April 20, 2023

NY Lawmakers Want Widespread Access to Xylazine, Fentanyl Test Strips

New York lawmakers are beginning to grapple with the emergence of xylazine in illicit drug supplies as a public health threat sweeping both urban and rural areas across the state. A handful of bills have surfaced in recent weeks attempting to combat the spread of “tranq dope,” a common term for the combination of fentanyl and xylazine that has spurred growing alarm as it infiltrates drug markets in major cities — including Philadelphia, New York City and other Northeast cities. A measure introduced late last week by state Assemblyman John McDonald of Cohoes and state Sen. Pete Harckham of Westchester County would expand access to test strips that can detect the additive’s presence in drug supplies. Read more here.

Related: Enhancing Harm Reduction Services in Health Departments: Fentanyl Test Strips and Other Drug Checking Equipment

Characterization of Xylazine Test Strips for Use in Drug Checking

Social Worker Staffing is at 'Bare-Bones' Level in New York

Zhaniizha Khanii-Kevii has served more than 30 years as a staff supervising social worker with Sullivan County Department of Community Services Mental Health Clinic. She knew she wanted to go into social work starting when she was a junior in college.

“I’ve been with Sullivan County since 1985. June 1985 is when I started, a week after I graduated from Fordham University, and I’ve been with the county ever since,” said Khanii-Kevii.

She said her college professor inspired her to go into the field dedicated to helping others. Read more here.

Teen With Life-Threatening Depression Finally Found Hope. Then Insurance Cut Her Off

Rose had already attempted suicide at least half a dozen times before the teenager's parents found an appropriate residential care facility for her, three states and more than 500 miles away. Rose, then 15, had been in and out of the emergency department at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. She had tried two residential programs and one partial hospitalization program in two separate states. But nothing had eased her suicidal urges. Finally, she was getting a treatment that was helping at Rogers Behavioral Health in Oconomowoc, Wis., a small town 35 minutes west of Milwaukee. But a little over two months into her stay, just as Rose was starting to feel better, the family's health insurance – Medical Mutual of Ohio – declined to cover any further treatment. Read more here.

Related: We’re missing a major mental health crisis: Teen boys are struggling too

Program teaches teens how to help peers struggling with mental health

BHN Spring 2023 Issue Focuses on Stigma

Click here to read the issue.

State Use of Behavioral Health Performance Measures in Medicaid Managed Care Contracting

Performance measurement is a pillar of state quality improvement and oversight. It is often factored into plan payment, and it supports public reporting. In addition, starting in 2024, federal rules will require states to report performance on some measures, including some behavioral health measures, to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). In late 2022, the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) conducted a scan of Medicaid managed care programs to identify which behavioral health measures states were collecting to measure behavioral health performance and if they were tied to payment approaches. It was found that, in 2022, 42 states and Washington, DC, delivered behavioral health services to Medicaid beneficiaries through managed care plans. All but one of these Medicaid agencies collected at least one measure of behavioral health performance. Read more here.

HHS Releases New Guidance to Encourage States to Apply for New Medicaid Reentry Section 1115 Demonstration Opportunity to Increase Health Care for People Leaving Carceral Facilities

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), is announcing a new opportunity for states to help increase care for individuals who are incarcerated in the period immediately prior to their release to help them succeed and thrive during reentry. The new Medicaid Reentry Section 1115 Demonstration Opportunity would allow state Medicaid programs to cover services that address various health concerns, including substance use disorders and other chronic health conditions. Read more here.

Ophelia, CareSource, Gateway: Investing in Community Can ‘Start Moving the Needle’ on SUD Treatment

Community support often falls outside of the addiction treatment-managed care fee-for-service paradigm.

Payers and providers alike know the importance of fostering community in addiction treatment, and it’s a key to effective treatment and long-term recovery. However, developing communities fall far beyond their typical scope of services. Regardless, innovations around managed and value-based care seek to address just that.“We’ve got to be able to take a long-term perspective and invest in people and families in the context of their communities and in the context of their circle of supports,” Joshua Boynton, senior vice president of complex health solutions for the nonprofit managed care organization CareSource, said at Behavioral Health Business’ event VALUE. Read more here.

