Monthly Archives: June, 2018

SAMHSA announces $930 million funding opportunity to combat the opioid crisis

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is now accepting applications for $930 million in State Opioid Response Grants. SAMHSA will distribute funds to states and territories in support of their ongoing efforts to provide prevention, treatment and recovery support services to individuals with opioid use disorder.

The State Opioid Response Grants aim to address the opioid crisis by increasing access to evidence-based medication-assisted treatment, reducing unmet treatment need and reducing opioid-related overdose deaths. “This large new grant program reflects President Trump’s deep commitment to fighting the opioid crisis, and will provide extra support for the hardest-hit states,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “It demonstrates the emphasis we place on expanding access to treatment that works, especially medication-assisted treatment with appropriate social supports.”

The grants will be awarded to the states and territories using a formula specified in the funding announcement. Fifteen percent of the total funds will be set aside to provide extra support to states that have been hardest hit by the crisis. States and territories will use the grants to design plans and conduct activities across the spectrum of prevention, treatment, and recovery.

These prevention, treatment, and recovery activities represent a comprehensive response to the opioid crisis and include action at the federal, state and local levels. “The State Opioid Response Grants were designed to meet the specific needs of communities within each state and territory,” explained Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use Dr. Elinore F. McCance-Katz. “The grants will expand capacity to provide much needed evidence-based care to people who haven’t yet been reached.”

Under President Trump, in April 2017, HHS unveiled a new five-point Opioid Strategy. The Strategy prioritizes efforts in five areas: 1) Improving access to prevention, treatment and recovery support services, including medication-assisted treatment; 2) Promoting the targeted availability and distribution of overdose-reversing drugs; 3) Strengthening public health data reporting and collection; 4) Supporting cutting-edge research on addiction and pain and 5) Advancing the practice of pain management. Over fiscal years 2017 and 2018, HHS will invest over $4 billion in opioid-specific funding, including funds to state and local governments as well as tribal, public, and nonprofit organizations to support treatment and recovery services, target availability of overdose-reversing drugs, train first responders and more.

 

For more information on how to apply, see https://www.samhsa.gov/grants/grant-announcements/ti-18-015.

Falls Prevention Conversation Guide for Caregivers

falls prevention guide

“Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older Americans, but most falls can be prevented. This resource highlights fall risk factors and ways that caregivers can work with loved ones to develop a falls prevention action plan.

“The National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC) has partnered with the National Council on Aging (NCOA) to create this resource highlighting fall risk factors and ways that caregivers can work with loved ones to develop a falls prevention action plan. This resource provides a guide for starting conversations about falls with loved ones. It also outlines specific falls prevention action steps and highlights additional resources which may helpful.”

Click here to download the Falls Prevention Conversation Guide.

“Medicare Takes Aim At Boomerang Hospitalizations Of Nursing Home Patients” – California Healthline

nursing-home-lawsuitDeborah Ann Favorite sits in her Los Angeles apartment last month. Favorite’s mother died after a lapse in communication about the need to resume her thyroid medication. (Heidi de Marco/KHN)

“‘Oh my God, we dropped her!’Sandra Snipes said she heard the nursing home aides yell as she fell to the floor. She landed on her right side where her hip had recently been replaced.

“She cried out in pain. A hospital clinician later discovered her hip was dislocated.

“That was not the only injury Snipes, then 61, said she suffered in 2011 at Richmond Pines Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center in Hamlet, N.C. Nurses allegedly had been injecting her twice a day with a potent blood thinner despite written instructions to stop.

“‘She said, “I just feel so tired,”’ her daughter, Laura Clark, said in an interview. ‘The nurses were saying she’s depressed and wasn’t doing her exercises. I said no, something is wrong.’”

Click to read this California Healthline article in its entirety.

Friday Wrap-Up, June 15, 2018 | a message from the Secretary of Aging

Each week the Office of the Secretary of Pennsylvania’s Department of Aging releases a Friday newsletter with information relevant to activities, issues and events for older Pennsylvanians and persons with disabilities across the Commonwealth. Click here download the newsletter as a .pdf file.

