PA 15-120—HB 6708

Public Health Committee

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

SUMMARY: This act 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 act 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 act 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 agencies that are not state-operated or state-funded.

The act 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 act 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.

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