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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
July 9, 2007

IN THIS EDITION

 

David Rosin, M.D. Named New Executive Deputy Commissioner for the Division

of Mental Hygiene

David Rosin, currently the statewide Medical Director for the Division of Mental Health and Developmental Services in Nevada, will be the new Executive Deputy Commissioner for the New York City Division of Mental Hygiene effective August 20th.  Prior to his tenure in Nevada, Dr. Rosin was the Deputy Director for the South Carolina Division of Mental Health.  He also spent a year in Africa directing the Emergency Medical Strike Force in response to the genocide in Rwanda, and had his own psychiatric practice in Virginia for 24 years.

One of Dr. Rosin’s many priorities will be improving the contract process for providers who deliver mental hygiene services to disabled New Yorkers.  He will also focus on integrating mental hygiene and physical healthcare, an area of emerging concern for City and State policymakers, providers and consumers.

Dr. Rosin received his undergraduate degree from Oberlin College and his medical degree from Case-Western Reserve University.  He will replace Dr. Lloyd Sederer in this position, who is now the Medical Director for the State Office of Mental Health.

The Coalition welcomes Dr. Rosin to New York and looks forward to a collaborative relationship with him and his staff.

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State Commissioned Report on Article 31 Fees Calls for Trended Rate Increase

 

A report on Article 31 reimbursement fees that was recently commissioned by the State Office of Mental Health calls for annual trended rate increases for clinics, continuing day treatment programs, and children’s day treatment programs – echoing a central point of the Coalition’s rate methodology proposal currently before the State.  The report, written by the Public Consulting Group (PCG), examines how Article 31 treatment programs are currently funded in New York State, and how the funding can be adjusted to ensure the continued vitality of these programs.  It concludes that supplemental rates such as COPS and non-COPS have “outlived their usefulness” and “should be replaced with a more equitable and more rational system of payment”. Furthermore, the report argues that reimbursement rates should be tied to “measurable indicators of quality, such as outcomes accountability”.  Both of these major points are featured in the Coalition’s proposal.

While there are some areas of concern and/or disagreement, the Coalition is gratified that so many of its recommendations were reflected in the PCG report, which was commissioned by OMH at the request of the State Senate in SFY 2006-2007.

You may read the report in its entirety here.

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2007 Coalition Award Ceremony A Big Success

The Coalition welcomed over 200 providers, State and City government officials, consumers and advocates to our annual Awards Ceremony at Pfizer International Headquarters on June 14th.  This event allows colleagues and friends in the behavioral health community to come together to celebrate the work of the Coalition and to honor the people and organizations that have made significant contributions to raising community awareness of mental health and substance abuse issues and to serving people with psychiatric and addictive disorders.  This year, the Coalition honored U.S. Representative Edolphus Towns, F.E.G.S. CEO Al Miller, journalist Elaine Rivera and award-winning author Katharine Noel.

In addition, the Coalition received a proclamation from the New York City Council honoring the Coalition as “an organization that has distinguished itself in service to the community”.  Council Members David Weprin (Chair, Finance Committee) and Oliver Koppell (Chair, Mental Health Committee), together with former Council Member Una Clarke, presented the proclamation to the Coalition’s Executive Director Phillip Saperia and Board President Jonas Waizer.

The event also featured a raffle drawing with prizes such as: roundtrip airfare to Los Angeles for a behind the scenes tour of Paramount Studios and four tickets to the Dr. Phil show; a “night on the town” featuring a dinner for two at a noted Manhattan restaurant and tickets to the Broadway show Rent; and a spa escape at the famous Mandarin Oriental Hotel Spa.

The Coalition thanks everyone who supported the event this year, including our friends at Pfizer, Accumed Software, Four Points Sheraton Hotel in Los Angeles and Synchronized Systems, Inc.

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The WORKbook, 2nd Edition, Released in June 2007

On June 14th, 2007 The Center began citywide distribution of the 2nd Edition of the WORKbook, a Guide to New York City’s Mental Health Employment Programs. Available free of charge, approximately 12,000 hard copies were disseminated to consumers, providers and other stakeholders looking for in-depth knowledge about the range of employment services funded to address the needs of consumers of mental health services.  Originally released in 2002, the WORKbook is an inventory of 106 discrete programs, across the 5 boroughs, offering a range of services and job placement types.  We are pleased to announce that the 2007 edition is also available online at our website, www.coalitionny.org/the_center/, in both searchable database and PDF formats. An online ordering system for additional hard copies will be launched within the coming weeks. All orders will be reviewed and accommodated to the best of our capability contingent upon quantity requested and current supply. Stay tuned for details.

