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The Coalition of Behavioral Health Agencies, Inc. Coalition Briefs
An Evolving Semi-Monthly Update on Community Behavioral Health in New York
                             October 27, 2010

 

OASAS Postpones its APG Startup

The NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) has delayed the implementation date of the new Ambulatory Patient Group (APG) billing system from January 1, 2010, to July 1, 2011, for free standing clinics; and to July 4, 2011, for opiate treatment programs. The phase in period will consist of the following blended payment schedule:

Phase

Time Period

Legacy Rate

APG Rate

1

7/1/11  –  6/30/12

75%

25%

2

7/1/12  –  6/30/13

50%

50%

3

7/1/13 – 12/31/13

25%

75%

4

1/1/14 +

0%

100%


While the first two phases will last for one year long each, Phase Three will only be for 6 months. OASAS decided to postpone implementation because the State Plan Amendment has not been approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). OASAS plans to move forward on July 1, 2011, regardless of CMS approval. This issue was covered in an article by the New York Nonprofit Press (NYNP) on October, 20, 2010, which includes quotes from The Coalition’s Executive Director, Phillip A. Saperia.

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Governor Paterson Calls for Special Legislative Session

On October 26, 2010, Governor Paterson announced that he will call back the Legislature on November, 15, 2010, for an extraordinary session. While a final agenda has not been announced, the Governor said that the session will include “time sensitive legislation.” The Governor plans to submit a revised version of the Education, Labor and Family Assistance Article VII bill, an appropriation bill to authorize the distribution of $607 million in Federal Education Jobs Fund money to school districts, and legislation to reorganize the New York City Off-Track Betting Corporation." Stay tuned for more details as the special session gets closer.

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OMH Statewide Plan Highlights 3 Coalition Members for Making a Difference

Last month, the NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH) released its 2010 – 2014 Statewide Comprehensive Plan for Mental Health Services. In the section titled “Programs People are Saying Make a Difference,” three Coalition members were featured. The Westchester Jewish Community Services’ (WJCS) program to support victims of partner abuse is highlighted on page 35. The Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services’ (JBFCS) Center for Trauma Program and Innovation (CTPI) was recognized on page 54 for uniquely impacting the lives of families. The Mental Health Association (MHA) of Westchester County was also acknowledged as a leader in transforming the mental health system on page 87. The Coalition applauds our members that were highlighted in the OMH Plan, and encourages them to keep up their extraordinary work.

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New State Website Helps Parents Talk to Kids About Underage Drinking

On October 23, 2010, NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) Commissioner Karen M. Carpenter-Palumbo announced a new state website, "Talk2Prevent.com," and public service announcement to help parents talk to kids about the dangers of underage drinking. The new website also includes a fact sheet containing statistics and helpful tips, as well as other resources available to help parents connect to community members and communicate to their children. The parent campaign was funded by the Federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws (EUDL) Block Grant. The campaign materials will be sent to more than 230 prevention providers throughout the state for utilization with their parent and community outreach efforts.  

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Around the Water Cooler

Member News

Comunilife and Project Hospitality were awarded SAMHSA grants (up to $350,000 annually for 5 years) to provide behavioral health services to people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homelessness due to a mental health or substance abuse issue. The program will help these individuals achieve recovery and obtain stable housing.

Odyssey House was awarded a three-year, $1.2 million grant from SAMHSA, to fund enhanced services for individuals and families in recovery from alcohol and substance abuse. Odyssey House Recovery Care Systems (OHROCS) will serve 330 individuals by delivering recovery support services using the evidence-based Therapeutic Community peer mentoring program.

Lenox Hill Neighborhood House has hired Aaron Dannenberg as its new Chief Financial Officer. He will lead the agency’s finance, administration, human resources and information technology functions.

The Educational Alliance has hired Tim Ettenheim to be its new Chief Financial Officer. He will direct The Alliance's finance and budget, technology, compliance and risk management operations. 

The Center for Urban Community Services’ (CUCS) was honored by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) with a Silver Achievement Award for 2010 for its Project for Psychiatric Outreach to the Homeless.

Staff Updates

Two articles written by Dr. Courtenay Harding of The Coalition’s Center for Rehabilitation and Recovery will be featured in “Classics of Community Psychiatry,” which will be published in February of 2011. "The Vermont Longitudinal Study, II," and "The Course of Psychiatric Disorder III" with Dr. Strauss et al, will be published as two of the classic documents of community psychiatry.

Susan Blayer,
LMSW, MDiv, has joined The Coalition’s Center for Rehabilitation and Recovery as the new Training and Communication Specialist. Susan brings wide-ranging clinical and program development experience to her new role. As the Clinical Supervisor of a transitional living community in The Brooklyn Women's Shelter in East New York, she developed life-skills, art therapy, horticultural and vocational programs to serve homeless women with serious mental illness. Susan has also designed and delivered presentations on a number of subjects, including drug and violence prevention, smoking cessation and safe sexuality. Susan is a graduate of the Columbia University School of Social Work and the Union Theological Seminary.

Announcements from the Field

Susan Stamler, Director of Policy and Advocacy, will leave United Neighborhood Houses (UNH) after almost l0 years in her position. We have had the pleasure of working with Susan over the years on various joint policy and advocacy initiatives and we wish her great success in her new position. Susan will leave UNH on November 24, 2011, to join M&R Strategic Services. There, she will manage a foundation-supported, national public policy campaign, aimed at reforming juvenile justice systems in targeted States. She will be succeeded by Anthony Ng, who is the current Deputy Director of the Policy & Advocacy Department. The Coalition looks forward to continuing our work with Anthony in his new role.

The American Association for Psychosocial Rehabilitation will hold a round table discussion called "Employment for Persons with Mental Illness: Achieving Success – Policies, Models, First-Hand Accounts" on Wednesday, November 17, 2010. The featured panel will include Rita Liegner, from Riverdale Mental Health Association, and first-hand accounts from Janae Simmons and Gilbert Melendez. The discussion will be moderated by Aaron Vieira, Assistant Director of the Coalition’s Center for Rehabilitation and Recovery. The event will take place at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, 230 West 125th Street (between 7th and 8th Aves), Lecture Hall 1.  Networking and refreshments will begin at 5:30pm and the roundtable will begin at 6:00pm. Click here to RSVP.

Dr. Lloyd I. Sederer’s latest publication in the Huffington Post is titled “Medication For Alcoholism: Alternatives to Abstinence.” He writes about the various medications that have been scientifically proven to help keep people sober, and how they are underutilized in the treatment of alcoholism.

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Benefits Management Training at The Center  

The Coalition’s Center for Rehabilitation and Recovery presents Introduction to Benefits Management, to help clinicians and other staff interested in learning the nuts and bolts of benefits management. Participants will have the opportunity to understand the fundamentals of the Social Security system, comprehend the difference between SSI, SSDI, Medicaid and Medicare, gain knowledge of resources that support consumers in their living and working goals, and learn how to help consumers effectively use benefits to support their recovery. The next free half-day training of Introduction to Benefits Management will be held on November 4 and 18. It will be facilitated by Coalition Center staff Margie Staker and Patricia Feinberg, MS. Please note that this introductory training is intended for staff new to the subject of benefits. To register for one of these trainings, please visit The Center’s web page at: www.coalitionny.org/the_center/training.

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Demonstration of EMR and Practice Management System at Coalition

On December 15, IMA will present an interactive demonstration of the latest version of the IMA EMR and Practice Management system.

A major focus of this year's presentation will be how the IMA system helps organizations cope with the many changes that are occurring around us.  It provides for:

  • Efficient handling of the Clinic Restructuring and APG Billing changes 
  • Comprehensive PROS system that has been fully functional for more than 2 years now
  • A full EMR system that includes forms expected to be certified  by NYSCRI
  • Meaningful Use features that will be certified to be eligible for ARRA Federal Stimulus Funds incentives. 

IMA is dedicated exclusively to the unique requirements of New York State programs regulated by OMH, OASAS and OMRDD. They understand and support the unique nature of programs like Article 31 clinics, Continuing Day Treatment, Case Management, Residential Restorative Services, ACT and PROS. 

The IMA software has been used for many years by behavioral healthcare organizations throughout New York State, many of them Coalition members. They range from small independent clinics to large multidisciplinary social service agencies.

On December 15 from 12:30 - 4:30pm, you will have an opportunity to find out how the IMA software  and the IMA team can meet your own unique needs.  Lunch will be served at 12:30pm.  Register online now to save your seat!

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OMH Issues RFP to Transition Adult Home Residents into Supported Housing

The NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH) released an RFP called “Supported Housing For Adult Home Residents” on October 13, 2010. The RFP will fund the development and operation of up to 4,500 units of Supported Housing over three phases. The creation of these units is pursuant to a remedial order and judgment entered by the United States District Court for the Eastern District on March 1, 2010, in an action known as Disability Advocates, Inc. v. Paterson, et al., 03-CV-3209. The units will be specifically available for adults living in one of 28 identified homes within 4 counties of New York City. Proposals will be due on November 19, 2010 by close of business.

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OASAS Announces Statewide Comprehensive Plan 2010-2014

On October 12, 2010, OASAS announced the release of the agency’s Statewide Comprehensive Plan 2010-2014. The Plan was developed in accordance with Section 5.07 of Mental Hygiene Law. It provides information about OASAS’ strategic directions, current initiatives, and recent achievements. The Plan also has information about the nature and extent of substance use and gambling disorders; the network of prevention, treatment and recovery programs that addresses these disorders; and the outcomes achieved by these programs.

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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
5924 Director, Program Evaluation and Quality Assurance
5927 Bilingual (Spanish/English) Psychiatric Social Worker (Part Time and or Full Time Position)
5929

Supervisor, Clinical Intake - bilingual Spanish

5931

Physician Assistant or Nurse Practitioner

5938 Controller
5946 Substance Abuse Counselors, HIV/AIDS Scatter Site Housing Program

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