Collaborative Effort Charged with Developing Comprehensive Plan to End Heroin and Opioid Addiction in NYS


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the launch of a statewide heroin task force charged with ending the heroin and opioid crisis in New York. The group, comprised of a broad coalition of experts in healthcare, drug policy, advocacy, education, and parents and New Yorkers in recovery, will build on the state's previous efforts and use their expertise and experience to develop a comprehensive action plan to combat the state's opioid epidemic. Members of the task force will hold public listening sessions across New York to inform their recommendations.

"Opioid addiction is a national epidemic that continues to plague families in communities across New York - and the state has been taking aggressive action to tackle this crisis head on," Governor Cuomo said. "The Heroin Task Force will take these efforts to the next level with a comprehensive action plan developed by a diverse coalition of experts. We will use the task force's recommendations to implement smart solutions that will protect public health, enhance safety in communities statewide and save the lives of vulnerable New Yorkers."

"Heroin and opioid deaths in New York State have reached unconscionable levels," Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, Co-Chair of the Heroin Task Force said. "On behalf of the families all across New York whose lives have been shattered by this crisis, I'm honored to lead the fight against it. We will leave no stone unturned in our quest to find ways to not only prevent, but also break the cycle of addiction that has destroyed so many lives in our state."

Since 2014, Governor Cuomo has implemented a series of aggressive reforms to combat heroin and opioid addiction, including signing the historic Combat Heroin Legislation; expanding insurance coverage for substance use disorder treatment; increasing access and enhancing treatment capacity across the state, including a major expansion of opioid treatment services; implementing new and expanded recovery services; and launching a public awareness and prevention campaign to inform New Yorkers about the dangers of opioid use.

In March, new regulations took effect that require all prescriptions to be transmitted electronically from the prescriber directly to the pharmacy. The measure is part of New York's comprehensive I-STOP law, first implemented in 2012, designed to curb prescription drug abuse across the state.

Through I-STOP, New York requires prescribers to consult the Prescription Monitoring Program Registry when writing prescriptions for Schedule II, III, and IV controlled substances. The Registry provides practitioners with direct, secure access to view dispensed controlled substance prescription histories for patients in real time. The data is further used to identify potential sources of prescription drug diversion or abuse, including prescription fraud. In April, the state began sharing Prescription Monitoring Program data with New Jersey to further prevent the stockpiling and resale of dangerous controlled substances.

As of 2015, I-STOP has led to a 90 percent decrease in the number of "doctor shoppers" or patients who visit multiple prescribers and pharmacies to obtain controlled substances within a three-month time period.

As overdose is now the leading cause of accidental death in New York, the state has also led an aggressive effort to make naloxone available without a prescription at approved pharmacies. In March, the state DOH, in collaboration with the Harm Reduction Coalition, issued standing medical orders to the more than 750 independent pharmacies outside New York City, allowing these pharmacists to dispense naloxone without a prescription. The action built on the Governor's agreement with CVS and Walgreens/Duane Reade in January 2016, enabling more than 900 of these pharmacies to make naloxone available without a prescription statewide.

To date, New York has trained thousands of first responders and community members to recognize and respond to overdoses. Since 2006, the state's community overdose prevention and naloxone distribution program has enrolled more than 225 registered programs, which have trained more than 112,000 individuals. As a result, more than 3,500 overdose reversals have been documented, with over 1,500 lives saved in 2015 alone. A total of 8,424 law enforcement officials have been trained to administer naloxone through these efforts, including 2,639 instructors.

Now, the Heroin Task Force will build upon the state's previous efforts and develop a comprehensive statewide plan to break the cycle of opioid addiction in New York. Specifically, the Task Force will identify ways to expand awareness of heroin and opioid addiction; enhance statewide prevention efforts; increase access to treatment; and improve support for those in recovery. For more information, please visit:

Members of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's Heroin Task Force include:

Kathy Hochul, Lieutenant Governor, co-chair
Arlene Gonzalez-Sanchez, NYS OASAS Commissioner, co-chair
Maria Vullo, Acting NYS DFS Superintendent
Dr. Howard Zucker, NYS DOH Commissioner
Joshua Vinciguerra, NYS DOH, Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement Director
Michael Green, NYS DCJS Executive Commissioner
Lt. Colonel Frank Kohler, Lead on Heroin/Opioids, NYS State Police
Tino Hernandez, President, Samaritan Village
Daniel Raymond, Policy Director, Harm Reduction Coalition
Charles Brack, Peer/Family Support Specialist, United Healthcare
Patrice Wallace-Moore, CEO of Arms Acres
Michael McMahon, Richmond County District Attorney
Adrienne Abbate, Executive Director, SI partnership for Community Wellness
Kym Laube, Executive Director, Human Understanding & Growth Services
Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds, President and CEO of Family and Children's Association
Anne Constantino, CEO of Horizon Health Services
Cortney Lovell, Director, Wrise Consulting
Susan Salomone, Executive Director of Drug Crisis in Our Backyard
Patrick Seche, Director of Services, Addiction Psychiatry, University of Rochester Medical Center
Jerald Woolfork, VP for Student Affairs at SUNY Oswego
Tom O'Brien, Roxbury Schools Superintendent
Terrence Murphy, NYS Senate
Linda Rosenthal, NYS Assembly

NYS OASAS Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez said, "New Yorkers battling addiction need to know we are here with open arms to help them - to access treatment and support their recovery. I thank the Governor for his continued leadership in appointing this task force. I believe that their work will add to our efforts to attack this epidemic."