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City Council Adds New Mental Hygiene Funding in Fiscal 2007 City Budget

Wrapping up earlier than usual this year, the New York City Council and Mayor Michael Bloomberg agreed to a $59 billion budget that includes over $20 million in restorations to a wide array of hospital and community-based mental hygiene programs as well as new funding for children and older adults with mental health needs and Autistic children.

Specifically, the Council voted to add $250,000 to the “Children Under Five” Mental Health Initiative and $1,000,000 to the “Geriatric Mental Health Initiative.  The Council’s increases will allow new providers to offer assessment, screening and care to these often underserved populations.  The Council also allocated $1.5 million in new funding for an autism awareness initiative to provide wrap-around services to Autistic children in a variety of settings.

The Coalition wishes to express its deep gratitude to the entire City Council, especially  Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Finance Committee Chair David Weprin and Mental Health Committee Chair Oliver Koppell, for their ongoing commitment to funding programs for New Yorkers with mental health, substance abuse and developmental disabilities.

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Center’s Youth Initiative: Guide to Services for Disconnected Youth

Beginning in May 2007, The Coalition’s Center for Rehabilitation and Recovery began the process of creating a guide to services written expressly for disconnected youth in New York City between the ages of 16 and 26. Through The Center’s ongoing work with providers of services to young adults with Serious Emotional Disturbances (SED), we have gained an in-depth understanding of the systemic issues they face on a daily basis. We have also learned that young people with mental health challenges are often stymied when they do choose to seek services whether they are of a physical health, mental health, educational, employment-related, or recreational nature.  In order to develop a guide that is both practical and appropriate to this population, Center staff are conducting a series of focus groups with young people across New York City.

In June, Marc Kutner faciliated two focus groups comprised of young adults (16-26 years old) from the Brooklyn Bureau of Community Service Adolescent Employment and Education Program, Mental Health Association of New York City’s Adolescent Skills Center, International Center for the Disabled YES program, Institute for Community Living Linden House, and Riverdale Mental Health Association Bronx WAVE and Handle It! programs. Participants provided valuable insight into all elements that a guide of this type should possess.  Additional focus groups will be held at 2:00pm on July 10 and 12, 2007 at The Coalition’s 90 Broad Street offices, 8th floor Conference Room.  If your agency is interested in participating in either or both groups, please email Marc Kutner at mkutner@coalitionny.org , or call 212-742-1600, x204 to discuss the details.   

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Coalition Sits on Statewide Task Force for Co-Occurring Disorders

The Coalition, represented by Patricia Gallo Goldstein (Deputy Executive Director) and Peter Beitchman of The Bridge (Chair, Coalition Committee on Co-Occurring Disorders) was invited by OMH and OASAS to participate on a Statewide Task Force for Co-Occurring Disorders.  The Task Force met for the first time on June 29th and examined current barriers to integrated treatment for consumers with dual disorders.

According to the State, “the Task Force on Co-Occurring Disorders will be charged with making recommendations for a more streamlined system of care for persons suffering from co-occurring disorders, with the goal of improving treatment outcomes and lessening costs for New York taxpayers due to unnecessary duplication of services.”

This has been an area of great concern for the Coalition and its membership.  We thank OMH Commissioner Michael Hogan and OASAS Commissioner Karen Carpenter-Palumbo for their collaborative efforts at breaking down silos that impede integrated care for New Yorkers with psychiatric and addictive disorders.   

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Center and Peer Facilitator Present at Peer Specialist Conference

Center Staff partnered with a Peer Facilitator to deliver a presentation at the first Peer Specialist Conference held on June 26th at the Hunter College School of Social Work.  The Center’s recent work on the Peer Recovery Pilot Project, a collaboration with DOHMH and the Howie T. Harp Peer Advocacy Center designed to demonstrate the effectiveness of consumer providers, formed the basis for the presentation.  Aaron Vieira, the Center’s Director of Education and Training, organized a discussion on how peers can help promote recovery-oriented services in Continuing Day Treatment (CDT) programs.  Marc Kutner, the Center’s Program Associate, described various ways in which peer specialists have inspired hope among staff and consumers at Riverdale Mental Health Association where he provided technical assistance.  Angela Cerio offered her own insights about working as a Peer Facilitator at The Bridge.  She emphasized the fact that peer specialists serve as role models. The more that consumers and staff can be exposed to effective peer specialists, the easier it will be for everyone to believe that recovery is possible.  Fully integrating peer specialists into treatment programs still requires much work.  The Coalition’s Center is ready to help facilitate this type of positive change.