New HRSA Funding: Rural Communities Opioid Response Program – Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is accepting applications for the FY 2023 Rural Communities Opioid Response Program – Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health (RCORP-CABH). The purpose of this program is to establish and expand sustainable behavioral health care services for children and adolescents aged 5-17 years who live in rural communities, and to prevent substance misuse. Over the four-year period of performance, award recipients will use RCORP-CABH funding to establish and expand service delivery, provide training and peer mentorship, and develop community partnerships. Eligible applicants include all domestic public or private, non-profit or for-profit entities.

Related: The Rural Behavioral Health Crisis Continuum: Considerations and Emerging State Strategies

You Need Your Zs

The hard line between health care spending and social service spending seems to be melting. But it remains to be seen if the health care system is ready to move to address the social determinants of health at any scale.

The developments have been striking. Earlier this year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) changed the rules for Medicaid health plans, allowing them to spend health care premiums on social service programs. And Medicare Advantage plans can now include coverage for services related to “daily maintenance,” which may include devices and services that keep frail people healthy but which may not be a direct medical cost. But whether this new benefit flexibility will result in widespread system change remains to be seen. Read more here.

BROOME: Local mental health provider will expand services in Binghamton

CAPITAL REGION: CEO of NY disability services provider sees CDC report showing increased autism rates as a call to action

CAYUGA: Wider access to Narcan helps rural communities fight overdose deaths

CAYUGA: How Unity House helps people navigate life with autism

CHAUTAUQUA: Jamestown Housing Committee discusses homeless shelters

CLINTON: Students find comfort, healing in four-legged therapist

CLINTON: Permanent Supportive Housing Development Serves New York’s North Country

DUTCHESS: Mental Health America of Dutchess County to open new “One Stop” location

ERIE: Clarence School District finds new home for mental health services

ESSEX: ECH announces first mental health and wellness events

FRANKLIN: $500K from drug settlements up for grabs

GENESEE: Giving a nod to those who 'get the job done' during County Government Month

GENESEE/ORLEANS: GCASA expands substance use disorder care through psychostimulant support project grant

JEFFERSON: A first look inside behavioral health urgent care

MADISON: Madison County Sheriff's Office forms new team to track possibly dangerous behavior

NYC: Mental health crisis response pilot expands, despite ongoing struggles

NYC: East Harlem could get 32-unit, dorm-style building for homeless youth

ONEIDA: Overdose Response Team Issues Public Health Advisory

ORANGE: Orange County Department of Mental Health to host virtual program for parents

SARATOGA: Saratoga County pushes fight against opioid, overdose epidemic

ULSTER: Screening of the award winning documentary “Anxious Nation” scheduled at Rosendale Theater

WARREN/WASHINGTON: Warren Washington Association of Mental Health adopts a new name

WESTCHESTER: Pace University Partners with the Community Fund to Identify Community Service Needs

WYOMING: Wyoming County leaders calling on Governor Hochul's help in drug overdoses

First state-regulated overdose prevention center in US slated to open in Rhode Island in early 2024

Study: Milder autism far outpacing ‘profound’ diagnoses

Foothold Technology Expands Their Partners with Their First All-Children Health Home; The Collaborative for Children and Families, Inc. (CCF)

Estimated Clinical Outcomes and Cost-effectiveness Associated With Provision of Addiction Treatment in US Primary Care Clinics

Women, younger injection drug users have a higher risk for HIV, HCV

BJS: Opioid Use Disorder Screening and Treatment in Local Jails, 2019

A New, Comprehensive Approach to Integration Using Measurement to Demonstrate Value


Leveraging Telehealth to Improve Access & Reach in Rural Integrated Care

April 20, 2 - 3:30 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Behavioral Health Trends Affecting Payers

April 20, 2 - 3 pm, PsychU

CORE Virtual Regional Learning Session - NYC

April 21, 10 - 11:30 am, OMH/NYTAC

Better Health Through Better Understanding Webinar: Promoting Health Equity & CLAS

April 21, 1 - 2 pm, USDHHS

ACEs Awareness Education Day 2023 (In person)

April 24, 11 am - 5 pm, Empire State Plaza, Albany,

NY Trauma Informed Coalition

CORE Virtual Regional Learning Session - Hudson River / North Country / Capital

April 24, 1 - 2:30 pm, OMH/MCTAC

Changes & Updates regarding the Serious Emotional Disturbance (SED) Population HCBS Level of Care Determination

April 24, 2 - 3:30 pm, DOH

Unwinding the Public Health Emergency: Keeping New Yorkers Covered!