“Help wanted, but not from older workers: Many struggle to find jobs as employers post openings” – The Boston Globe

OVER_FIFTY_WORKERS“Justin O’Connor handed a customer an iced coffee as he worked in the Fuller Cup coffee shop in Winchester. | Keith Bedford/Globe Staff

by Robert Weisman

“It’s late afternoon at the Venture Café in Cambridge’s Kendall Square. The tables are teeming with techies in T-shirts, sipping beer and pecking on laptops. Everybody works for a startup, every startup is hiring — now or soon — and every new hire seems younger than the last.

“‘I’m feeling old,’ jokes Xhulia Bratja, a manager at a fledgling data analytics firm, who turns 25 this week.

“Eight miles north, Justin O’Connor, 65, pours coffee for customers at the cozy Fuller Cup in Winchester. O’Connor, a longtime supply chain manager for telecom companies, hasn’t worked full time in his field since he was laid off in 2010.”

Read this Boston Globe article in its entirety, click here.

OPINION: “Current efforts to fight sepsis aren’t working. We need a bolder approach” – STATNews

sepsisGroup B streptococcus is one type of bacteria that can cause sepsis. James Archer/CDC

by Derek Angus

“If pharmaceutical and biotech companies gave up trying to find better treatments for stroke and Alzheimer’s disease, there would be public outrage. Yet that is essentially what has happened to sepsis, an infection that kills as many Americans each year — about 250,000 — as stroke and Alzheimer’s combined — with barely a whimper. If we can strive to fight a new scourge like opioids, we should be able to do the same for a much older killer.

“Thanks to antibiotics, vaccinations, and public health advances like modern sanitation, it’s easy to think that Americans live largely free of the infectious diseases that once took such a toll. That’s partially right: We effectively prevent many infectious disease threats. Cholera and typhoid, which once killed one percent of Americans each year, are now virtually unheard of in the U.S. Yet nearly 1.5 million Americans are hospitalized for sepsis each year, and it accounts for 1 in 3 deaths that occur in hospitals.

“Sepsis is an old term.”

To read this STATNews article in its entirety, click here.

 

Community HealthChoices “delivery of service coordination”

chc delivery of services.jpg

Though the counties in Service Area 13 — Berks, Lancaster, Lebanon — are not impacted until January 2019, we wanted to share this information.

REMINDER: Many of our partners in Service Area 13’s footprint will be attending the special Community HealthChoices seminar on June 18.

In preparation for the launch of Community HealthChoices (CHC) in the Southeast region, the above CHC Fact Sheet explains the delivery of service coordination through the program. Under CHC, service coordination is a function of the managed care organizations (MCOs). A service coordinator is the MCO’s designated, accountable point-of-contact for each participant receiving long-term care services, their person-centered service plan, and service coordination. Therefore, the Office of Long-Term Living sees the service coordinators as part of the MCO under CHC.

Trainings | In addition to the fact sheets, the department has developed short, easily digestible overview trainings on CHC that can be found here. We encourage everyone to take the time to review the training and increase their knowledge in anticipation of the Southeast rollout and to familiarize themselves with the program.

Additional resources | To assist stakeholders in finding answers to questions more quickly, we recently consolidated all FAQs into a single CHC Questions and Answers Document.  The new document is in searchable PDF format and contains a table of contents that allows the user to easily move to different sections within the document.

The CHC Questions and Answers Document can be found on both the Participant and Provider sections of the CHC website by clicking on “View CHC Publications” or by following this link:

http://www.healthchoices.pa.gov/cs/groups/webcontent/documents/document/c_274784.pdf

Please note: | The individual FAQ documents have been removed from the CHC website.  All questions and answers are now on one document.

CONTACT:  If you have any questions, please visit www.HealthChoices.pa.gov or submit comments electronically to RA-PWCHC@pa.gov.

