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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 4, 2009

OMH Issues Overview of Indigent Care Funding for Mental Health Clinics

On July 29, 2009, the Office of Mental Health (OMH) issued final instructions to clinics on how to collect and submit data on uncompensated care provision. Data on self pay and unreimbursed clinic visits will be used to calculate payments and eligibility for the uncompensated care pool in 2010.

Clinics will be required to report uncompensated care data for the period of July 1, 2009 to December 31, 2009. The data will then be annualized by OMH to calculate 2010 allocations. Clinics must have at least 5% uncompensated care visits during this time period to be eligible for funding. Voluntary mental health clinics licensed by OMH are required to submit date in order to be eligible and determine 2010 reimbursement levels. A federal Medicaid waiver request has been submitted by New York State to allow for eligibility of Article 31 clinics into this fund.

Please access The Coalition’s website at: http://www.coalitionny.org/news_resources/index.php#OMHReforms to read through the rules on eligibility for the indigent care pool. The Coalition will keep you updated as we obtain more information.

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OMH to Hold Clinic Projection Model Webinars

OMH has scheduled two clinic projection model webinars to demonstrate the use of its “Mental Health Clinic Projection Model – 2.1.” The webinars are designed to assist providers in assessing the fiscal impact of clinic reform, estimate revenues and evaluate staff productivity. Two webinars are scheduled for Monday, August 17th and Friday, August 21st. Both webinars will have the same content so it is not necessary to register twice.

The first one will be held on Monday, August 17, 2009 from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. To register, please follow this link: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/195700656.

The second one will be held on Friday, August 21, 2009 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. To register, please follow this link: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/345317288.

Information on clinic reform, including OMH projection model spreadsheet tools, is available on The Coalition’s website at: http://www.coalitionny.org/news_resources/index.php#OMHReforms. The Coalition will keep you informed as more details emerge.

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Make National Healthcare Reform Happen!

With Congress in recess until September it is important to let your Senators and Representatives know the importance of passing comprehensive healthcare reform with coverage for mental health and substance abuse services.

Lawmakers in the House are prepared to bring a healthcare reform bill to the floor and the Senate is expected to continue with negotiations when Congress reconvenes in September.The Coalition urges you to reach out to your Senators and Representatives during the August recess and ask them to vote “yes” on healthcare reform legislation.

Tell your Senators and Representatives to pass legislation that:

  • Provides affordable access to health and mental health coverage
  • Offers parity for mental health and substance abuse services with other healthcare conditions
  • Integrates mental health care into primary care settings

 Click here to find out who your member of Congress is.

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Phoenix Houses of New York Joins The Coalition

Please welcome the newest member of The Coalition, Phoenix Houses of New York, Inc., directed by Howard P. Meitiner, President and CEO. Phoenix Houses of New York operates more than 30 residential and outpatient programs for adults and adolescents in New York City, upstate New York, and Long Island, treating some 2,500 individuals every day. Their mission is to serve those whose lives are threatened, disordered, or devastated by drug abuse, to heal families, and to strengthen communities. We look forward to their active involvement in The Coalition.

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New Supportive Housing Legislation Passed by House of Representatives

On July 23, 2009, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1675 (also known as the “Frank Melville Supportive Housing and Investment Act of 2009”) to amend the Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities program. For over 30 years, this supportive housing program has provided housing for people with disabilities in small group homes and independent living facilities. This new bill intends to increase the supply of supportive housing with options that allow people with disabilities to live independently in the community.

The Act proposes to enable people with long-term and severe disabilities (including developmental disabilities) to live in affordable housing by means of rental subsidies and community-based supportive services. Through the funding of the Project Rental Assistance Competitive Demonstration Program, up to 25% of supportive housing units could be set-aside for people with disabilities and extremely low income levels, from rental housing developments created by state and local government programs.

An identical bill was introduced in the Senate as S.1481 on July 21, 2009 by Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), who is the Chair of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Subcommittee on Housing and Transportation, and cosponsored by Senator Mike Johanns (R-NE) who is also a member of the committee. Please urge your Senators to support this bill. Follow this link to The Coalition’s website to find out how to contact your Senator.

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OASAS Statewide Planning Dialogues are Underway

As part of its 5 year strategic planning process, the NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) is holding dialogues throughout the State where counties, providers and constituent groups can offer their input on planning and service system issues related to OASAS’s “Statewide Comprehensive Plan 2009-2013: A Strategic Plan for New York State's Addiction Services System.”

On Wednesday, August 12, 2009, Coalition staff viewed one of the OASAS Planning Dialogues hosted by Commissioner Karen M. Carpenter-Palumbo, via a webcast from Albany. The forum included discussions on recovery centers, community solutions and provider outreach. While OASAS will be receiving $42 million in Federal stimulus funding to support the implementation of Rockefeller Drug Law reform, this funding is only available for two years. In addition OASAS still needs to fill projected budget deficits in upcoming years.

We will be attending the next OASAS Planning Dialogue in person on September 2, 2009 in New York City. As of now, all sessions are filled to capacity and registration is closed. For more information and materials please access the OASAS planning dialogue webpage, where you can find a summary of OASAS’s long-term planning and service system issues in the OASAS 2009 Priorities document. The Coalition will continue to keep you updated on OASAS planning and budgeting developments as they occur.

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State DOH Rolls Out Family Health Plus Employer Buy-In

The NYS Dept of Health (DOH) has announced the start of a new option for employers to purchase health insurance plans. The Family Health Plus (FHP) Employer Buy-In program will make available the benefit package of the Family Health Plus program, with low co-pays and low premiums, to thousands of workers in New York who currently have insufficient or no health coverage. Applications will be accepted beginning October 2009 for January 2010 FHP eligibility.

The FHP Buy-In program offers comprehensive benefits, including inpatient and outpatient services, lab and radiology tests, prescription drugs, and mental health and substance abuse services. Under FHP, New York State will pay the employee’s share of the premium (up to 30%) for employees who meet the eligibility requirements for government sponsored health insurance programs. The employer is required cover 70% of the premium (with some exceptions), and select a single FHP plan from the list of participating health insurance carriers. For a link to more information on eligibility and rates, please access The Coalition’s webpage at: http://www.coalitionny.org/news_resources/prescription_drug_benefits/.

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Coalition Job Board

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

Job #  Job Title
5528 Property & Placement Coordinator
5532 Temporary Fulltime (35 hrs/week) Housing Case Manager
5536 Consulting Psychiatrist
5537

Psychiatrist

5538

Director, Article 28 Clinic

5539 Intensive Case Manager
5541

Intake Social Worker - Project Moving On Program Day Treatment

5542 Human Resources Assistant

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