BC Legislature Chairman Reynolds still seeking information from OASAS

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. - The Chairman of the Broome County Legislature has sent a second letter to a state agency seeking information about the drug treatment facility proposed for the Broome Developmental Center.

On Wednesday, Republican Dan Reynolds wrote to the Chief Counsel of the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, or OASAS, seeking a justification for the size of the proposed treatment center.

Reynolds writes that Syracuse Behavioral Health, the organization chosen to provide services, projects that the 50 detox beds planned for the center will lead to 3,200 admissions per year.

The Republican Chairman goes on to question how our region can support that many admissions while serving predominantly local drug addicts as promised by supporters.

OASAS has pledged $2.7 million to convert a vacant building at BDC to hold the 50 detox beds as well as 50 residential treatment beds.

OASAS responded in a letter back to Reynolds that the facility is designed to hold up to 50 beds and that it will not open with full capacity.

And that another detox center operated by SBH in Rochester, has a patient base that is 87 percent from its home county.

The Republican-controlled legislature is planning to vote on whether to accept the funding next Wednesday.

You can see both recent letters below.

Response from OASAS can be read herepage 1 and page 2.

Reynolds' latest letter is below. Read his previous letter here.

December 20, 2017

Mr. Robert A. Kent, Esq., Chief Counsel
New York State Office of Alcoholism
and Substance Abuse Services
1450 Western Avenue
Albany, NY 12203-3526

Dear Mr. Kent:

Following up on our letter from December 12, 2017, to which we still have not received a response, we’ve reattached a copy to make sure you have received it.

Additionally, we would like to have a better understanding of the client base for the proposed Medically Supervised Withdrawal-Inpatient (MSW-I) facility, also known as medical detox. According to the attached email from Syracuse Behavioral Healthcare (SBH), they are projecting 3,285 admissions per year at the facility.

However, in their RFP response, SBH cited data from OASAS that can be found here: https://data.ny.gov/Human-Services/OASAS-Medicaid-Trend-Recipient-Summary-Profile-Beg/g4vm-hyyi. It appears that only 138 Medicaid eligible recipients from Broome County were referred out to medical detox in 2016 for all substance use disorders. Using that same OASAS data, only 240 Medicaid recipients went to medical detox facilities in 2016 from Broome County and its surrounding Counties. Additionally, in SBH’s proposed budget, they anticipate nearly 90% of their admissions to be Medicaid recipients.

As several of our State and County officials have stated that this would be a local facility, can you help us understand how the facility gets to 3,285 admissions?

To be more specific, Broome County Executive Jason Garnar claimed, “we’re targeting our population in Broome County, maybe some surrounding counties”, and Senator Frederick Akshar stated in the FAQ’s on his website that “most patients will come from Broome County and the surrounding counties.”

With that being said, it’s our understanding that no preferential access to treatment can be given to residents of Broome County or from surrounding counties. It’s also our understanding that patients could come from across the state and even other states. Can you confirm that? Also, could you tell us how that would work and how individuals are referred in from other areas or other facilities?

The attached map uses the 2016 OASAS data showing Medicaid recipients by County who were referred to medical detox for all substance use disorders. How large of an area would have to be encompassed to reach the over 3,200 admissions? Was this factored into the decision regarding the size of the facility?

While we understand that there may be individuals who are readmitted to this level of care more than once per year, can you provide us with the readmission rate per OASAS facility on an annual basis, and also if you track it on an individual basis, can you also provide that as well?
Any information you can provide to the Legislature prior to the upcoming Committee of the Whole Legislature meeting on December 27th is greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time and attention to this matter, and we look forward to hearing from you.


5th District Legislator
Broome County Legislature

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