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October 26, 2017

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

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Francine Sinkoff, Editor

Nassau Queens PPS and Rockaway Waterfront Alliance Partner to Improve Health in Rockaways

State Rejects Residential Treatment Center for Armonk - Westchester County

Group calls on New York to do more for Asians on mental health

New Study Compares Opioid Dependence Relapse Treatments

6 Things to Know About Uninsured Adults with Opioid Addiction

For Opioids and Substance Abuse, Big Data Analytics Is Just the Beginning

Link between Adolescent Pot Smoking and Psychosis Strengthens

Why Does Autism Impact Boys More Often Than Girls?

Psychiatry Hospitalist Model Allows for More Patient, Family Time

Quality of Diabetes Care Low Among Patients With Schizophrenia

Long-Acting Injectable Antipsychotics Delay Schizophrenia Relapse

Can adults develop ADHD? New research says probably not

Report: Healthcare Organizations Struggle with Human Error in Securing PHI

Pharmacists are Untapped Resource in Treatment of Mental Illness

Paper Is Hurting All Healthcare Stakeholders
Fall 2017 Issue of Behavioral Health News Highlights Opioid Epidemic
Click here to read the issue
SAVE THE DATE:   NYS Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare Annual Conference 

On November 28-29, the NYS Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare will host its Annual Conference and Membership Meeting in New York City.  On Day 1 participants will be meeting with a variety of state officials to discuss issues including commercial insurance rates and MCO Timely Payment and Fair Contracting Issues.

On Day 2, the meeting will feature Tony Rodgers, Principle at Health Management Associates (HMA), who will answer questions and provide solutions to many agency concerns regarding value based payment (VBP).  Among other topics, he will discuss implementation concerns that arise while juggling competing priorities and essential tasks and activities needed to participate.  He will also address the following questions, as well as others, that might be asked:
  • What are the most important data sets to collect?
  • How can we leverage this information to impact care and increase return on investment?
  • Can we be involved in VBP contracting without blowing the budget?  How much should we spend?
The NYS Council is a statewide non-profit membership association representing the interests of nearly 100 behavioral health (mental health and substance use) prevention, treatment and recovery organizations across New York.   Additional details about the Conference, as well as a registration form, are available online at the NYS Council Web site.
Make the Voices of Recovery Count in New York State

Friends of Recovery - New York (FOR-NY) needs your help in distributing the FOR-NY Life in Recovery Survey. The survey will help FOR-NY identify current needs, strengths and gaps in addiction and recovery services and supports for individuals and families in recovery.
The critical information we gather will help us pinpoint resources needed by individuals, families, friends and allies to the recovery community so we can make important recommendations to legislators and policy makers to improve the quality of addiction services and recovery supports provided to thousands of New Yorkers.

Survey takers should be at least one of the following:
  • A person in recovery
  • A family member of someone with an addiction
  • A family member who has lost someone to an addiction
  • A professional in the addiction / recovery field
For additional information, please contact Allison Weingarten FOR-NY Director of Policy, by email at or by phone at (518)487-4395 X22.
HRSA Rural Health Funding Opportunity

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is accepting applications for up to $5,000,000 in available funds to participate in the Outreach Program, a community-based grant program aimed to promote rural health care services by enhancing health care delivery in rural communities. 

Outreach projects focus on the improvement of access to services, strategies for adapting to changes in the health care environment, and overall enrichment of the respective community's health. Through a consortia of local health care and social service providers, rural communities can develop innovative approaches to challenges related to their specific health needs. Furthermore, the program creates an opportunity to address the key clinical priorities of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS): serious mental illness, substance abuse, and childhood obesity.   Learn more and apply by December 6


