A. $20 Million Grant for Substance Abuse Treatment
The Council voted to accept the first half of an approximately $40 million federal grant to pay for substance abuse treatment in our state. The grant monies are to fund operations over a two year period. Future funding at this level is not guaranteed. As a result, a good deal of the state’s focus is to set up a treatment infrastructure that NH currently lacks; the state having allowed much of our community mental health system to waste away. Of this year’s approximately $20 million allotment, about $7.7 million is designed to pay seven regional hospitals to act as treatment hubs that will provide assessment, data management and clinical support to treatment providers that will act as spokes within their regions. I asked whether the contracting was in place with the hospitals and was told the contracts will be completed shortly. I am concerned because public comments by some hospitals indicate reluctance based on the proposed payments offered. (I do not know the fairness of the contracts offered.) I also am concerned that the hub and spoke model may undermine the Safe Stations programs now operating in Manchester and Nashua. About $1 million is to defray the cost of Narcan. I expect additional information will be forthcoming from the Governor and the Department of Health and Human Services in the near future.