Working to Bridge the Gap Between Behavioral Health and Medical Providers

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On September 28th, Care Compass Network (CCN) sponsored an event that brought over 60 medical, behavioral health, and substance use disorder providers in Tompkins County together to discuss available behavioral health services and how to increase communication and collaboration across the care continuum.

The workshop included a panel of experts from the Alcohol and Drug Council, Cayuga Addiction Recovery Services, Cayuga Family Medicine, Cayuga Medical Center, Family & Children’s Society, and Tompkins County Mental Health that discussed the different options available to medical providers to help them navigate their patients to available.

During the workshop, the panelists provided information on the different consent forms that are available and how important it is to have consent prior to assessing each patient. A signed consent form from each patient, allows the behavioral health provider to share information with the primary care provider. The three different consent forms are the Office of Mental Health (OMH) Consent, Health Home Consent, and the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) Consent.

Below are links to each of the three consent forms:

  1. Office of Mental Health (OMH) Consent – this consent can be used for information sharing with mental health organizations
  2. Health Homes Consent – this consent is for information sharing for patients in Health Homes, including TCMH and the Southern Tier Aids Program
  3. Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) Consent – this consent can be used for information sharing with substance use disorder organizations

Along with discussing the importance of having a signed consent form, the panelists engaged the audience with a discussion centered around what primary care providers need from the behavioral health providers in order to improve the communication and collaboration process in regards to their patients. “Just to have a conversation about what we do and what we need was really fantastic,” said Elisabeth Cotton, MD, Cayuga Medical Associates.

Care Compass Network’s Project Manager, Bouakham Rosetti, brought up Telehealth and the possibility that this new platform could help alleviate some workforce barriers by increasing access to psychiatric resources. While CCN is still in the process of vetting out potential vendors, Telehealth will be available in the future for providers to potentially contract with, providing them with a new tool to outreach and engage patients.

Throughout the workshop and during the tradeshow, many potential services were discussed or showcased that are available to the Tompkins County community. Attendees also received a flyer to take home that lists several mental health and substance use disorder resources available in Tompkins County.

Tompkins County services that were mentioned during the workshop.

2-1-1 Tompkins Cortland connects people in need with services designed to address those needs such as, food pantries, after-school programs, or help with finding employment, housing, or healthcare. You can speak with a live person 24/7, 365 days a year or you can chat with 2-1-1 from your computer Monday-Friday 8:30am to 5pm.
Phone: 2-1-1 or 877-211-8667

Alcohol & Drug Council of Tompkins County is a private, non-profit agency which provides information, education, counseling and referral services for area residents and organizations. Alcohol & Drug Council of Tompkins County views addiction as a progressive, treatable disease with recognizable symptoms. By providing prevention, education, and counseling services to individuals and families, the Council strives to provide people with the support necessary for sobriety and good health.
Phone: 607-274-6288

Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) Team is a multi-disciplinary team that provides psychiatric treatment and rehabilitation to support recovery, wellness management, employment, housing and social needs. ACT is a part of Catholic Charities of Broome County and targets their services to adults with long-term or frequent hospitalizations who require significant community support.
Phone: 607-729-9166 or 607-729-4909

Cayuga Addiction Recovery Services (CARS) is dedicated to providing the most effective services to their clients to aid in their recovery from a cunning, vicious, and patient disease.

    • Outpatient Treatment Services – outpatient chemical dependency services located in Ithaca that is dedicated to providing holistic recovery services that recognize and value the innate dignity of each person. Services are defined by the values of individual empowerment, knowledge, caring, and the potential of each individual to effectively collaborate in his or her ongoing recovery
    • Residential Addiction Recovery Center – a 60-bed, co-ed substance use disorder (SUD) treatment program located 90 minutes northwest of Binghamton and 90 minutes southwest of Syracuse in Trumansburg

Phone: 607-273-5500

Cayuga Area Preferred (CAP) Network is  collaborative partnership between Cayuga Area Physicians’ Alliance (CAPA) and Cayuga Medical Center; encompassing more than 40 primary and specialty care practices. As a clinically integrated network, CAP incorporates evidence-based best practices and innovative data exchange in a way that aligns physician incentives, while driving network enhancements to achieve optimal health outcomes at an affordable cost. The CAP Physician Referral Center is available Monday through Friday from 8am to 4pm to assist you in finding a Primary Care Physician who accepts your insurance, answer general questions regarding agency programs and services, scheduling appointments, and getting connected with area insurance plans and representatives.
Phone: 607-274-4615

