The CCSM is still operational as we are working out of the office remotely.
We can still be reach by calling our regular office number: 430-8300 or 1-877-207-5073.
Alert! Learn more about CCSM’s response to COVID-19.

Click here for updates!

CCSM Submits Medication Management Issue Statement

The Statewide Consumer Council has drafted and approved an Issue Statement regarding the decreasing availability of medication management for people receiving both Medicare and MaineCare. On November 22, 2010, this issue statement was submitted to the Office of Adult Mental Health Services for consideration.

To view the Issue Statement and letter sent to OAMHS, click here

Please feel free to send us your comments. 

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CSN Meetings on Hold

The CourtMaster, Dan Wathen, has approved a request from the Office of Adult Mental Health Services (OAMHS) for the temporay suspension of all CSN meetings. He will be reviewing, according to Consent Decree protocols, a request from OAMHS to consider the termination of the CSN Process from the mental health system. The approval of the temporary suspension is based on the condition that OAMHS will submit a Consent Decree plan amendment by December 31, 2010 and provides an open opportunity for comment. 

To review the letters sent by OAMHS and Dan Wathen, please click here and feel free to make comments below.

OAMHS will continue the monthly call-in sessions to allow work to continue on establishing Maine-based guidelines for recovery-based services and for discussion of any other pertinent information regarding the many changes taking place within the mental health system, and government as a whole. 

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ONC Requests Your Comments About Personal Health Records by December 10, 2010

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) is soliciting public comments on personal health records in conjunction with ONC’s upcoming roundtable discussion Personal Health Records-Understanding the Evolving Landscape. Comments don’t have to be restricted to behavioral health but can address health care issues in general, such as privacy and security, consumer expectations, and noncovered entities.

The public comment period is open now through December 10, 2010. ONC would like the public’s input on the following topics:

Submit Your Comments

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Medication Management

If you know about med management services that are closing or reducing their clients, please let us know! This is a growing, serious issue.

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Vote! Vote! Vote!

Maine Elections will be held on November 2, 2010.

Are you registered to vote? If not, did you know that you can register on election day? 

Do know that you can get an absentee ballot at your town office and vote before election day?

Here are some links to help you find the answers to the questions above or any other voting related question:

State of Maine Voter Information:       http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/voter_info/index.html

State of Maine Voter Guide:    http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/votguid06.htm

Easy to Read Voter Guide published by the League of Woman Voters:  Click here

Your vote is important in deciding who our next elected officials will be or if a referendum should pass or not! Make your voice heard by voting!

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Vote! Vote! Vote! Maine Election Day: November 2, 2010

Are you registered to vote? If not, did you know that you can register on election day? 
Do know that you can get an absentee ballot at your town office and vote before election day?
Here are some links to help you find the answers to the questions above or any other voting related question:
State of Maine Voter Information:       http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/voter_info/index.html

State of Maine Voter Guide:    http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/votguid06.htm

Easy to Read Voter Guide published by the League of Woman Voters:  Click here
Your vote is important in deciding who our next elected officials will be or if a referendum should pass or not! Make your voice heard by voting!
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Important Food Stamp Allowance Update!!!

Please see the attached letter from Maine Equal Justice Partners regarding the changes in the plan to reduce food stamp benefits:

Many people on the Food Supplement program received notice that their benefit would decrease in October.  The so-called Full Standard Utility Allowance (FSUA) deduction was increased to $700 per month in 2008 when oil prices went up and was scheduled to be reduced to $530 this month as prices have declined.  This reduction would have cause an average loss of approximately $42 for Maine Food Supplement households.

 
However, as Maine Congresswoman Chellie Pingree announced on September 30th, the federal Office of Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) has extended a waiver that allowed Food Supplement recipients to continue to claim the higher deduction for utility costs.  This means that the planned decrease in Food Supplement benefits will not happen at this time. 
 
FNS is reconsidering whether or not to reduce the Standard Utility deduction this year.  They will make that decision by January, 2011.  We will keep you posted on further action on this important issue.
 
People who do not pay their own heat are not affected by the FSUA so they may see a small increase in their Food Supplement in Ocotber as the allowance for telephones has increased.
 
 
Crystal M. Bond
Paralegal/Organizer
Maine Equal Justice Partners
126 Sewall Street
Augusta, Maine 04330
Tel: 1-866-626-7059 x 205
Fax: 207-621-8148
 
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Commissioner Questions Inclusion of SPMI Population in Managed Care Initiative

DHHS Commissioner Brenda Harvey is leaning towards excluding people with serious and persistent mental illness (SPMI) from Maine’s Managed Care Initiative. This news came as a complete surprise to the CCSM’s Executive Director at the Managed Care Stakeholder Advisory Committee meeting on Friday, October 15th. Office of MaineCare Director, Tony Marple, confirmed this at the meeting, saying he believed the Commissioner’s current thinking centered around issues with the AMHI Consent Decree. After hearing strong concerns raised by consumer representatives and advocates, Tony offered to request a meeting with the Commissioner for consumer leaders and advocates to discuss her pending decision. As of this writing, the meeting has not been announced.

Helen Bailey of the Disability Rights Center (and attorney for the plaintiffs in the AMHI Consent Decree) said in a later conversation that managed care would not interfere with compliance with the Consent Decree Plan. She also said that the Managed Care Initiative’s Specialized Services Committee, of which she is a member, raised serious concerns at their meeting on Oct. 12th about excluding people with SPMI .

A decision to “carve out” these people/services from managed care could have serious results. Some issues voiced initially are: 1) reinforces the stigma of setting people apart from ‘normal’ health care; 2) takes out of the picture the opportunity for alternative services good managed care could offer; 3) removes a ripe opportunity for peer services to be funded and included in a variety of settings; 4) slows down progress toward integrating health care and mental health care.

Please note that if the decision is made to exclude, it does NOT mean people will lose services. MaineCare services for people with SPMI (generally “Section17” services such as case management and medication management, etc.) will continue as they are now.

Please stay tuned for more information on this issue. Please leave feedback here and reach out to Commissioner Brenda Harvey ([email protected]) and MaineCare Director Tony Marple ([email protected]) as you see fit. The website address for the Managed Care Initiative: http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/oms/mgd_care/mgd_care_index.html.

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