NYS Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said, "Opioid addiction has become a national crisis that is destroying lives and tearing families apart. Governor Cuomo has dedicated substantial resources to addressing this crisis and helping addicted New Yorkers get the assistance they need. His latest action - creation of the statewide task force - will allow us to develop a comprehensive plan to help those who are addicted and prevent others from going down that path."

Maria T. Vullo, Acting Superintendent of Financial Services said, "Substance addiction devastates families across New York State. As a member of Governor Cuomo's statewide heroin task force, I will work with health insurers and other stakeholders to devise educational programs focused on prevention, as well as implement aggressive reforms to ensure that affected New Yorkers receive access to the recovery and support services they need."

Senator Terence Murphy said, "Heroin and prescription drug abuse has claimed far too many lives in New York and across the country. It's time we put a stop to this epidemic and prevent more needless tragedies from occurring. Launching this task force is the right move, and I look forward to joining Governor Cuomo's efforts to fight dangerous opioid abuse in New York State."

Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal said, "The opioid epidemic is hurting New York's children and families - and the state must continue to advance its efforts to combat this epidemic. I am proud to join the Heroin Task Force and commend Governor Cuomo for his continued leadership on this critical issue. Through these coordinated efforts, we will be able to connect more New Yorkers with vital treatment and support services, and increase prevention strategies in communities statewide."

Richmond County District Attorney Michael McMahon said, "The heroin and prescription drug crisis is stealing the lives of Staten Islanders every other day, just as it is crippling communities across New York State and across the country. Confronting this epidemic is the challenge of a generation, and while the challenge is daunting, it is one we must address and that we can solve together if given the tools and resources to get the job done. I want to thank the Governor for bringing this task force together and for his commitment to this important issue."

Cortney Lovell, Director, Wrise Consulting, said, "I applaud Governor Cuomo for appointing this task force and his continued leadership in combatting the opioid epidemic. We need to work together to tackle this crisis head on and advance solutions that will make a difference in the lives of New Yorkers struggling with addiction. As a person in long term recovery, I am proud to be a part of this effort and I look forward to helping more New Yorkers find and experience the joy of recovery."

Anne Constantino, CEO of Horizon Health Services, said, "I thank the Governor for his continued leadership in creating this task force. This is a nationwide epidemic and we must take action to ensure New Yorkers have access to the help they need and deserve. I am proud the Task Force will build on the Governor's good work over the last few years, and I look forward to finding ways to further expand and enhance addiction treatment services in New York."

Susan Salomone, Executive Director of Drug Crisis in Our Backyard and a parent who lost her son to opioid use, said, "I am honored to be a part of this important work and commend Governor Cuomo for leading the way in combatting this epidemic. As parent who has been impacted by addiction, it is my hope that the Task Force will provide New Yorkers with a roadmap to overcome substance abuse and help those in recovery lead long, healthy and happy lives. I look forward to working together to create a long-term plan that will help protect New York's children and families."

Over the past decade, admissions for heroin and prescription opioid-abuse treatment in New York have increased 40 percent. In Upstate New York and on Long Island, admissions for opioid and heroin addiction have increased 94 and 117 percent respectively. Moreover, heroin admissions to OASAS addiction treatment programs have risen 35 percent between 2006 and 2015. Five percent of students in grades seven through twelve have reported using a prescription pain reliever non-medically.

New Yorkers struggling with an addiction, or whose loved ones are struggling, can find help and hope by calling the State's HOPEline at 1-877-8-HOPENY (1-877-846-7369) or by texting HOPENY (Short Code 467369). New Yorkers can find an OASAS-certified substance use disorder treatment provider any time by using the OASAS Bed Availability Dashboard. For help with accessing care and insurance coverage, visit the Access Treatment page on the OASAS website.

To find a naloxone overdose reversal medication training near you, visit the OASAS Addiction Treatment Center opioid overdose prevention trainings page. for more information on addressing heroin and prescription opioid abuse, including a Kitchen Table Tool Kit to help start the conversation about the warning signs of addiction and where to get help. For additional tools to use in talking to a young person about preventing underage drinking or drug use, visit the State's Talk2Prevent website.


States to share data from respective Prescription Monitoring Programs in joint effort to prevent stockpiling, resale, and abuse of dangerous controlled substances

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced New York State has begun sharing Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) data with New Jersey to prevent the stockpiling and resale of dangerous controlled substances and to help fight the abuse of prescription drugs.

New York and New Jersey are using the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy PMP InterConnect hub, which allows them to securely share their prescription data with authorized requestors from other states in the hub. The Prescription Monitoring Program provides practitioners and pharmacists with a patient's recent controlled substance prescription information. By providing more complete records of patients' multi-state prescription histories, states work together to prevent those who would evade state laws from obtaining and stockpiling or reselling dangerous controlled substances for nonmedical use.

