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The Coalition of Behavioral Health Agencies, Inc. Coalition Briefs
An Evolving Semi-Monthly Update on Community Mental Health in New York
August 24, 2006

Governor Vetoes Range of Mental Health Bills

Much to the disappointment of advocates, providers and consumers from across the State, Governor Pataki vetoed a number of mental health-related bills despite their bi-partisan support from the State Legislature.  Included in the Governor’s vetoes were bills that would: steer symptomatic prison inmates with psychiatric disabilities away from solitary confinement and into more appropriate settings; establish a waiting list for OMH-funded housing to help localities more accurately assess, and plan for, their housing needs; and require the Inter Office Coordinating Council to report on its activities to the legislature, particularly around the needs of multiply-disabled consumers.

The Governor gave a number of reasons for why he disapproved the bills, including fiscal constraints and duplication of existing services.   Efforts are underway to urge the Assembly and Senate to override many of the Governor’s vetoes.

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Coalition's Comments to CMS on Medicaid Citizenship Documentation Interim Final Rule and Regulations

The Coalition of Behavioral Health Agencies, Inc. submitted comments to CMS on the interim final rule regarding the Medicaid citizenship documentation requirement within the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005. We made clear our major concerns about the potential difficulties it will pose to people living with mental illness. The Coalition made the following recommendations:

  1. To allow for a period of presumptive eligibility to applicants who declare U.S. citizenship and who meet all other Medicaid eligibility criteria;
  2. To revise the final rule to exempt foster care children receiving Title IV-E assistance from the citizenship documentation requirement;
  3. To indicate in the final rule the steps states must take in assisting special populations, such as the severely and persistently mentally ill, in obtaining citizenship documentation;
  4. To revise the final rule to allow Medicaid payment records for births in the U.S. as primary documentation for a child and as an acceptable data match system;
  5. Not to limit the types of documents in the final rule that can be used to document citizenship and identity status;
  6. To revise the final rule to allow copies of documents to be used as evidence of U.S. citizenship.

Read the letter for all the details.

The Medicaid citizenship documentation requirement went into effect on July 1, 2006. New York State MUST comply with the interim final rule and regulations. New York State Medicaid officials are aware that certain populations, including the mentally ill, will not be able to provide citizenship documentation and are at greater risk of losing Medicaid coverage. State agencies will continue to assist new applicants and current recipients in obtaining evidence of citizenship or identity.

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New TANF Rules Present Challenge to New York

In an effort to steer more welfare recipients into actual employment, Congress and the White House have issued new eligibility requirements for persons seeking assistance from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.  The new rules will disallow endeavors such as education and training that previously qualified as “work activities.”  States will need to place fifty percent of TANF recipients into employment or be subject to penalties.  New York State currently receives over $350 million from TANF, some or all of which could be in jeopardy if the new requirements aren’t met.

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OMH VIPS Prior Authorization System for Risperdal Consta Online 9/6/2006

In January 2006, Medicaid began reimbursing certain OMH licensed mental health clinics for the administration of Risperdal Consta.  OMH is now implementing their promised Prior Authorization Voice Interactive Phone Systems (VIPS) for Risperdal Consta on September 6, 2006.  Effective for dates of service on or after 9/6/06, the Prior Authorization number will be required to bill Medicaid for Risperdal Consta. If the PA number is missing the system will deny the claim.  For details see the OMH letter dated 7/31/06: http://www.omh.state.ny.us/omhweb/risperdal/priorauthorizationltr.html

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Funding Opportunities for Children and Families

On August 15, 2006, the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) released the RFP for Child and Family Clinic-Plus in NYC. The Child and Family Clinic Plus initiative is an early recognition and intervention program that has the potential to fundamentally transform mental health care for children and adolescents in New York State. Letters of Intent are due September 6, 2006. A mandatory bidders conference will take place on September 18, 2006. The proposal deadline is October 16, 2006.

It has been brought to the Coalition’s attention that there are a number of concerns and questions regarding the RFP. The Coalition plans on bringing providers together to assemble a list of the key issues. We will then advocate at the city and state level.

Questions regarding the New York City RFP should be addressed to Susan C. Reilly, NYS Office of Mental Health, at (518) 473-7885 or coccscr@omh.state.ny.us. To download the RFP, please go to http://www.omh.state.ny.us/omhweb/rfp_clinic_plus/nyc/index.html.

 

On August 16, 2006, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene released the School Based Mental Health Program for Children and Families RFP. The department is seeking five qualified vendors to expand school based mental health treatment and crisis intervention services to school age children (ages 5 to 18) and their families. One contract will be awarded for each borough. The department will hold a pre-proposal conference on September 7, 2006. The proposal deadline is September 18, 2006.

Questions regarding the RFP should be directed to Nancy Hulbrock, Contracting Officer, at 212-219-5889, or nhulbroc@health.nyc.gov. To request a copy of the RFP, please go to http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/acco/acco-rfp-schoolbasedMH-20060804-form.shtml.

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DMH Issues Concept Papers for New York/New York III

In anticipation of the release of RFP’s for 9,000 new supportive housing units under New York/New York III, the City’s Division of Mental Hygiene (DMH) has released Concept Papers for both congregate and scattered-site models.  The bulk of the supportive housing units will be in the congregate model.  The NY/NY III Agreement will provide housing for a range of populations with disabilities who are either currently homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.  DMH is the lead contract agency in New York City for most of the units.

Comments on these papers can be submitted to Karen Mankin in DMH’s contracting office at kmankin@health.nyc.gov.  The deadline for the congregate units is September 19th, while the deadline for the scattered site units is September 25th.  DMH anticipates that RFPs for both models will be issued in October.

You can access the links to the concept papers here:

http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/downloads/pdf/acco/acco-concept-NYScatter-20060414.pdf

http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/acco/acco1.shtml

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Coalition Job Boards

Coalition Members advertise staff positions for free on The Coalition’s Job Board!

Job #  Job Title
1925 Recovery Project Coordinator
1931 Human Resource Director, Sr. Level Management
1943 Bilingual Social Worker

We also have a job board for psychiatrists only.  APA members regularly look at this listing for potential hourly or per diem positions.

Job #  Job Title
20072 Child Psychiatrist (Part-time, Brooklyn)

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