James Plastiras Director of Public Information New York State Office of Mental Health 518-474-6540 james.plastiras@omh.ny.gov

June 06, 2017

NYS Office of Mental Health Dedicates $1.25 Million for Creation of New Clinic-Based Intensive Outpatient Treatment

Short, Intensive, Community-Based Service Helps Patients Avoid Psychiatric Inpatient Admissions and Readmissions

ALBANY, NY – The New York State Office of Mental Health today announced the availability of up to $1.25 million to help mental health clinics create a new intensive level of outpatient service that will increase clinic-based treatment options for people with psychiatric disabilities.

The new Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) level of service will provide a concentrated treatment option for community-based services across New York State. This intensive level of service will give individuals with psychiatric disabilities access to focused and flexible treatment in clinic-based settings, helping to reduce inpatient admissions to psychiatric centers.

“While inpatient treatment will always be available for individuals who require that level of care, research has shown that people with behavioral health concerns actually do better when treated in community-based settings, where they have access to their support systems,” said Office of Mental Health Commissioner, Dr. Ann Sullivan. “We wanted to find a way to offer the more focused, intensive community treatment options, without needing to uproot these individuals from their homes. This intensive level of service is one solution.”

In order to facilitate the creation of IOP level of services, the Office of Mental Health (OMH) will provide a one-time, $25,000 grant to up to 50 licensed clinics that have met the requirements outlined in the issued guidance document. OMH will make these funds available for the next six months in order to spur the startup of this new level of service, and anticipates that IOPs will be operational within three months across all regions of New York.

An IOP level of service differs from standard clinic outpatient visits in its frequency and length of visits. Patients may be seen for two or more hours in a day and visits may occur between two to four times per week. Core elements of an IOP level of service may include problem-solving therapy, family support when appropriate, and psychiatrist medication visits in order to rapidly stabilize a patient.

"We anticipate the majority of OMH-licensed providers will want to create this level of service within their program," said Dr. Christopher Tavella, Deputy Commissioner of the Division of Quality Management for the New York State Office of Mental Health. "It will take some time for each of these providers to develop their own plans and models of treatment, but if just 50 of our providers establish IOPs, up to 3,000 individuals can be served each year."

Each provider creating an IOP level of service can decide to develop a specific program or use the service options on a case-by-case basis, to allow for maximum flexibility.  OMH has included three examples of potential program designs to facilitate development, should agencies decide to develop a specific track within their current clinic structure:

Individual Modality Model:

  • Best for individuals already engaged in a clinic setting who are experiencing a worsening of symptoms that would require a referral to an inpatient setting without IOP level of services.
  • Treatment would focus on inter-personal and situational problem solving and crisis management.
  • A critical component to this model is linking the individual to care coordination, mobile crisis intervention, and other wrap-around services to bridge the gap between the daily visits to the clinic.

Group Modality Model:

  • Best for individuals transitioning out of an inpatient setting back into the community.
  • Treatment would focus on problem-solving and management of the daily challenges of individuals during a transitional phase to more independent living.

Hybrid Model:

  • A combination of the individual modality model, the family modality model and individual services.

“We applaud the NYS Office of Mental Health for this new initiative. We know from the many years of experience of the Mental Health Associations across New York State that individuals with mental illness do better when they have appropriate supports in the community,” said Glenn Liebman, CEO of the Mental Health Association in New York State, Inc. “Creating flexibility within the new Clinic Based Intensive Treatment will allow for individuals to get more appropriate outpatient services that will help them live successfully in the community and not in inpatient settings.”

"Intensive Outpatient Programs are critical components of a patient-centered, value-based system of care for people with mental illness.  Intensive Outpatient Programs and Partial Hospital Programs are crucial to a successful behavioral health crisis response system, as well as a robust outpatient treatment platform,” said Dr. Sabina Lim, Vice President of Behavioral Health at Mount Sinai Health System.When delivered as a highly structured, evidence-based, and goals-focused intensive treatment modality, IOP's can help improve clinical outcomes and decrease acute care utilization rates.  The New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) has developed a very flexible and progressive design for IOP services.  I thank OMH for their leadership and thoughtful guidance, and look forward to implementing these programs in the Mount Sinai Health System."

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