News from the States
- Ohio announces new strategies for addressing the opioid epidemic
- Minnesota health home successes highlighted in new Governing article
- Tennessee becomes first State with CMS-approved HCBS Statewide transition plan
Around the Agencies
- Sixty Senators caution CMS to delay the release of hospital quality star ratings
- CDC releases updated child abuse and neglect prevention resources
In the News
- New Hilton Foundation, Washington Post articles highlight recent developments in youth alcohol prevention
- National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine releases report on hepatitis B and C
- New study finds alarming rates of alcohol use disorders and mental health conditions within the U.S. legal profession
- MacArthur Foundation announces $25 million in criminal justice reform grant programs
- Legal Action Center releases report on usage of medication-assisted treatment in drug courts
News from NASADAD
- NASADAD attends APA briefing on collaborative care models for mental health and substance use disorders
- ASTHO announces webinar on aligning SIM program implementation with population health needs
- Shriver Center announces webinar on housing rights for individuals with criminal records
News from the States
Ohio announces new strategies for addressing the opioid epidemic
Ohio announced new plans to address the opioid epidemic at a press conference last week featuring Lt. Governor Mary Taylor and NASADAD member Tracy Plouck, who is the Director of the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS). The new plans include licensing pharmacy technicians with the State, increasing the number of methadone clinics, and limiting the length of pain medication prescriptions. The opening of new methadone clinics will be facilitated via a waiver to the current statutory requirement stipulating that a provider be certified in Ohio for two years before becoming a methadone clinic. The recommendations also include plans to expand access to naloxone by allowing facilities that regularly interact with high-risk individuals to carry naloxone on site.
Read the full list of recommendations here.
Minnesota health home successes highlighted in new Governing article
Minnesota’s numerous health home successes were highlighted in a new Governing article published last week. The article follows the announcement of the Comprehensive Primary Care Plus program to shift treatment options to incentivize States to adopt health home models that improve health outcomes and save money. Health home models consolidate primary and specialist care, pharmacy assistance, and mental health and substance use disorder specialists into one site, easing collaboration and information sharing between different types of healthcare providers.
Minnesota began investing in health home models in 2008 under Governor Tim Pawlenty in an effort to cut healthcare costs. The initiative has been a success, with 54 percent of Minnesota’s primary care clinics now certified as health homes, versus 15 percent nationally. The University of Minnesota believes that these health homes have saved the State more than $1 billion dollars over the past five years according to a study published earlier this year. Aside from cost savings, the program has found improved health outcomes, such as 39 percent of asthmatic children treated in health homes experiencing fewer hospitalizations compared to 19 percent in traditional primary care clinics.
Read the article here.
Tennessee becomes first State with CMS-approved HCBS Statewide transition plan
Tennessee’s home and community-based services (HCBS) statewide transition plan was approved by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) last week. Tennessee’s plan was the first to be approved by CMS following Tennessee’s completion of systemic assessments and site specific assessments on how the State plans to bring existing HCBS systems into compliance with the final regulations detailed in January 2014. CMS will require Tennessee to provide quarterly written and phone updates to track the State’s progress. CMS further stipulates that Tennessee must work with CMS to identify areas requiring additional scrutiny.
View Tennessee’s approved plan here.
View the HCBS final regulations here.
Around the Agencies
Sixty Senators caution CMS to delay the release of hospital quality star ratings
Sixty Senators representing members of both parties have released a statement urging the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to delay the April 21st release of the overall hospital quality star ratings. The Senators assert that while publicly available provider quality data is important, the current star ratings system “may not accurately take into account hospitals that treat patients with low socioeconomic status or multiple chronic conditions.” The Senators also requested more transparency surrounding the methodology used to determine hospitals’ star ratings. A similar letter is currently being circulated in the House of Representatives.
Read the full letter here.
CDC releases updated child abuse and neglect prevention resources
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released updated versions of their child abuse and neglect prevention services last week. The updates were released in recognition of April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month. The updated resources include new infographics, updated information on adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) data collection, maps of State-level ACE data, ACE prevention strategies, and a directory of journal articles related to child abuse and neglect.
Access the resources here.
In the News
New Hilton Foundation, Washington Post articles highlight recent developments in youth alcohol prevention
The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation’s Alexa Eggleston published an article last week highlighting recent developments in alcohol use prevention among youth. The article notes that despite the mounting costs and deaths associated with drinking in the United States, 2015 marked the lowest levels of alcohol use among high school youth. Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that 35 percent of current high school students indicated drinking alcohol at least one day in the past month – a 15 percent decrease from the 50 percent of students indicating past month alcohol use in the mid-1990s.
Much work remains however, as youth alcohol use is strongly associated with alcohol use disorders later in life. Research suggests that individuals who begin drinking before age 15 are “six times more likely to develop an alcohol use disorder than those who begin drinking at or after age 21.” The article recommends increased prevention efforts, including the suggestions made by the Community Preventive Services Task Force such as electronic alcohol screening and brief intervention (eSBI). The Hilton Foundation currently lists substance use prevention as an organizational strategic initiative, and is working to increase awareness and access to treatment.
The Washington Post published an article written by the Vice President of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Steven Casstevens last week in recognition of April as Alcohol Responsibility Month. In the article Mr Casstevens calls for greater parental involvement to reduce rates of underage drinking. The article describes several recent news stories involving parents illegally providing alcohol to minors resulting in arrests or deaths. The 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that “53 percent of current underage drinkers reported family and friends as their source for the alcohol they consumed.”
