OLR Bill Analysis

sHB 5267

AN ACT CONCERNING THE REGIONAL DELIVERY OF HUMAN SERVICES.

SUMMARY:

This bill changes which state officials are required to ensure that several intra-agency and interagency service regionalization goals are met.  Current law places this responsibility on the commissioners of Social Services (DSS) and Public Health (DPH) and the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) secretary.  The bill removes the DPH commissioner from this list and adds the commissioners of Children and Families (DCF), Developmental Services (DDS), and Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS). The bill also modifies one such goal and adds two more. 

By January 1, 2014, the bill requires the DSS, DCF, DDS, and DMHAS commissioners, in consultation with the OPM secretary, to submit a joint report to the Human Services and Public Health committees that details a plan for the departments to offer one-stop services or service referrals at any of their regional offices.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2013

REGIONAL SERVICE DELIVERY GOALS

The current intra-agency and interagency service regionalization goals include the following, among others:

1. establishment by OPM of up to six uniform regional service delivery areas to be developed in consideration of geographical size and other specified factors,

2. decentralization of each agency's service delivery operations,

3. development of a common intake process for entry into the health and human services system, and

4. development of a commonly-linked computerized management information system able to track clients and determine eligibility across programs.

The bill adds the following two goals:

1. establishment of a regional funding allocation formula based on factors including the percentage of overall departmental caseload in each region, and

2. coordination of staff, resources, office space, and technology to allow access at any one regional office to DSS, DCF, DDS, and DMHAS programs and services. The bill allows the agencies to use client personal information in the commonly-linked computerized management information system to accomplish this goal.

The bill also requires OPM to establish up to eight uniform regional service delivery areas instead of six and, in doing so, consider county borders instead of geographical size.

REPORT REQUIREMENT

The bill requires, by January 1, 2014, the DSS, DCF, DDS, and DMHAS commissioners, in consultation with the OPM secretary, to submit a joint report to the Human Services and Public Health committees. The report must detail a plan for the departments to offer one-stop services or service referrals at any of their regional offices. The plan must include provisions include:

1. office space consolidation and staff relocation, where necessary, to offer such one-stop service or service referrals at (a) 50% of department office locations by December 31, 2015 and (b) 100% of such office locations by December 31, 2016;

2. development of a commonly-linked computerized management information system by January 1, 2016 with the capacity for (a) clients to complete a single application for services offered by the departments and (b) the departments to track clients and determine eligibility for all department programs; and

3. a fiscal analysis of the projected savings from the service delivery coordination.

BACKGROUND

Human Service Regions

DCF has six regions covering the state, with service areas in each. DDS and DSS each have three regions covering the northern, southern, and western parts of the state, but DSS maintains either a large regional office or a sub-office within the larger regions. DMHAS has five service regions throughout the state.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Human Services Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

18

Nay

0

(04/03/2013)