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Center for Rehabilitation and Recovery Prepares White Paper on Issues Facing NYC Youth with SED

As a culmination of the first year of the Youth Initiative Project at the Center, a set of recommendations are being prepared that address the disconnection of many young people with serious emotional disturbance in New York City.  The knowledge base, practices, and insight into this problem emanate from the Project’s Work Group, its training and technical assistance in TIP (the Transition to Independence Process) and WAVE (Work, Achievement Values and Education), as well as our special lecture on a rights-based approach to working with children and adolescents by visiting scholar John Tobin. The recommendations are multifaceted, indicating ways to transform the current crisis facing youth from a systems, client, programmatic and staff competency perspective.  We expect that The Paper will be ready for dissemination in the fall.  For more information, contact Alysia Pascaris at apascaris@coalitionny.org

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Legislature Votes To Make Jonathan’s Law Retroactive

 

Apparently unsatisfied with the already Byzantine requirements of the recently enacted “Jonathan’s Law”, both houses of the legislature voted to make the law retroactive to 2003 for parties who petition the State by the end of calendar year 2007.  The joint bill (A.9069/S.6152) has not yet been sent to the Governor for his signature, but is expected to be delivered later this month.

“Jonathan’s Law” is named in honor of Jonathan Carey, a 13-year old autistic boy who apparently died from neglect while in the care of an upstate MRDD facility.  The law’s intent is to shed transparency on the care that individuals like Jonathan receive in order to help protect against potential abuse and neglect.  The law applies to individuals –mostly children – who are unable to make health care decisions for themselves.

While the Coalition appreciates the efforts of the legislature to respond to this tragic incident, there are several aspects of the bill that conflict with existing social service and mental health law.  Furthermore, the law as written might actually make certain individuals at greater risk of harm depending on who abused them.  Sadly, the legislature’s recent attempt to make the law retroactive to 2003 appears to be designed simply to facilitate legal proceedings against the State and its contracted mental hygiene providers

The Coalition, together with advocates, providers and county organizations throughout the State, is calling for the Governor to veto this proposed legislation, and is asking the Senate and Assembly to revisit “Jonathan’s Law” next session and address its deficiencies.

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City Council Passes New “Pay To Play” Legislation

The New York City Council recently passed legislation (Int. No. 586-A) that would restrict financial contributions from certain senior-level individuals employed by organizations that receive City funding in excess of $100,000 a year.  Notably, however, the restrictions will not automatically apply to board members of these organizations, which is particularly good news for non-profit agencies.

For agencies affected by this new legislation, individual yearly financial contributions would be limited to $400 for city-wide races (Mayor, Public Advocate and Comptroller); $320 for Borough President races; and $250 for City Council races.

Of course, the legislation would allow the individuals affected by this legislation to contribute up to the maximum amount to more than one candidate running for the same office.  In other words, if four people were running for one City Council seat, one could contribute up to $250 to each of the four candidates.

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Timothy's Law Premiums


The state Department of Insurance analyzed rate proposals from the 39 carriers that serve the large-group market and found that the premium rate changes range from no increase (Cigna) to a 2% increase (Oxford Health Plans).  Premium changes were in line with projections.

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New Position Created at NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

The Assistant Commissioner for Chemical Dependency is a new position within the Division of Mental Hygiene and will be responsible for developing a new vision and strategic plan to improve the quality of and access to chemical dependency services for all New Yorkers and to help make NYC a national model of effective chemical dependency treatment. The Assistant Commissioner will be the Department's point person on State and City taskforces and other groups designed to navigate an important shift of the service system from expensive, ineffective models of care to more effective and less expensive community-based models.

For more information about the position, view the job posting on our job board:  http://www.coalitionny.org/jobs/. To apply, post resume with cover letter to http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/hr/career.shtml. Enter JVN # 816-07-115835.

