Behavioral Health Legislative Implementation

 

Behavioral Health Legislative Implementation

Several bills affecting behavioral health professionals, facilities, and agencies passed during the 2019 and 2020 legislative session. Bills that require the Department of Health to take action in order to implement are listed below.

Substitute House Bill 2624 (2020)

Who this affects

Substance use disorder treatment providers, behavioral health agencies and residential treatment facilities

Summary

  • Prevents insurers from requiring prior authorization for payment for admission to residential substance use disorder (SUD) treatment or withdrawal management services.
  • The Health Care Authority (authority) is directed to develop an action plan identifying barriers for individuals receiving appropriate SUD treatment.
  • It requires the authority and Office of the Insurance Commission to come up with a single state standard set of criteria to define medical necessity for substance use disorder treatment and to define substance use disorder levels of care in Washington.
  • The department must collaborate with the authority in exploration of systems to allow withdrawal management facilities to bill for the appropriate levels of care.
Second Engrossed Second Substitute Senate Bill 5720 (2020)

Who this affects

Behavioral health agencies certified to provide evaluation and treatment services

Summary

  • Updates terms to reflect integration of mental health and substance use disorder
  • Changes initial detention time period from 72 hours to 120 hours (effective 1/2021)
  • Aligns youth involuntary detention more closely with requirements for adult involuntary detention
  • Changes statutes to streamline the process to admit patients for involuntary treatment.
  • The Department is required to participate in an Involuntary Treatment Act Workgroup which will be facilitated by the Health Care Authority
Substitute House Bill 2883 (2020)

Who this affects

Residential treatment facilities providing services to adolescents

Summary

  • Clarifies that parents and guardians may bring their child to any residential treatment facility for family initiated treatment and allows the adolescent to remain in treatment in a residential treatment facility as long as it is medically necessary
  • Health Care Authority must develop and operate a data collection and tracking system for youth receiving family-initiated treatment and collaborate with DOH on collecting data from facilities providing family-initiated treatment.
Substitute House Bill 2426 (2020)

Who this affects

Psychiatric hospitals, other department-licensed facilities

Summary

  • Expands the department's regulatory enforcement tools for psychiatric hospitals
  • Provides the department authority to impose stop placements on admissions, civil fines, and conditions on a psychiatric hospital license
  • Allows the department to make certain actions (stop placements, conditions on a license, and license suspension) effectively immediately pending a hearing when there is immediate jeopardy to patients
  • The department must make technical assistance and training available to psychiatric hospitals on request
  • Inspection and investigation reports for health care facilities must be posted on the Web.
  • The department must work with stakeholders to make legislative recommendations for consolidation and standardization of licensing and enforcement requirements for all.
Senate Bill 6641 (2020)

Who this affects

Sex offender treatment providers

Summary

  • Restricts the practice of sex offender treatment to specified behavioral health providers while maintaining access to care by grandfathering in current practitioners
  • Expands the number of qualified supervisors, and allows state-run facility and treatment program employees to use their work to towards experience requirements
  • The department must create a Sex Offender Treatment Program Advisory Committee to advise on policy and make recommendations to the governor and legislature.
Engrossed Substitute House Bill 1768

Who this affects

Substance use disorder professionals, psychologists, clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, mental health counselors, agency affiliated counselors, behavioral health facilities and agencies.

Summary

What has been completed so far?

Second Substitute House Bill 1907 (2019)

Who this affects

Agency affiliated counselors practicing as a certified peer counselor and behavioral health facilities and agencies

Summary

What has been completed so far?

Senate House Bill 5054 (2019)

Who this affects

Psychologists, social workers, mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists, and substance use disorder professionals, and behavioral health facilities and agencies.

Summary

  • Requires the department to establish a reciprocity program and a probationary license for psychologists, social workers, mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists, and substance use disorder professionals who have equivalent scopes of practice in another state, as verified by the department, allowing them to practice in a licensed behavioral health agency during the probationary period as they work toward meeting the requirements for full licensure.

What has been completed so far?

Second Substitute House Bill 1394 (2019)

Who this affects

Behavioral health agencies

Summary

  • Requires the department to establish licensing and certification rules for intensive behavioral health treatment facilities and mental health peer respite centers, and encourages improving access to care for people on a 90- or 180-day civil commitment order.

What has been completed so far?