October 30, 12:30 - 2 pm, CHCS

November 7, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

November 9, 2 - 3:15 pm, Stepping Up

November 9, 3 - 4 pm, SAS

November 15, 12 - 1 pm, SAMHSA GAINS Center

November 16, 2 - 3:15 pm, Stepping Up



Officers, Chairs & Regional Reps Call
November 1:  8 am

Office Closed - Veterans' Day
November 10

Directors & Executive Committee Combined Meeting
November 15:  9:30 - 12:30 pm

Children & Families Committee Meeting
November 21:  11:30 am - 1 pm,  GTM

Office Closed - Thanksgiving
November 23 & 24

Mental Hygiene Planning Committee Meeting
November 28:  1 - 3 pm,  GTM

Contact CLMHD for all Call In and Go To Meeting information, 518.462.9422 
OPWDD Acting Commissioner Delaney Announces the Release of the Coordinated Assessment System (CAS) Validity Study

The Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) uses the Coordinated   Assessment System (CAS) to help understand the unique health and support needs of the people we serve. Using the CAS, assessment specialists work closely with individuals, families, support and clinical staff to gain a thorough understanding of a person's strengths, needs and desires for his or her life.
In partnership with the Center for Human Services Research, University at Albany, OPWDD is pleased to announce the release of the study The Coordinated Assessment System (CAS): Validating the CAS in New York State , which is available on OPWDD's Website. The report contains information on extensive evaluations of the CAS, specifically:  
  1. A case study that was conducted in 2013 that looked at individual, family and provider feedback on the person-centered administration process of the assessment, which is a key component of the CAS; and
  2. A series of statistical tests that show how the interRAI scales perform compared to other assessment tools. 
With this study, OPWDD expanded upon research conducted by interRAI to more fully measure the performance of the CAS by including a more diverse population of people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (I/DD) receiving a wider range of services in New York State.   This report helps to assure us that the CAS is a valid, person-centered needs assessment instrument for New Yorkers with I/DD.
In the coming weeks, OPWDD will be conducting a WebEx presentation (more information to be announced) for stakeholders to summarize the validation report and to address any questions. 
Governor Cuomo Announces New Initiative to Treat Homeless Dealing with Addiction and Substance Abuse

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a new initiative to help connect homeless New Yorkers to addiction treatment services. Through the initiative, New York State Certified Recovery Peer Advocates will meet people at homeless shelters in New York City who are struggling with addiction, work to get them engaged in treatment, and provide brief interventions and connections to treatment services. The effort is part of the Governor's five-year, $10.4 billion Housing Plan to address homelessness as well as his multi-prong approach to combatting addiction.

Homeless individuals are more likely than the public at large to suffer from a substance use disorder. Two-thirds of individuals that are homeless report that substance abuse was a major cause of their becoming homeless. Conversely, drugs and alcohol can be used by some as an escape mechanism for vulnerable populations including people experiencing homelessness. Instead of providing an actual escape, substance abuse only adds to the difficulty of their circumstances. Read more here.
OPWDD People First Care Coordination Forums Announcement

People First Care Coordination , part of OPWDD's ongoing transformation agenda, will integrate the coordination of services for individuals with developmental disabilities with the coordination of health, wellness, and behavioral health services through a single and individualized Life Plan.  Implementation is planned for July, 2018 with the establishment of Care Coordination Organizations (CCOs) with experience in providing and coordinating services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  

In order to provide information about next year's transition to People First Care Coordination, OPWDD is holding five regional forums across the state - stakeholders are cordially invited to attend the forum most convenient to their location.  Read more here.
Report: Nearly Every State has Updated its Telehealth Legislation Since Last Year

As telehealth becomes more prevalent among US healthcare institutions, states are rolling out or modifying their laws to better define regulatory frameworks specifically affecting remote delivery of care. In fact, every state but Connecticut and Massachusetts has made substantive legal changes to how telehealth is delivered in the past year, with some taking specific actions to better define the path of mental health-focused treatment, according to recent data on telemental regulations released by healthcare and life sciences firm Epstein Becker Green.

