November 13, 2020
CLICK HERE for Links to State Guidance and Updates on COVID-19
New York City Announces New Mental Health Teams to Respond to Mental Health Crises

For the first time in the city’s history, Mayor de Blasio today announced that new Mental Health Teams of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) health professionals and mental health crisis workers will be dispatched through 911 to respond to mental health emergencies in two high-need communities.

The overall number of mental health 911 calls fell by over 8,000 in 2019, the first decline following a decade in which 911 mental health calls increased every year and in every precinct in the city. This decline, which has continued into 2020, follows a concerted effort to strengthen how the City prevents and responds to mental health crises, including the introduction of new mobile intervention and treatment teams over the last several years.

Currently, NYPD officers and FDNY Emergency Medical Services Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) respond to nearly all mental health 911 calls, regardless of the severity of health needs, whether a crime is involved, or whether there is an imminent risk of violence. In the health-centered pilot announced today, new Mental Health Teams of health professionals and crisis workers from FDNY Emergency Medical Services will be the default response to mental health emergencies in two high-need precincts. Read more here.

New Police Strategies Aim to Ease Tensions with Emotionally Disturbed

Like he had many times before, Jason Daigneault strolled into the front lobby of the county's busy social services building, this time to apply for a new food stamp card.

The visit to the Schenectady building in the spring culminated with Daigneault turning combative, facing criminal charges for refusing to wear a face mask and then wrestling while handcuffed with a sheriff's deputy. Video of the incident appeared to show him being punched in the face by a city police officer who was among a few officers who arrived to help the deputy.

It's unclear if the deputy or city police officers - none of whom had masks on - who responded as back-up suspected they might be dealing with a troubled man who, as his mother explained to the Times Union, has had a few run-ins with the law and has been diagnosed with Asperger and Tourette Syndrome. Read more here.
Certified Recovery Peer Advocate (CRPA) Certification and Testing Fee - SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY

Are you, or someone you know, ready and qualified to apply for your CRPA-Provisional? Do you, or someone you know, already have your CRPA-Provisional and need to upgrade to full CRPA status?

If so, FOR-NY is offering time sensitive, limited scholarships to cover CRPA Certification and Testing fees for those that qualify and meet financial needs. Click here to apply.

***NOTE: These applications will be awarded on a first come, first served basis. There are limited scholarships to be awarded***

Application Deadline: Monday, November 23, 2020

November 16, 2 - 3 pm, National Academy for State Health Policy

November 17, 10 - 11 am, OMH

November 17, 1 - 2 pm, Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP)

November 17, 6 - 7 pm, NYSPI, Columbia University

November 18, 12 - 1 pm, Coordinated Care Services, Inc.

November 18, 1 - 2 pm, OMH

November 18, 2 - 3 pm, HANYS

November 18, 3 - 4 pm, National Council for Behavioral Health

November 19, 3:30 - 4:30 pm, Center for Health Care Strategies, Inc.

November 23, 2 - 3 pm, BJA in collaboration with the Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Program (COSSAP)


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

CLMHD & State Agency Day
November 18, GTM
  •  OASAS: 9 - 11 am
  •  OMH: 12 - 2 pm
  • OPWDD: Rescheduled for December 7 @ 2 pm

Mental Health Committee - 730 Work Group
November 24: 11 am - 12 pm, GTM

Mental Hygiene Planning Committee
November 24: 1 - 3 pm, GTM

CLMHD Office Closed - Thanksgiving
November 26 - 27


Executive Committee Meeting
December 2: 8 am, GTM

OPWDD Agency Day
December 7: 2 - 4 pm, GTM

Children & Families Committee Meeting
December 15: 11:30 am - 1 pm, GTM

Contact CLMHD for all Call In and GoToMeeting (GTM) information, 518.462.9422 
Department of Labor Awarding $1.8M+ to New York for Opioid Response

The U.S. Department of Labor is adding funding to an opioid-crisis grant for the New York Department of Labor. The $1,863,815 award will support addiction and overdose prevention services in 22 New York counties.

This is an opioid-crisis National Health Emergency Dislocated Worker Grant meant for areas that are significantly affected by the opioid epidemic. The project will provide employment and training in fields working to address the opioid crisis, like peer recovery, mental health, and pain management.

New York was able to request this funding because the opioid crisis is considered a national public health emergency. Dislocated Worker Grants fund local worker programs in response to large and unexpected economic events that cause unemployment. Read more here.
National Addiction Experts Release Comprehensive Recommendations for Opioid Abatement

On Tuesday, a group of the nation’s leading experts in addiction research, treatment, and policy, released a comprehensive report outlining recommendations for addressing the opioid crisis. “Evidence-Based Strategies for Abatement of Harms from the Opioid Epidemic” provides clear guidance on abatement strategies based on decades of research evidence.

The report consolidates the best research evidence to provide recommendations for high-impact investments that will improve the addiction treatment system, strengthen prevention and harm reduction programming, and address substance use disorder within the criminal justice system. It also includes detailed guidance related to economic impacts and policy considerations. Read more here.
After COVID Diagnosis, Nearly 1 In 5 Are Diagnosed With Mental Disorder

New research has found that nearly 1 person in 5 diagnosed with COVID-19 is diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder like anxiety, depression or insomnia within three months.

