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Community Behavioral Healthcare
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APPLICATION OPENING FOR THE SUNY/OMH
State University of New York Chancellor John B. King, Jr. has announced the application opening for the SUNY/Office of Mental Health (OMH) Scholarship Program. Established in August 2022 by Governor Hochul with a $4 million federal investment, the program provides scholarships, paid internships, fee waivers for graduate school applicants, and more to support students in mental health degree programs. Eligible students are encouraged to apply here.
To be eligible, students must:
- Major in a mental health discipline leading to a career as a mental health professional;
- Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident;
- Be a resident of New York State;
- Be in good academic standing (2.5 cumulative grade point average or better);
- Maintain full-time student status in a mental health career major; and
- Be at least a second-year undergraduate student with sophomore status or first-year graduate student.
NYS COUNCIL SUBMITS TESTIMONY REGARDING MENTAL HYGIENE AND HEALTH/MEDICAID PROPOSALS IN THE GOVERNOR’S EXECUTIVE BUDGET
The NYS Council has submitted written testimony regarding the Mental Hygiene proposals and the Health and Medicaid proposals in the Governor’s executive budget proposal to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee.
Both testimonies highlight numerous topics including, but not limited to:
- Commercial Insurance Rate Mandate
- OMIG Audit Targets
- Competitive Procurement Proposal/NYS Council Request for Carve Out of Behavioral Health Services
- Extension of Telehealth Rate Parity
- Opioid Settlement Funds
- Overdose Prevention Programs for Schools
- Enforcement of Parity Laws
NYS COUNCIL OMIG AUDIT REFORM BILL:
The NYS Council has been leading an ongoing statewide effort to compel lawmakers to bring fairness and balance to the OMIG audit process. Assembly Health Chair Amy Paulin has agreed to continue to sponsor our OMIG Audit Reform bill. The bill has undergone several changes that were made in order to address concerns from certain lawmakers as well as the Administration. The Assembly version has been introduced and is linked here. Senator Harckham has introduced a “same as” bill S5329B.
The Assembly and Senate bill sponsors are collecting “sign on” support from their legislative colleagues.
Please use this link https://nyscouncil.org/advocacy-action-center/ to create a letter you can send to your Senate and Assembly representatives in support of the OMIG Audit Reform bill.
NYS COUNCIL REGARDING BH CARVE-OUT
The NYS Council drafted and shared with peer associations a sign on letter to Governor Hochul along with our proposal to carve out outpatient mental health and substance use disorder services from the state’s Medicaid managed care program, and a Fact Sheet. The sign on letter went to the Executive, DoB, OMH, OASAS, DoH and others.
The NYS Council has worked for a decade to ensure Medicaid beneficiaries seeking mental health and substance use disorder services licensed under OASAS and OMH can find these services on demand and at the right level of care through the state’s public mental hygiene system. Over time we have intensified our advocacy efforts to compel the state to robustly surveil, monitor and enforce all of the laws, guidance and contract provisions that govern the carve in of our services; however, DoH/OHIP continue to permit MCOs to break the law and delay or deny reimbursement to providers who are experiencing intense demand for care.
With the knowledge that MCOs have been cited by the state over 200 times since 2019, a 2022 Milliman Report found insurers are not complying with state and federal parity laws, and the AG’s ‘secret shopper’ findings regarding ‘ghost networks’, it is time for the state to carve out outpatient MH and SUD services and return them to a Fee for Service reimbursement model.