Building upon last year's  50 State Survey of Telemental/Telebehavioral Health , Epstein Becker Green's 2017 Appendix  
re-examines state regulations in light of telehealth's growth over the past year. According to the firm, these expansions include CMMS' report of a 28 percent increase in Medicare payments for telehealth services, the telehealth private payer laws enacted in 31 states and the District of Columbia, and HHS' estimate that 61 percent of healthcare institutions are employing some form of telehealth services. Read more here.
Supporting Health Care Partnerships with Community-Based Organizations - Medicaid Fact Sheet and Partnership Assessment Tool for Health

With the nation's increasing focus on health care quality and cost comes a growing recognition of the role that social determinants of health (SDOH) - such as housing, food security, education, and employment - play in the well-being of individuals and communities. Many community-based organizations (CBOs) and health care organizations (HCOs) are exploring partnership opportunities to achieve better health outcomes. With support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Partnership for Healthy Outcomes brought together Nonprofit Finance Fund, the Center for Health Care Strategies, and the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities to capture insights for effective collaborations between CBOs and HCOs, particularly those that serve low-income and/or vulnerable populations.

Following are new resources to help guide Medicaid stakeholders as well as CBOs and HCOs in supporting effective partnerships:

Using Medicaid Levers to Support Health Care Partnerships with Community-Based Organizations: This fact sheet outlines strategies to help Medicaid stakeholders encourage partnerships between CBOs and HCOs. States can provide: (1) financial support to build and sustain program capacity; (2) assistance in identifying metrics for evaluation; (3) incentives to providers to address SDOH; and (4) use of policy levers, including value-based contracts, managed care organization regulations, and state plan amendments, to support partnership efforts.

Partnership Assessment Tool for Health (PATH): Designed for CBOs and HCOs in existing partnerships, this tool provides a template to understand progress toward benchmarks characteristic of effective partnerships, identify areas for further development, and guide strategic conversation. The objective of the tool is to help partnering organizations work together more effectively and maximize their impact.
The Importance of Efficient EHR Use in Behavioral Healthcare

While healthcare industry stakeholders agree on the benefits of EHR use and health data exchange among hospitals and primary care facilities, EHR use in behavioral health settings is still 
uncommon and lagging behind.  

One behavioral and mental health services provider in Texas has championed the push to integrate emerging technologies into behavioral healthcare since 2015. Metrocare Services in Dallas, Texas first addressed the scarcity of robust behavioral health IT infrastructure with the development of its own homegrown EHR system - XenatiX - about two years ago.

"Our existing EHR is quite slow," MetroCare CEO John Burruss, MD told "It's relatively inefficient, it's prone to crashing; it isn't adaptable to our specific state-based needs. I could probably go on, but it doesn't present data in a meaningful way. It doesn't give you a dashboard reporting system so you know any kind of outcomes; it's ponderous to bill from, so it's not a very good unit for us in the first place."

With the problems of its current EHR system in mind, Metrocare selected Netsmart to assist in developing XenatiX. MetroCare is working with Netsmart to build various outcomes measures into XenatiX to enable Metrocare providers to see whether their interventions were successful in improving the lives of their patients.  Read more here.
Families of Young People with Autism Struggle with Mental Health Needs

Teenagers and young adults with severe autism are spending weeks or even months in emergency rooms and acute-care hospitals, sometimes sedated, restrained or confined to mesh-tented beds, a Kaiser Health News investigation shows.

These young people -- who may shout for hours, bang their heads on walls or lash out violently at home -- are taken to the hospital after community social services and programs fall short and families call 911 for help, according to more than two dozen interviews with parents, advocates and physicians in states from Maine to California.

There, they wait for beds in specialized programs that focus on treating people with autism and other developmental disabilities, or they return home once families recover from the crisis or find additional support.

Sixteen-year-old Ben Cohen spent 304 days in the ER of Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo. His room was retrofitted so the staff could view him through a windowpane and pass a tray of food through a slot in a locked door. His mother, who felt it wasn't safe to take him home, worried that staff "were all afraid of him ... [and] not trained on his type of aggressive behaviors."  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.