SENATE, No. 3437

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

219th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 11, 2021

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator† PATRICK J. DIEGNAN, JR.

District 18 (Middlesex)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

†††† Establishes pilot program to refer certain emergency department patients for development of coordinated behavioral health care treatment and support services plan.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

†††† As introduced.

††


An Act concerning behavioral health care and supplementing Title 26 and Title 30 of the Revised Statutes.

 

†††† Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

†††† 1.††† a.†† There is established in the Department of Human Services a pilot program to develop coordinated, specialized treatment plans for individuals with behavioral health issues, including, but not limited to, mild-to-moderate mental health issues, emotional disturbances, and substance use disorders.

†††† b.††† The department shall select two hospitals in each Regional Health Hub designated pursuant to P.L.2019, c.517 (C.30:4D-8.16 et seq.) to participate in the pilot program.† To the extent possible, the department shall seek to select for participation in the pilot program hospitals that are not currently affiliated with the Early Intervention Support Services program and hospitals that are connected with or demonstrate a plan to connect with the Regional Health Hubís health information network as well as the New Jersey Health Information Network.

†††† c.†††† Hospitals participating in the pilot program shall refer any patient presenting at the hospitalís emergency department with a behavioral health issue, including, but not limited to, a mild-to-moderate mental health issue, emotional disturbance, or substance use disorder, which behavioral health issue does not meet the criteria for admission to inpatient care, to the Regional Health Hub of which the hospital is a member.† The regional Health Hub shall evaluate the patient and develop a coordinated behavioral health treatment plan for the patient, which plan shall identify wraparound support services appropriate to the patientís treatment needs.

†††† d.††† Each designated Regional Health Hub shall provide administrative and support services to member hospitals participating in the pilot program to refer patients to the Regional Health Hub for the development of a coordinated behavioral health treatment plan.† Each Regional Health Hub shall develop protocols for use by the Regional Health Hub and hospitals participating in the pilot program, which protocols shall:

†††† (1)†† be designed to ensure that patients referred to the Regional Health Hub under the pilot program are provided timely referrals to behavioral health treatment and support services appropriate to the patientís behavioral health and related wraparound social services needs, including, but not limited to, the Early Intervention Support Services program, medication-assisted treatment, cash assistance programs, housing assistance programs, and other appropriate services as may be available and as are consistent with the patientís coordinated behavioral health treatment plan; and

†††† (2)†† include requirements for timely follow up with patients, transportation coordination services, and assistance in scheduling appointments for primary care services and other appropriate health care services.

†††† e.†††† To the extent possible, Regional Health Hubs providing referrals in connection with a behavioral health treatment plan developed pursuant to subsection c. of this section to a patient who is enrolled in the State Medicaid program shall seek to ensure that all such referrals are made to authorized Medicaid providers.

 

†††† 2.††† The Commissioner of Human Services may adopt rules and regulations, pursuant to the ďAdministrative Procedure Act,Ē P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), as are necessary to implement the provisions of this act.

 

†††† 3.††† The Commissioner of Human Services shall apply for such State plan amendments or waivers as may be necessary to implement the provisions of this act and to secure federal financial participation for State Medicaid expenditures under the federal Medicaid program in connection with the development of coordinated behavioral health treatment plans pursuant to this act.

 

†††† 4.††† This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

†††† This bill establishes a pilot program in the Department of Human Services (DHS) to develop coordinated, specialized treatment plans for individuals with behavioral health issues, including, but not limited to, mild-to-moderate mental health issues, emotional disturbances, and substance use disorders.

†††† The DHS will be required to select two hospitals in each Regional Health Hub designated pursuant to P.L.2019, c.517 (C.30:4D-8.16 et seq.) to participate in the pilot program.† To the extent possible, the DHS is to select for participation in the pilot program hospitals that are not currently affiliated with the Early Intervention Support Services program and hospitals that are connected with or demonstrate a plan to connect with the Regional Health Hubís health information network as well as the New Jersey Health Information Network.

†††† Hospitals participating in the pilot program will be required to refer any patient presenting at the hospitalís emergency department with a behavioral health issue, including, but not limited to, a mild-to-moderate mental health issue, emotional disturbance, or substance use disorder, which behavioral health issue does not meet the criteria for admission to inpatient care, to the Regional Health Hub of which the hospital is a member.† The regional Health Hub will evaluate the patient and develop a coordinated behavioral health treatment plan for the patient, which plan will include identifying wraparound support services appropriate to the patientís treatment needs.

†††† Each designated Regional Health Hub will be required to provide administrative and support services to member hospitals participating in the pilot program to refer patients to the Regional Health Hub for the development of a coordinated behavioral health treatment plan.† Regional Health Hubs will be required to develop protocols for use by the Regional Health Hub and hospitals participating in the pilot program, which protocols are to:

†††† (1)†† be designed to ensure that patients referred to the Regional Health Hub under the pilot program are provided timely referrals to behavioral health treatment and support services appropriate to the patientís behavioral health and related wraparound social services needs, including, but not limited to, the Early Intervention Support Services program, medication-assisted treatment, cash assistance programs, housing assistance programs, and other appropriate services as may be available and as are consistent with the patientís coordinated behavioral health treatment plan; and

†††† (2)†† include requirements for timely follow up with patients, transportation coordination services, and assistance in scheduling appointments for primary care services and other appropriate health care services.

†††† To the extent possible, Regional Health Hubs providing referrals under the bill in connection with a behavioral health treatment plan to a patient who is enrolled in the State Medicaid program are to seek to ensure that all such referrals are made to authorized Medicaid providers.

†††† The Commissioner of Human Services will be required to apply for such State plan amendments or waivers as may be necessary to implement the provisions of the bill and to secure federal financial participation for State Medicaid expenditures under the federal Medicaid program in connection with the development of coordinated behavioral health treatment plans pursuant to the bill.