAC

April 27, 3 - 4:15 pm, CSG Justice Center

April 28, 9 am - 12:30 pm, NYS Office of Victim Services

April 28, 11 am - 4 pm, NIH

April 28, 3 - 4 pm, OMH

April 29, 12:30 - 2 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

May 2, 1 - 2 pm, Bipartisan Policy Center

May 3, 9:30 am - 2:30 pm, The Glen Sanders Mansion

May 4, 1 - 2 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

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


CLMHD Spring Full Membership Meeting
April 21-22, Embassy Suites, Saratoga Springs


Executive Committee Meeting
May 4: 8 am

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

Addiction Services and Recovery Committee Meeting
May 12: 11 am - 12 pm

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

Mental Health Committee Meeting
May 12: 3 - 4 pm

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
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)