Cayuga Family Medicine is a primary care practice located in downtown Ithaca and has received recognition for the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) 2014 program for using evidence-based, patient-centered processes that focus on highly coordinated care and long-term participative relationships. Through support from Care Compass Network, Cayuga Family Medicine added two social workers to their team to provide onsite behavioral health and patient navigation services.
Phone: 607-697-0360

Cayuga Medical Center has two Behavioral Services units, one for adults over the age of 18 years old, and one for adolescents between the ages of 13 and 17 that provides individualized care in a warm, supportive environment. Cayuga Medical Center Behavioral Health helps patients understand the problems they have been experiencing and work with them to make their life more manageable. Their team of professional caregivers will do a thorough evaluation to help determine what is causing the patients distress and how they can best help the patient. They will also check carefully for any underlying medical illnesses or biochemical origins to the patient’s symptoms, then work with them, their family and other healthcare professionals to develop a course of treatment that is right for them.
Phone: 607-274-4011

Family & Children’s Service of Ithaca (F&CS) supports, promotes, and strengthens the well-being of Individuals and families by providing high quality, accessible mental health care and related social services, with a particular sensitivity toward the needs of children. Services include, psychological and psychiatric assistance for children, adults, families, and seniors; crisis counseling for children and their families; caregiver counseling and geriatric mental health services; workplace crisis support and counseling; as well as community-based programming for at-risk youth, support services for kinship caregivers (family members who foster vulnerable children), and community outreach to support downtown Ithaca.
Phone: 607-273-7494

Franziska Racker Centers supports people with disabilities and their families, helping them lead fulfilling lives by providing opportunities to learn and be connected with others. Services include, early childhood services, clinical services, mental health services, community support services, residential services, and learning initiative.
Phone: 607-272-5891

Ithaca Rescue Mission provides an emergency shelter, a drop-in day center, and permanent and transitional supportive housing. The day center, called the Friendship Center, provides a safe place out of the elements and is open to all. The Friendship Center is open Monday-Friday, 9am to 4pm. Ithaca Rescue Mission also has a Food Pantry that is open Monday 2 to 4pm, and Tuesday-Friday 9am to 11am and 2pm to 4pm.
Phone: 607-273-6684

Ithaca Transgender Group (ITG) offers confidential peer support groups that meet every other Sunday from 5 to 7pm in a safe, confidential downtown location. Anyone who identifies under the transgender umbrella is welcome to attend. People can choose to listen, provide feedback to others, and/or share anything about themselves in regards to their gender.

Lakeview Health Services is dedicated to helping those we serve identify and achieve personally meaningful life goals and to realize their full potential. We provide safe, affordable housing and support to persons recovering from mental illness and health care coordination services to individuals with chronic mental and physical health challenges. Lakeview Health Services provides residential services through varying levels of care including supervised community residences for adults, treatment apartment programs, single room occupancy program, and supported housing. We serve over 1,800 individuals annually throughout a 6-county region.

National Alliance on Mental Illness, Finger Lakes (NAMI Finger Lakes) is a volunteer-based organization that provides bi-monthly support groups for family and friends of those living with a mental health illness. We offer a circulating collection of books dealing with mental illness as well as educational programs about serious mental illness.
Phone: 607-273-2462

NY Connects is our trusted place to go for free, unbiased information about long-term services and supports in New York State for people of all ages or with any type of disability.
Phone: 800-342-9871

Suicide Prevention & Crisis Service of Tompkins County provides free and confidential help for big and little emotional problems, referrals to social and mental health services, and help for those that are worried about a friend. The crisis counselors who answer will listen, reflect what they are hearing, and help you decide your next best steps. The Crisisline can be reach via telephone or text messaging. Suicide Prevention & Crisis Center also provides After-Trauma Services for anyone dealing with trauma, as well as support groups for those dealing with suicide loss.
Phone: 607-272-1616 or 800-273-TALK to speak with a crisis counselor

Tompkins County Mental Health Services Department provides prevention and early detection, comprehensive planned care, treatment, and rehabilitation services for Tompkins County residents with mental health, developmental disabilities, and chemical dependency. The department will provide these services through contracts with private sector agencies except where individuals, not-for-profit agencies, or other levels of government cannot or will not provide such services as well. The Tompkins County Personalized Recovery Oriented Services (PROS) is a comprehensive program which operates with four main components.
Phone: 607-274-6200