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CMS Sets July 16 as Date for Completion of Initial Provider NPI Changes

Over 2.3 million providers now have National Provider Identifiers (NPI).  In accordance with the NPPES Data Dissemination Notice published in the Federal Register on May 30, 2007 and as required by the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), CMS will be sharing provider information contained in the National Plan and Provider Enumeration System (NPPES) with health plans, clearing houses and health care providers. 

CMS has set the date of July 16, 2007 by which all updates, changes and deletions to NPI information should be submitted to the NPPES in order to be reflected in the initial shared file.  This is the last date providers may submit changes via the web based process and the last date by which the paper NPI Application/Update form (CMS-10144) must be received.  Changes made after this date will be available in subsequent monthly files.  The NPI registry will operate in real-time so that when changes are submitted to NPPES they will also be reflected in the registry at the same time.

Please be sure that your agency and individual provider NPI information is correct.  To help you understand what changes can be made, CMS has created a document called ‘National Plan and Provider Enumeration System Data-Elements – Data Dissemination – Information for Providers’ available on the NPI website: http://www.cms.hhs.gov/NationalProvIdentStand/.

Providers may apply for an NPI online at https://nppes.cms.hhs.gov or can call the NPI enumerator to request a paper application at 1-800-465-3203.

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OMH Advisory on Antidepressants and the Risk of Suicide

OMH issued an advisory on June 26th to inform the public and professional community about recent evidence regarding the potential risks of antidepressant treatment (very small) contrasted with those of untreated depression (very large).  OMH encourages patients with symptoms of depression to seek treatment and at the same time encourages medical professionals to detect and treat depression in pediatric, adults and geriatric primary care settings in addition to mental health settings.  With this advisory OMH hopes to “contain a medically ill-advised overreaction to FDA warnings” about the use of antidepressants.  To read this important advisory, go to:

http://www.omh.state.ny.us/omhweb/sga_advisory/Anti-DepressantAdvisory.html.

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OASAS Announces $2 Million for Adolescent Pilot Programs

The State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) recently awarded $2 million in grants to fourteen chemical dependence treatment programs – including Odyssey House in New York City – which will target the unique needs of adolescents.  These “Adolescent Pilot Programs” will reach nearly 1,000 young people and their families across the State over the coming year.

OASAS Commissioner Karen Carpenter-Palumbo states: “The goal of this initiative is to preserve the family unit by making sure that children receive treatment services instead of being placed in foster care or other juvenile settings.  These…programs will focus specifically on treating health issues facing youth, leading to better outcomes and healthier families.”

The Coalition congratulates all of the awardees, especially our own member agency Odyssey House, Inc.

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Expanded Special Enrollment Periods for ALL Medicare Part D Beneficiaries Eligible for the Low Income Subsidy

Effectively immediately, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has instituted a continuous Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for all Part D beneficiaries eligible for the Low Income Subsidy (LIS).  This means all LIS eligibles, not just duals, can change plans at any time with an effective date of the first of the next month.

For LIS beneficiaries who lose their LIS eligibility for the following year will be allowed to change plans sometime during January through March.   For those who lose eligibility during the year, outside of the annual process, will have a SEP of three months beginning with the month they are notified.

This change, and others, can be found on-line in the new 2008 Enrollment and Eligiblity Guidelines for Prescription Drug Plans (PDP) and Medicare Advantage Prescripton Drug plans (MA-PD):  http://www.cms.hhs.gov/MedicareMangCareEligEnrol/Downloads/MAEnrollmentGuidanceUpdate.pdf  (for MA-PDs) and http://www.cms.hhs.gov/MedicarePresDrugEligEnrol/Downloads/PDPEnrollmentGuidanceUpdate.pdf (for PDPs).

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OMH To Host Child and Family Clinic Plus Kick-Off Conference

On July 23rd and 24th, the NYS Office of Mental Health will be hosting the Kick-Off Conference for Child and Family Clinic Plus. The conference will provide hands-on training to the twenty mental health agencies selected to participate in Clinic-Plus. OMH Commissioner Michael Hogan will lead a roundtable discussion on “Building Partnerships with Other Systems”.

The Coalition congratulates all of the agencies selected to participate in Clinic-Plus.

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Coalition Job Boards

Coalition Members advertise staff positions for free on The Coalition’s Job Board!  Here's a sample:

Job #  Job Title
2851 Job Developer
2824

Supported Housing Director

2823 Accountant
2814

Integrated Dual Diagnosis Case Manager

2801

FT / PT Social Worker - LCSW

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
20103

Psychiatrist Part Time

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