Good morning and welcome to the Weekly New York Health Care newsletter, where we keep you posted on what’s coming up this week in health care news, and offer a look back at the important news from last week.
Ever since Mayor Eric Adams directed first responders to consider someone’s inability to meet their basic needs as grounds for involuntary commitment, civil rights groups and mental health advocates have been clamoring for more information on how the NYPD would implement the new policy.
After all, there have been a number of recent examples of police officers killing or seriously injuring someone in distress after they were called to the scene.
Internal training materials, which were obtained by the New York Civil Liberties Union and published Friday by POLITICO, shed new light on how police officers are being taught to interpret and apply the standard.
City Hall has yet to release comprehensive data on how many people have been involuntarily committed because of an inability to meet their basic needs.
In the meantime, the training documents can further the public’s understanding of when and for whom police officers are instructed to invoke the standard.
NYPD officers are not the only first responders who are authorized by law to forcibly transport someone to the hospital.
But the mental health clinicians who share that legal authority are few and far between, considering the NYPD has tens of thousands of uniformed officers patrolling the city at all hours.
When a clinician is also at the scene, NYPD officers are supposed to defer to them on whether involuntary transport is warranted, the training materials say.
Otherwise, the materials indicate, police officers may unilaterally decide whether someone needs to be taken to a hospital against the person’s will.
NYC Health + Hospitals operates a hotline to provide officers with guidance on a given situation, but there seems to be no requirement they call it.
That makes their training all the more important.
Since Adams issued the directive, active NYPD officers appear to have gotten little more than 25 minutes’ worth of training on what “unable to meet basic needs” means and a refresher on the broader topic.
IN OTHER NEWS:
— New York Attorney General Letitia James, together with 41 other attorneys general, announced a $102.5 million settlement Friday with Indivior, a manufacturer of opioid addiction treatment, for monopolistic practices. New York will receive approximately $5.7 million.
The drugmaker was accused of suppressing the market for generic versions of Suboxone, a prescription medicine used to treat opioid use disorder.
ON THE AGENDA THIS WEEK:
— Monday at 10 a.m. The City Council Committee on Fire and Emergency Management hosts an oversight hearing on EMS career paths.
— Wednesday at 10 a.m. The New York State Department of Health and the Office for the Aging host a town hall on New York’s master plan for aging at the Hunter College Silberman Campus.
— Thursday at 3:30 p.m. The Public Health and Health Planning Council’s Health Planning Committee hosts an educational workgroup on dental and oral health care in the emergency department.
— Friday at 10 a.m. The New York State Health Equity Council meets.
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— New data released last week indicates that the rate of infants who die before their 1st birthday has declined statewide — except among Black babies.
Infant mortality rates, defined as the death of a baby before the age of 1, increased slightly from 8.37 to 8.46 deaths per 1,000 live births among non-Hispanic Black babies between 2016 and 2019.
At the same time, the state’s overall infant mortality rate fell by 12 percent to 3.85 deaths per live births, according to the Health Department data.
The result was that non-Hispanic Black infants across New York were 2.8 times likelier to die than non-Hispanic white infants in 2019. While babies born to Black people made up 14 percent of births in 2019, they accounted for 31 percent of the infant deaths that year.
NOW WE KNOW — This program is using art to teach students about the impact of migraines and concussions.
TODAY’S TIP — Planning a big summer vacation? Here are some ways to prevent jet lag.
STUDY THIS — Millions of U.S. adults aren’t taking their medications as prescribed due to the cost, a new CDC report finds.
— Transgender patients have more opportunities for care in New York, but getting it isn’t easy, Crain’s New York Business reports.
— NYC sheriff hawked ‘gimmick’ Covid protection just before mayor hired him, THE CITY reports.
— Studies show top surgery is safe for fat patients, but some surgeons still mandate weight loss, STAT reports.
— Environmental advocates are asking the EPA to take a stand on reproductive justice, The 19th News reports.
— Via POLITICO’s Caroline Petrow-Cohen: “New Jersey aims to be a safe haven for abortion. Crisis pregnancy centers stand in the way, leaders say.”
— WHO condemns tobacco industry’s efforts to promote e-cigarettes as harm reduction, Ashleigh Furlong reports.
MISSED A ROUNDUP? Get caught up on the New York Health Care Newsletter.