In the News

NAMI-NYS Executive Director, Don Capone quoted in Capitol Confidential

Users of psych meds fear loss of ‘backstop’

By Rick Karlin
Times Union

There’s a lot going on in the Assembly and Senate today, with the same sex marriage, rent regulation and property tax caps consuming much of the oxygen in the room. At the same time, there a lot of other bills moving forward, or getting stalled in committee, that are of great importance to distinct groups of people.

Among those groups are those recovering from mental illnesses and this week hasn’t been very good for them, at least so far. As part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s efforts to redesign and bring more efficiency to the state’s vast and creaky Medicaid system those with psychiatric illness who are on Medicaid will be covered by managed care plans such as HMOs. While that may provide a better level of continuity it is also removing what Harvey Rosenthal, executive director of the state Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services, termed a “backstop” when it comes to medications such as anti-psychotic drugs or anti-depressants.

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Discussing the Importance of Mental Health Research


Senator Joseph Lieberman, Sherry Grenz, Hadassah Lieberman
NAMI-NYS President, Sherry Janowitz Grenz, discusses the importance of mental health research with United States Senator, Joseph Lieberman (ID-CT).

NAMI-NYS President, Sherry Janowitz Grenz, recently had the opportunity to meet with United States Senator, Joseph Lieberman (ID-CT) and his wife Hadassah. Mrs. Grenz, explained to Senator Lieberman the importance of mental health research and the necessity of maintaining funding to the National Institute on Mental Health (NIMH)

Budget likely will include portion of Medicaid Redesign package

By CARA MATTHEWS of Star Gazette

ALBANY - Senate and Assembly lawmakers say their budget proposals would largely implement the recommendations of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Medicaid Redesign Team, but there are key differences that have to be worked out in medical malpractice, prescription drugs and other areas.

Dozens of recommendations from the MedicaidRedesign Team's recent report to the governor were included in Cuomo's amended budget proposal. Not everything is expected to make it into the 2011-12 budget intact, and the Assembly and Senate have staked out their negotiating positions.

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Fight brews over prescription cost

By CATHLEEN F. CROWLEY of Times Union

Patient advocates praised the Senate on Wednesday for rejecting two proposals that they said would deny doctors the ability to prescribe the best drugs for patients.

The state Medicaid Redesign Team has recommended prescription management policies that steer doctors and patients toward cheaper drugs deemed equally effective. The redesign team also proposed eliminating the "prescriber prevails" rule, and instead would make the Medicaid director the final authority on doctors' requests to use drugs that are not on the Preferred Drug List.

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