April 25, 10 - 11 am, OMH/NYTAC

PSYCKES Mobile App for iPhones & iPads

April 25, 10 - 11 am, OMH

Prioritizing a Human-Centered Approach in Supportive Housing

April 25, 10 - 11:30 am, CSH

Making the Connection: Improving the Referral Pathways to Family Treatment Court

April 25, 1:30 - 3 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

Changes & Updates regarding the Medically Fragile (MF) Population HCBS Level of Care Determination

April 26, 11 am - 12:30 pm, DOH

One Year Later: Workforce Accomplishments & Lessons Learned

April 26, 12 - 1 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

The Role Of Neurobehavioral Therapies In Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)

April 26, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

CORE Virtual Regional Learning Session - Central

April 26, 12 - 1:30 pm, OMH/NYTAC

Behavioral Health Parity 101

April 27, 12 - 1:30 pm, NYCDHMH

CORE Virtual Regional Learning Session - Western

April 27, 12 - 1:30 pm, OMH/NYTAC

Mental Health Workforce - Shortages, Disparities, & LGBTQ+ Care

April 27, 1 - 2 pm, NIHCM

Determining Level of Care within Crisis Services

April 27, 2 - 3 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Harm Reduction Office Hours with Providers

April 27, 2 - 3:30 pm, OASAS

Peer Recovery Support Series, Part 3: Inclusive Outreach for Beginners - How to Create More Diverse Spaces in the Recovery Community

April 27, 3 - 4:30 pm, NAADAC

Access to Care for Justice-Involved Pregnant People With a Substance Use Disorder

May 1, 2 - 3 pm, Manatt

Investigation Basics for State Oversight and Provider Agency Staff Day 1

May 2, 9:30 am - 12 pm, The Justice Center

Strategies for Providing Whole Child Care: A Blueprint for Meeting Children’s Social Needs

May 2, 3:30 - 4:30 pm, Manatt

Investigation Basics for State Oversight and Provider Agency Staff Day 2

May 3, 9:30 am - 12 pm, The Justice Center

PSYCKES for BHCCs and Other Networks

May 3, 1 - 2 pm, OMH

OASAS SAPT Supplemental Grant Information Session

May 4, 1 - 2 pm, OASAS

Labor of Love: Experiences of Harm Reduction Workers Using PhotoVoice

May 6, 4 - 6 pm, Peer Network of New York

WHAT'S GREAT IN OUR STATE 2023: A Celebration of Children's Mental Health

May 9, 9 am - 12:30 pm, OMH

PSYCKES for Health Homes and Care Management Agencies

May 9, 10 - 11:30 am, OMH

Sexual Misconduct: Boundaries and Ethics in Addiction Counseling – “Where’s the Line”

May 10 - 11, 9 am - 4 pm, OASAS

Rural Telehealth & M-Health for Children & Youth

May 16, 2 - 3 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Engaging Families in SUD Services: A Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP 39) Training

May 17 - 18, 9 am - 4 pm, OASAS



Mental Hygiene Planning Committee Meeting

April 20: 1 - 3 pm

Deputy DCS Call

April 25: 10 - 11 am


Quarterly LGU Billing Staff Call

May 2: 11 am - 12 pm

Executive Committee Meeting

May 3: 8 - 9 am

LGU Clinic Operators Call

May 9: 10 - 11:30 am

CLMHD Spring Full Membership Meeting

May 10 - 12, Embassy Suites, Saratoga Springs

Children & Families Committee Meeting

May 16: 11:30 am - 1 pm

Deputy DCS Call

May 23: 10 - 11 am

CLMHD Office Closed - Memorial Day

May 30

CLICK HERE for Links to State Guidance and Updates on COVID-19

NYS Coronavirus Vaccination Information

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)
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