Up to $2.25 Million Will Be Awarded to OASAS-Certified Programs to Support Operation of Mobile Treatment Vehicles More than $900,000 is Available for OASAS-Certified Programs to Expand Telepractice Capability
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the availability of more than $3 million in funding to expand mobile treatment and telepractice services for addiction across New York State. This funding will help expand and enhance addiction services in underserved areas of the state, allowing more people to access this critical care. Governor Cuomo has made expanding these services to all counties a priority in 2020, as detailed in this year's State of the State address. Funding for both initiatives is being provided through the federal State Opioid Response Grant and will be awarded through Requests for Applications administered by the New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports.
"We have made tremendous progress in combating addiction across New York and have seen the first reduction in opioid deaths in 10 years," Governor Cuomo said. "This additional funding for mobile treatment and telepractice services will help ensure underserved communities have the resources they need to fight the opioid epidemic, and we will continue to do everything we can to expand access to critical care as we fight this deadly scourge and save lives."
"We want to make sure that individuals in all areas of the state have access to the treatment and support they need," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, Co-Chair of the NYS Heroin and Opioid Task Force. "This funding will expand mobile treatment and telepractice service options to help ensure all New Yorkers, particularly in underserved communities, have critical care and help individuals and families struggling with addiction. The opioid epidemic continues to affect communities across the state, and these additional resources advance our aggressive efforts to address the crisis and save lives."
This funding will help expand the Center of Treatment Innovation - or COTI - initiative launched in 2017 as part of the State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis Grant. COTIs are tasked with expanding access to treatment of opioid use disorder through peer services, mobile service delivery and telepractice capability. COTIs work to break down existing barriers to treatment by connecting people to services closer to home.
Between 2016 and 2018, counties served by a COTI under the first year of the State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis Grant saw a 25 percent decrease in opioid-related overdose deaths, compared to only a 5 percent decrease in counties without a State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis Grant. In addition, during the same time period, opioid-related emergency department visits decreased by 48 percent in the first year in State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis Grant counties, while decreasing by 19 percent in counties not targeted.
Up to $2.25 Million is being made available for providers to operate mobile treatment vehicles designed to expand access to addiction services in underserved communities. Up to ten awards of up to $225,000 each are available, with the goal of funding one provider in each of the state's 10 economic development regions.
Approximately $930,000 is available to support the expansion of telepractice capacity and equipment. At least 62 awards of $15,000 each will be issued for this initiative with a provider in each county receiving at least one award, provided an application is received and accepted in that county. Each of the RFAs is available to view here.
OASAS Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez said, "Over the past several years, we have made numerous efforts to expand our reach into areas of New York State that had previously been underserved. Our efforts have yielded excellent results, and Governor Cuomo has made it clear that further expansions are one of our top priorities. Mobile treatment and telepractice are helping to modernize addiction treatment here in New York, and we look forward to this continued expansion and enhancement of these services."
Senator Pete Harckham, Chair of the Senate Committee of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, said, "The targeting of substantial grant funding toward making mobile treatment vehicles and telepractice services available to a greater number of residents statewide reflects a well-documented need for those living in rural communities. For too many people with Substance Use Disorder who do not have transportation resources to secure treatment or assistance, bringing the right kind of help to where they live will save lives."
Assembly Member Linda B. Rosenthal, Chair of the Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, said, "Expanding mobile treatment and telemedicine will help to ensure that we are making treatment more accessible to people in all parts of the state, particularly those who live in underserved communities. As we work to expand mobile treatment, it is vital that we continue to provide the revenue needed to guarantee that every New Yorker can access addiction treatment services, just as in primary care."
Since taking office, Governor Cuomo has instituted an aggressive, multi-pronged approach to addressing the opioid epidemic, and created a nation-leading continuum of addiction care with full prevention, treatment and recovery services. To combat this epidemic, the Governor has worked to expand access to traditional services, including crisis services, inpatient, outpatient and residential treatment programs, as well as medication assisted treatment, and mobile treatment and transportation services.
In 2016, Governor Cuomo's Heroin Task Force recommended new, non-traditional services, including recovery centers, youth clubhouses, expanded peer services and 24/7 open access centers, which provide immediate assessments and referrals to care. These services have since been established in numerous communities around the state and have helped people in need access care closer to where they live.
The Governor has advanced legislative and regulatory reform to enable people to get treatment faster by eliminating many insurance restrictions, as well as legislation to reduce most opioid prescriptions from 30 days to seven days, and legislation to increase training and education for prescribers. Governor Cuomo has also taken action to combat patient brokering and fraudulent addiction treatment services. The Governor has worked to increase training and availability of naloxone, resulting in more than 420,000 individuals in New York State being trained and equipped with the opioid overdose reversal medication. Through Governor Cuomo's actions, pharmacies around New York State are now able to provide naloxone without a prescription.
New Yorkers struggling with an addiction, or whose loved ones are struggling, can find help and hope by calling the state's toll-free, 24-hour, 7-day-a-week HOPEline at 1-877-8-HOPENY (1-877-846-7369) or by texting HOPENY (Short Code 467369).
Available addiction treatment including crisis/detox, inpatient, community residence, or outpatient care can be found using the NYS OASAS Treatment Availability Dashboard at FindAddictionTreatment.ny.gov or through theNYS OASAS website.