OLR Bill Analysis

HB 6708

AN ACT CONCERNING VARIOUS REVISIONS TO THE MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTION STATUTES.

SUMMARY:

This bill makes several changes in the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) statutes. It:

1. specifies that all private agencies treating psychiatric disabilities or substance abuse, regardless of whether they are state-funded, must comply with the commissioner's data collection requirements ( 1);

2. authorizes the DMHAS commissioner to designate any employee, instead of only a deputy commissioner, to sign a contract, agreement, or settlement on the department's behalf ( 2); and

3. repeals the commissioner's ability to appoint two deputy commissioners and a medical director but retains the provision allowing the commissioner to appoint any personnel necessary to carry out her duties ( 3-5).

The bill also makes technical changes.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2015

DATA COLLECTION

By law, the DMHAS commissioner must specify uniform methods for keeping statistical information for public and private agencies, including a client identifier system. The bill specifies that these methods apply to all public and private agencies that provide care or treatment for psychiatric disabilities or alcohol or drug abuse or dependence, including those that are not state-operated or state-funded.

The bill also specifies that the agencies or others involved in such treatment, and not the commissioner, must collect relevant statistical information and make it available. The bill requires them to report the information to DMHAS, in the form and manner the commissioner prescribes and upon her request. By law, this information includes the number of people treated, demographic and clinical information, frequency of admission and readmission, frequency and duration of treatment, level of care provided, and discharge and referral information.

BACKGROUND

DMHAS Commissioner Appointments

By law, the DMHAS commissioner may appoint professional, technical, and other personnel necessary to carry out her duties (CGS 17a-451(l)).

COMMITTEE ACTION

Public Health Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

26

Nay

0

(03/04/2015)