The analysis was conducted by researchers at the University of Oxford, using electronic health records for 69.8 million patients in the U.S. — including more than 62,000 diagnosed with COVID-19.

Compared with patients who'd experienced certain other health events this year — including influenza, kidney stones, or a major bone fracture – those diagnosed with COVID-19 were more likely to have a subsequent psychiatric diagnosis in the following 14 to 90 days.

"The incidence of any psychiatric diagnosis in the 14 to 90 days after COVID-19 diagnosis was 18.1%," the study found, including 5.8% that was a first diagnosis. The research was published Monday in Lancet Psychiatry. Read more here.
Trends in Behavioral Health: A 2020 Update on the US Behavioral Health Financing and Delivery System

This new analysis of how the behavioral health field has changed as a result of the pandemic found several major shifts in financing and delivery including:
  • Positioning for new methods of digital service delivery and telehealth
  • New reimbursement models
  • Rapid consolidation
  • Increasing importance of social determinants of health
  • Challenges of dealing with the shift from fee-for-service to value-based payment

The Trends in Behavioral Health 2020 Update represents the very latest impacts on the U.S. financing and delivery system and will inform and educate providers, payers, and all those serving the health and human services market. Read more here.
Proposed $26 Billion Deal Would End Thousands of Opioid Lawsuits

A large drug company and three major drug distributors have proposed a $26 billion deal with state and local governments that sued them for their role in the opioid crisis. If the deal is finalized, the companies would be shielded from future opioid-related lawsuits by these governments, The New York Times reports.

Lawyers familiar with the negotiations told the newspaper that at least 45 states view the terms of the deal positively.

The drug manufacturer involved in the proposed deal is Johnson & Johnson. The drug distributors are McKesson, Cardinal Health and AmerisourceBergen. Last year, the companies made an offer that was $4 billion less than the current deal. That offer was rejected by many local governments, the article notes. The funds from the deal would help pay for addiction treatment and prevention programs in communities impacted by the opioid crisis. Read more here.
More Than $335M Was Spent to Cut Medicaid Costs in WNY. Did It Work?

It’s been five years since state health officials announced New York would pump $335 million into Western New York to help area hospitals and health care providers cut Medicaid costs.

The goals were clear: reduce unnecessary emergency department visits and the number of readmissions within 30 days of discharge. Groups of providers had no choice but to work together if they wanted to reap the financial benefits of the Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) program.

Statewide, health care officials called the $8 billion program a success. Preventable hospital admissions dropped by 21%, and readmissions went down by 17% through June 2018.

Though emergency department visit reductions didn’t quite reach the same threshold in Western New York, local health care leaders say hospital readmissions dropped by 34.5% over the five years. While they can’t estimate how much was saved on events that never took place, it’s clear there were savings. Read more here.
CMS Unveils CHIP, Medicaid Final Rule

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Monday released the 2020 Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program Managed Care final rule.

CMS Administrator Seema Verma said the final rule cuts red tape and lowers federal regulatory barriers, which allows state Medicaid and CHIP agencies to customize managed care programs for the 55 million beneficiaries – including 79% of CHIP children in 32 states – who are enrolled in Medicaid managed care programs.

Verma said a working group of stakeholders, including the National Association of Medicaid Directors, helped to craft the final rule, which removes some of provisions in the 2016 final rule that stakeholders had complained were overly prescriptive and burdensome. Read more here.
New York BH Providers Face Revenue, Tech, Other Challenges Amid COVID‐19

Even though the pandemic hit more than seven months ago, there are few reports that address specific barriers and challenges being faced by behavioral health care providers and organizations, according to researchers of a qualitative content analysis of survey findings. The Rutgers survey of New York mental health and addiction providers focused on behavioral health delivery in response to COVID‐19 in April and May.

The study, “Challenges Experienced by Behavioral Health Organizations in New York Resulting from COVID‐19: A Qualitative Analysis,” was published online Oct. 23 in Community Mental Health Journal. Providers noted their lack of necessary technology and adequate skills to utilize the technology. They also had to deal with challenges related to the rapid transition of behavioral health services to remote delivery.
Improving Value Means Managing Cost

The Math is simple. Value = Performance/Cost. Much of the focus of our team the past few months has been on working with provider organization and health plans on improving the performance of their services for consumers with chronic conditions and complex needs. We have focused on achieving higher ratings , improving consumer convenience, standardizing services around better outcomes, and addressing access issues.

But there are two parts to the value equation—the other is cost. Cost is equally, if not more important, but often not identified by executive teams as a strategic issue. As the authors of a Harvard Business Review article note, “While measuring medical outcomes has received growing attention, measuring the costs required to deliver those outcomes, the second component of the value equation, has received far less attention."

Why should cost structure be front and center in executive teams’ thinking about value and competitive advantage? Because with the budget pressures facing all payers in 2021, the focus on the cost component of value will be intense. 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.

Affiliated with the NYS Association of Counties (NYSAC)