Read the Hilton Foundation article here.
Read the Washington Post article here.
National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine releases report on hepatitis B and C
The National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released a report on hepatitis B and C last week. The report was created in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division of Viral Hepatitis (DVH) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Minority Health (OMH). The report contains several recommendations on how to best address the spread of hepatitis B and C in the United States. The Consensus Committee notes that while hepatitis B and C may be able to be eliminated eventually, disease control is a more achievable short-term goal. The report identifies several current barriers to eliminating hepatitis B and C, including sporadic and underfunded surveillance, inconsistent diagnosis, difficulty reaching marginalized populations, and the spread and stigma of hepatitis B and C among individuals who inject drugs.
Read the report here.
New study finds alarming rates of alcohol use disorders and mental health conditions within the U.S. legal profession
The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and the American Bar Association Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs published a study revealing alarming rates of alcohol use disorders and mental health conditions within the U.S. legal profession last week. The report finds that “21 percent of licensed, employed attorneys qualify as problem drinkers, 28 percent struggle with some level of depression, and 19 percent demonstrate symptoms of anxiety.” Young attorneys were found to exhibit the highest rates of these disorders, reversing previous studies that suggested alcohol use disorder rates increased as individuals progressed in their careers.
Read the full study here.
MacArthur Foundation announces $25 million in criminal justice reform grant programs
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation announced $25 million in new criminal justice reform grant programs last week. The program will award 11 jurisdictions between $1.5 million and $3.5 million to reduce jail populations and address racial disparities within their criminal justice systems. Nine additional jurisdictions will be provided $150,000 in grant funding to continue criminal justice reform and enhance collaboration between cities, counties, and States. The newly announced $25 million is part of a larger MacArthur Foundation initiative named the Safety and Justice Challenge which seeks to facilitate criminal justice reforms at the local level.
Read more about this program here.
Legal Action Center releases report on usage of medication-assisted treatment in drug courts
The Legal Action Center released a new report on the usage of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) within drug courts last week. The report contains three profiles of drug courts with effective MAT programs, providing lessons and best practices on how to successfully incorporate MAT within urban, rural, and suburban drug court programs. The Legal Action Center provides nine recommendations at the end of the study, including: the importance of counseling and other services, the development of strong relationships with treatment programs and regular communication regarding patient progress, screening and assessment considering all forms of treatment, and monitoring for the illicit use of MAT medication.
Read the full report here.
News from NASADAD
NASADAD attends APA briefing on collaborative care models for mental health and substance use disorders
On April 14th, 2016, Brian Denten, NASADAD Public Policy Graduate Intern attended the briefing hosted by the American Psychiatric Association. The briefing heard from two industry & academic professionals working to increase usage of collaborative care models for mental health and substance use disorders. Both speakers discussed the myriad benefits associated with collaborative care models, including up to $26 to 48 billion dollars in annual healthcare savings. Collaborative care models involve the integration of care management performed by a social worker or psychologist to primary care practices. These coordinators work to review primary care patient records to ensure the delivery of proper mental health and substance use disorder treatment services. Despite collaborative care model’s demonstrated success at improving mental health and substance use disorder treatment outcomes, care management and psychiatric consultation services are not currently reimbursable by Medicare and Medicaid. The APA is working with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and other stakeholder groups to design reimbursement codes for collaborative care services.
- Jürgen Unützer, MD, MPH, MA; Professor & Chair, University of Washington’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health Services; Director of the Advancing Integrated Mental Health Solutions (AIMS) Center
- David Roll, MD; Internist & Pediatrician, Cambridge Health Alliance’s Revere Family Health Center; Regional Medical Director for the Revere and Everett Health Centers; Instructor In Medicine, Harvard Medical School
ASTHO announces webinar on aligning SIM program implementation with population health needs
The Association of State and Territorial Health Officers (ASTHO) has announced a new webinar focusing on the alignment of State innovation models (SIM) with population health needs. Round two SIM applications required States to “develop a population health plan in order to assess the overall health of the State, and identify measurable goals, objectives and interventions to improve healthcare quality and reduce healthcare costs.” This webinar will feature speakers from Iowa and Washington’s Departments of Public Health that have worked to implement SIM programs in their respective States. Both speakers will provide insight on how their States have adjusted SIM implementation to better suit population health needs. The webinar will also discuss collaboration opportunities between State public health departments and other stakeholder groups. The webinar will be held on Thursday, May 5 from 3:30-5:00 PM EST.
Register for the webinar here.
Shriver Center announces webinar on housing rights for individual with criminal records
The Shriver Center announced a new webinar on housing rights for individuals with criminal records last week. The webinar will feature remarks from Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julian Castro in addition to several other speakers. Earlier this month, HUD issued new guidance suggesting that admission denials and evictions based on criminal records may violate racial discrimination provisions of the Fair Housing Act. The webinar will discuss this new guidance and cover examples of best housing practices throughout the country. The Shriver Center will host the webinar on Thursday, April 28 from 2:00-3:00 PM EST.
Register for the webinar here.
Should you have any questions, or require additional information, please do not hesitate to contact Robert Morrison, Executive Director, (202) 293-0090 or Shalini Wickramatilake-Templeman, Public Policy Associate, at (202) 293-0090.