January 13, 2022
Governor Hochul Announces Availability of $4.5 Million in Funding to Improve Addiction Prevention Efforts in High-Need Communities

Governor Kathy Hochul last Friday announced the availability of up to $4.5 million in federal funding under the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant (SABG) program to develop substance use and misuse prevention coalitions in underserved areas of New York State. These coalitions are designed to better engage vulnerable and isolated communities in developing and implementing environmental change prevention strategies. Funding will be awarded through a Request for Applications (RFA) process administered by the New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS). Read more here.
State Delivery System and Payment Strategies Aimed at Improving Outcomes and Lowering Costs in Medicaid

Most states reported having at least one Medicaid delivery system and payment reform initiative in place as of July 2021 aimed at improving quality and costs. However, the research about the effects of such efforts is not conclusive. State efforts to advance Medicaid delivery system and payment reform initiatives will continue to be shaped by the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects, including lack of stability in utilization patterns, labor shortages, and provider capacity. Click here to read Kaiser Family Foundation's new issue brief.
CMS Looks for Guidance as Medicare Advantage Plans Struggle to Build Behavioral Health Networks

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is looking into why Medicare Advantage plans have apparently struggled to add behavioral health providers to their networks. Last week, CMS announced that it issued a proposed rule that would change how insurers operate Medicare Advantage and Medicare prescription drug plans.

But within the same proposed rule, CMS also said that it was requesting information from industry stakeholders about why Medicare Advantage plans struggled to meet previously issued requirements to have behavioral health providers in their networks of providers. Read more here.
Over $6M in Federal Funding Announced to Fight Crime, Invest in Courts in New York State

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced $6,109,353 in federal funding Tuesday to combat criminal activity and fund family and drug courts in New York State. In the Capital Region, both New York State Police in Albany County and the Schenectady County Family Court will benefit from the newly-announced allocations.

The funding was awarded through the Department of Justice and will be used to combat and respond to online child sexual abuse, conduct forensic DNA analysis and reduce the backlog of forensic and database DNA samples in crime laboratories, fight human trafficking, and help establish and strengthen family and drug courts throughout the state. Read more here.

USC-Brookings Schaeffer Initiative for Health Policy: Building a Sustainable Behavioral Health Crisis Continuum

Too often, the systems that respond to people who are experiencing a behavioral health crisis result in a range of poor health outcomes, including mortality. They also involve people with the criminal justice system unnecessarily. Historically, behavioral health crises, which are emergencies that face people with mental health or substance use issues, have been responded to in a fragmented manner, with default reliance on law enforcement, hospitals, and jails.

Available data on the impact of these response systems on people with mental health conditions and people of color is alarming. Read more here.

New York Plans to Install ‘Vending Machines’ With Anti-Overdose Drugs

New York City health officials have announced a plan to install 10 “public health vending machines” that would dispense sterile syringes, an anti-overdose medication and other “harm reduction” supplies to help neighborhoods that have been hit hard by drug overdoses.

The vending machines, which are planned for neighborhoods in all five boroughs, will also carry toiletries and safe-sex kits, according to Michael McRae, acting executive deputy commissioner of the city’s health department. All items in the vending machines will be free, he said, adding that the department hoped to have the vending machines on the street this year. Read more here.

Care Coordination Through Local Partnerships: A Needed Policy Paradigm

Care coordination is essential to improving a fragmented health care system. Value-based payment models such as accountable care organizations and bundled payments encourage providers to coordinate patient care across clinicians and care settings. Dedicated billing codes seek to do the same for chronic disease and post-hospital discharge transitions. Providers have increasingly implemented population health and care management programs to coordinate services for populations, particularly those at high risk of frequent health care utilization and poor outcomes.

However, enthusiasm for care coordination has not historically translated into improved outcomes. Read more here.

Addiction Specialists Raise Concerns Over Mobile Sports Gambling Laws

As of January 8th, mobile sports gambling is legal in the state of New York, with the anticipation it will generate millions of dollars in tax revenue.

While there's potential for more money, addiction specialists are concerned the new authorization could lead to more people struggling with gambling addiction.

The resource center, which has seven locations throughout the state are programs run by the New York Council on Problem Gambling add there’s concern addiction might impact a new generation. Read more here.
Medicaid Pays Millions for Patient Transportation. Sometimes the Ride Never Comes

Tranisha Rockmore and her daughter Karisma waited at an Atlanta children's hospital in July for their ride home.

Karisma had been at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta to have her gastrostomy tube fixed, Rockmore said. The 4-year-old, who has several severe medical conditions, has insurance coverage from Medicaid, which provides transportation to and from nonemergency medical appointments through private vendors.

After being told that a ride would not be available for hours, Rockmore said, she finally gave up and called her sister to drive them home to the South Georgia town of Ashburn, more than 160 miles away.

She said it wasn't the first time she had run into trouble with the Medicaid transportation service. Read more here.
2022 NYS What's Great in Our State (WGiOS)

As part of the 2022 New York State What's Great in Our State (WGiOS) celebration on May 3. 2022, the planning committee for the Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day event is seeking nominations to honor the individuals, communities, schools, and organizations across New York State that are making a difference in the field of children and youth mental wellness.

Selected honorees will be recognized at the New York State What's Great in Our State (WGiOS) celebration on May 3, 2022., from 8:30 am to 3:30 p.m., at the Glen Sanders Mansion in Scotia, New York. Read more here.
Click HERE for more information and to apply.

January 13, 1 - 2:30 pm, OMH

January 13, 1:30 - 3 pm, CMS

January 14, 2 - 3:30 pm, NIMH

January 18, 2 - 3 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

January 19, 1 - 2:30 pm, NCSACW

January 19, 3 - 4 pm, CSG Justice Center

January 20, 2 - 3 pm, OMH

January 20, 2 - 3 pm, National Judicial College

January 21, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

January 25, 1 - 4 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

January 26, 11 am - 12 pm, OMH

January 26, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

January 26, 3 - 4:30 pm, NAADAC

January 28, 12 - 1 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

January 31, 1 - 2 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

February 1, 2 - 3 pm, OMH

February 8, 1 - 2 pm, NASHP

February 9, 3 - 4:30 pm, NAADAC

February 10, 3 - 4 pm, OMH

February 16, 10 - 11:30 am, OMH

February 22, 2 - 3 pm, OMH

February 23, 1 - 4 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

February 24, 3 - 4 pm, OMH


CLMHD Offices Closed - Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
January 17

Children & Families Committee Meeting
January 18: 11:30 am - 1 pm

Executive Committee - Special Session
January 19: 8 - 11 am

Developmental Disabilities Committee Meeting
January 20: 1 - 2:30 pm


Executive Committee Call
February 2: 8 - 9 am

Mental Health Committee Meeting
February 3: 3 - 4 pm

LGU Clinic Operators Call
February 8: 10 - 11:30 am

Addictions Services & Recovery Meeting
February 10: 11 am - 12 pm

CLMHD Offices Closed - Lincoln's Birthday
February 11

Membership Call
February 16: 9 - 10:30 am

Mental Hygiene Planning Committee Meeting
February 17: 1 - 3 pm

CLMHD Offices Closed - Washington's Birthday
February 21
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)