PA 07-49—sHB 5508

Public Health Committee

Judiciary Committee

AN ACT AUTHORIZING COMMITMENT TO A CHRONIC DISEASE HOSPITAL UNDER A PHYSICIAN'S EMERGENCY CERTIFICATE

SUMMARY: This act permits a physician to place a person for psychiatric treatment in a chronic disease hospital under a 15-day emergency certificate if the hospital has a separate psychiatric unit. Prior law permitted such a placement only in a “hospital for persons with psychiatric disabilities,” that is any public or private hospital that accepts psychiatric patients.

The act permits an emergency psychiatric admission to a chronic disease hospital regardless of the law that requires the hospital's medical director to determine that the hospital and its staff can adequately care for and treat the patient. But it prohibits admission if the placing physician believes the person is actively suicidal or homicidal.

The act requires a psychiatrist to examine anyone admitted to a chronic disease hospital under a 15-day certificate within 24 hours of admission. (PA 07-252 extends the exam requirement to within 36 hours. ) Patients admitted under a certificate to an acute care or psychiatric hospital must, by law, be examined within 48 hours.

Before placing someone in a chronic disease hospital under an emergency certificate a physician must find the person to (1) have psychiatric disabilities, (2) be a danger to himself or others or gravely disabled (i. e. , in danger of serious harm because the person cannot care for his or her own basic needs), and (3) be in need of immediate care and treatment in a hospital. The law applies the same requirements to people admitted under emergency certificates to psychiatric and acute care hospitals.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2007

BACKGROUND

Chronic Disease Hospitals

A chronic disease hospital is a long-term hospital that has facilities, medical staff, and all necessary personnel to diagnose, care for, and treat chronic diseases (CGS 19a-535b(a)). The Department of Public Health currently licenses five chronic disease hospitals: Gaylord Hospital, Hospital for Special Care, the state Veterans' Home and Hospital, Hebrew Home and Hospital, and Mt. Sinai Rehabilitation Hospital.

OLR Tracking: SS: JK: PF: RO