A listserv has been established for ongoing updates on the CHC program. It is titled OLTL-COMMUNITY-HEALTHCHOICES, please visit the ListServ Archives page at http://listserv.dpw.state.pa.us to update or register your email address.

Please share with other members of your organization as appropriate. Also, it is imperative that you notify the Office of Long-Term Living for changes that would affect your provider file, such as addresses and telephone numbers. Mail to/pay to addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers may be updated electronically through ePEAP, which can be accessed through the PROMISe™ provider portal. For any other provider file changes please notify the Bureau of Quality and Provider Management Enrollment and Certification Section at 1-800-932-0939 Option #1.

To ensure you receive email communications distributed from the Office of Long-Term Living, please visit the ListServ Archives page at http://listserv.dpw.state.pa.us to update or register your email address.

Dementia Specific Advance Directive: Podcast with Barak Gaster – GeriPal

In this GeriPal podcast, the interview is with Dr. Barak Gaster, Professor of Medicine and General Internist at the University of Washington in Seattle. Dr. Gaster felt like there was hole in the advance directives landscape around future planning for people with dementia. People with dementia experience a fairly common set of complications and decisions around feeding, loss of independence, and loss of ability to make complex decisions. His dementia specific advance directive has specific sections for care preferences for persons who progress through stages of dementia, including descriptions of mild, moderate, or severe dementia.

So many key points he makes in this podcast, you’ll have to read below or listen to the audio to learn more!

Two interesting notes:

  1. The directive is free to use, does not require a notary signature, and works synergistically with the POLST, Prepare, and Video decision aids.  He makes a major point about the need to “de-legalize” advance directives.  Right on.
  2. He describes how he published on the idea in JAMA, and was disappointed with the uptake.  It wasn’t until Paula Span wrote about it in the New York Times for the New Old Age (below) that downloads and uptake of the advance directive exploded.  Attention academics: it’s not enough to publish your work, you have to get the message out to the people!

fading

One Day Your Mind May Fade. At Least You’ll Have a Plan.” The New York Times

“Suicide nation: What’s behind the need to numb and to seek a final escape?” – The Conversation

suicide rate

“Suicide rates in the U.S. have increased nearly 30 percent in less than 20 years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported June 7. These mind-numbing statistics were released the same week two very famous, successful and beloved people committed suicide – Kate Spade, a tremendous entrepreneur, trendsetter and fashion icon, and Anthony Bourdain, a distinguished chef and world traveler who took us on gastronomic journeys to all corners of the world through his TV shows.

Their tragic deaths, and others like them, have brought new awareness to the rapidly growing public health problem of suicide in the U.S. These deaths have renewed the country’s conversation about the scope of the problem. The sad truth is that suicide is the 10th leading cause of death among all Americans, and among youth and young adults, suicide is the third leading cause of death.

Read this article at The Conversation in its entirety, click here.

New Center of Excellence drives change to improve diagnosis

The Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority Creates the Center of Excellence for Improving Diagnosis

pa center for excellence

According to the National Academy of Medicine, most people will experience at least one diagnostic error in their lifetime, sometimes with fatal outcomes. The toll of diagnostic error in the United States is estimated at 40,000 to 80,000 deaths a year.

Through its Center of Excellence, the Authority will provide leadership, guidance, and support for health care facilities and systems, providers, patients, and all interested stakeholders to improve diagnosis throughout the Commonwealth.

The Center of Excellence will focus on the following key objectives while working toward its vision of accurate and timely diagnoses communicated to all patients:

  • Gathering, synthesizing, and sharing information to broaden awareness and knowledge about this complex topic
  • Building partnerships and creating new networks between organizations to accelerate and scale improvements
  • Facilitating the development and implementation of novel solutions and inspiring healthcare providers and patients to work together to strengthen the diagnostic process

For more information about the Center of Excellence for Improving Diagnosis, visit the Center’s website or email PSA-ImprovingDiagnosis@pa.gov.