New York began data sharing with New Jersey on April 14, 2016. Through just April 22, over 16,000 controlled substance records have been requested, with over 12,000 of those requests coming from New York to New Jersey.

"Sharing controlled substance data with neighboring states allows us to more effectively combat prescription drug abuse and fraud," said Governor Cuomo. "New York has seen an important decrease in the number of controlled substance prescriptions issued since we launched our aggressive I-STOP program in 2012, and I am confident that sharing data across state lines will further that success throughout the region. Prescription drug abuse impacts families nationwide, and I am proud of the crucial step we are taking to stem this epidemic."

Governor Cuomo initiated New York's PMP - known as the Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing Act (I-STOP) - in 2012, and the program has revolutionized the way controlled substances are prescribed, distributed and tracked in New York State.

State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard A. Zucker said, "Participating in InterConnect not only facilitates the transmission of PMP controlled substance data across state lines to authorized requestors, it also enhances New York's ability to track and prevent over-prescribing of potentially dangerous drugs and strengthens Governor Cuomo's comprehensive effort to combat prescription drug abuse."

State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services Arlene González-Sánchez said, "I applaud the Governor's initiative to share prescription information across State lines. Prescription opioid misuse is leading to chronic addiction impacting our families and communities. By sharing prescription information across state lines we can better monitor dispensing and minimize fraudulent prescribing practices and misuse of these prescriptions."

Senator Kemp Hannon, Chair of the Senate Health Committee, said, "Fighting the opioid epidemic is going to require the kind of collaboration announced today by Governor Cuomo. By sharing prescription data, we will be better able to quickly spot those patients who are trying to illegally obtain controlled substances. This is a major step forward in our efforts to stem the dangerous epidemic of opioid abuse."

Senator Andrew Lanza said, "Knowing is half the battle. Through the Prescription Monitoring Program and I-STOP, New York state has compiled a valuable database of controlled substance use to better serve patients and combat abuse. By making this information available between states, New York adds another layer of deterrence to those who would overprescribe, or would-be drug seekers crossing state lines. Tracking prescriptions regionally not only makes sense, it saves lives."

Assemblyman Richard N. Gottfried, Chair of the Assembly Health Committee, said, "The prescription drug monitoring program we enacted in 2012 has been an important tool for reducing prescription drug abuse in New York. Connecting it to New Jersey's system - and eventually to other state systems - will make it even more effective."

Assemblyman Michael Cusick said, "The opioid epidemic is not simply a problem confined to the borders of any single state. Opioid misuse and abuse has become a regional issue, one that demands creative solutions with our partners in neighboring states. The sharing of data with New Jersey is a start and will enable doctors and pharmacists in New York to more closely monitor a patient's efforts to illegally obtain these dangerous controlled substances."


OMIG has released its 2016-17 Work Plan, detailing the areas of focus in the Medicaid program for State Fiscal Year April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017.

This year's Work Plan continues a focus on organizing work according to categories of service. Building on the 2015-16 Work Plan, OMIG continues to utilize its Business Line Teams across a number of areas, including but not limited to the Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment Program (DSRIP), Managed Long Term Care, Transportation, Home and Community Care Services, and Managed Care. Further, OMIG will continue to emphasize provider outreach and education, particularly focusing on providers having proactive compliance programs that will prevent or, when necessary, detect and address abusive practices. Through its array of compliance webinars, guidance materials, self-assessment tools, presentations, and a dedicated compliance email address and phone number, OMIG's oversight activities and educational efforts increase provider accountability and contribute to improved quality of care.

The work plan, and plans from previous years, can be viewed at:

The Continuing Legal Education Board has approved 4.5 CLE credits for OMIG's nine-part Compliance Elements Webinar Series (webinars # 26 - # 34). To earn the 4.5 CLE credits, individuals must view each webinar in the series and make note of the three codes provided in each webinar (27 codes total). No partial credits will be issued. Be sure to include all codes on the attorney application, which is posted on OMIG's website at:

If you wish to apply for these credits, please email your completed attorney application, including your name and contact information, to:

The Compliance Elements Webinar Series is available at:

Thank you for your interest in OMIG webinars.

OMIG imposes Corporate Integrity Agreements (CIA) on certain providers that OMIG determines have committed unacceptable practices, but whose removal from the Medicaid program would negatively impact access to necessary services. The CIA allows for strict oversight of a provider. Providers under a CIA are subjected to monitoring that includes, but is not limited to, annual claims reviews, cost reporting reviews, and compliance program reviews.

Corporate Integrity Agreement executed:

Elant, Inc., Elant at Brandywine, Inc., Elant at Fishkill, Inc., Glen Arden, Inc., Elant at Goshen, Inc., and Elant at Newburgh, Inc. d/b/a Elant at Meadow Hill (collectively "Elant")

View the CIA at:

Corporate Integrity Agreement expires:

OMIG's Corporate Integrity Agreement with Young Adult Institute, Inc. expired on January 19, 2016. View the expiration notice here:

All CIAs can be viewed at: