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New York awarded nearly $1 million to support community mental health, substance use disorder programs

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Tue, Feb 23rd 2016 03:00 pm

By the New York State Office of Mental Health and the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services

The New York State Office of Mental Health and Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services announced today that New York has been awarded a federal planning grant of $982,373 to strengthen its community-based mental health care and substance use disorder programs through the development of new certified community behavioral health clinics (CCBHC) in pilot sites across the state.

This program, consistent with the objectives of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Medicaid redesign initiative, will help New Yorkers access better primary care, mental health and substance use disorder services, strengthen Medicaid service providers, and improve the overall health of New York residents, while reinforcing the system that serves them.

"The modern mental health care and substance use disorder service systems must be comprehensive and available when and where people need them. Under Gov. Cuomo's leadership, New York state has been transforming the way we deliver care, focusing on individual specific treatments and wraparound services that are available in communities throughout the state," said New York State Office of Mental Health Commissioner Dr. Ann Marie Sullivan. "I am proud that New York has been selected to be a part of this valuable program and am eagerly anticipating the expected positive outcomes at our pilot sites."

Through this grant, New York will establish multiple CCBHC pilot sites across the state, and site selection will reflect the regional diversity of the state's population and service delivery systems. The pilot sites will develop outpatient networks of primary care, mental health and substance use disorder programs that will adopt a common set of tools, approaches and organizational commitments to treat individuals in a seamless and integrated fashion. Stakeholders will be able to provide input into the networks' design and provide advice on ways to improve services, as this process moves forward.

"We are excited about the opportunity to participate in this planning grant and hope New York state will be selected for the demonstration program," said New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez, M.S., L.M.S.W. "This grant will enable us to continue to further positively reinforce our state's Medicaid redesign initiative and improve access to key health care services that many New Yorkers need."

The goal of New York's CCBHC will be to:

  • Improve New Yorker's health outcomes by increasing access to quality care for all Medicaid-eligible individuals;
  • Reduce avoidable hospital use and complications through the development of intermediate levels of service;
  • Foster better partnerships between primary care and mental health and substance use disorder providers through co-location; and
  • Improve the fiscal outlook for mental health and substance use disorder care providers by improving Medicaid reimbursement.

New York state's Medicaid reform efforts during the past five years have helped create an environment for establishing relationships, management structures and integrated evidence-based care models that will enable the swift growth of a network of CCBHCs. This grant will take this effort to the next level by supporting the state infrastructure necessary to pilot the implementation of these needed services.

"We applaud the governor's ongoing efforts to expand and strengthen community-based treatment of mental health and substance abuse issues," said Lauri Cole, executive director for the New York State Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare. "This grant will enable the state to take another step forward in providing New Yorkers with a full range of health care services, while improving access and service availability for people who need those services the most."

This planning grant is part of $22.9 million awarded nationwide by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the assistant secretary of planning and evaluation, and is administered in New York by the Office of Mental Health, Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, and the Department of Health.

The planning grants are the first phase of a two-phase process. When the planning grant phase ends in October, New York will have an opportunity to apply for a two-year demonstration program that will begin January 2017. Under the demonstration program, up to eight states with certified community behavioral health clinics will provide mental health and substance use disorder services to individuals eligible for the program in their respective state.

For more information, visit http://www.samhsa.gov/section-223.

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