Today's Law As Amended


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AB-480 Mental health: older adults.(2019-2020)



As Amends the Law Today


SECTION 1.

 Article 5 (commencing with Section 5816) is added to Part 3 of Division 5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:

Article  5. The Older Adult Mental Health Services Administrator
5816.
 (a) There is within the State Department of Health Care Services an Older Adult Mental Health Services Administrator who shall oversee mental health services for older adults. The administrator position shall be funded with administrative funds pursuant to, and shall act in accordance with the purposes described in, subdivision (d) of Section 5892.
(b) The Older Adult Mental Health Services Administrator shall work in close coordination and collaboration with stakeholders, including, but not limited to, the following:
(1) The Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission.
(2) The Director of the California Department of Aging.
(3) County behavioral health services departments.
(4) Any other relevant stakeholders to ensure that older adults have access to necessary behavioral health services and supports.
(c) In order to fulfill duties to consumers and family members as well as the requirements for research and evaluation of mental health services and outcomes as described in subdivision (d) of Section 5892, the Older Adult Mental Health Services Administrator’s responsibilities shall include, but shall not be limited to, the following:
(1) Service integration for mental health services for older adults.
(2) Determining which outcome and related indicators counties are currently collecting, and which current services are being offered.
(3) Developing outcome and related indicators for older adults, using existing data, for the purpose of assessing the status of mental health services for older adults, for monitoring the quality of programs intended to serve those older adults, and to guide decisionmaking on how to improve those services.
(4) Ensuring that indicators shall reflect the following issues, including, but not limited to, screenings and assessments of affective disorders, suicide risk and suicide rates, medication review, cognitive review and assessment, alcohol use and substance misuse, housing and independent living assessment, social connections and social isolation, consumer and family satisfaction with care, access to care overall and for diverse populations, continuity and integration of care, health services utilization such as psychiatric hospitalizations and emergency room use for mental and behavioral health care, the number of eligible older adults with a mental health service need compared with the number of eligible older adults who received services in the measurement year, and services provided on a regional basis to determine regional areas with the greatest need for services.
(5) To the extent that data does not exist to sufficiently determine the outcome and related indicators identified in paragraph (4), working with all relevant stakeholders to develop a strategy to identify high-level indicators, including, but not limited to, for those indicators from paragraph (4) that cannot be sufficiently defined using existing and available data.
(6) Utilization of the new outcome and related indicators to prepare and disseminate, on an annual basis, reports to the State Department of Health Care Services, the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission, and counties that would also include, but are not limited to, numbers of older adults served by age, differences in age categorization of older adult groups served, and effectiveness of services.
(7) In close coordination and consultation with experts in the field, establishing a standardized geriatrics training module for mental health professionals that would include a plan to account for cultural, linguistic, ethnic, geographic, and socioeconomic diversity among the older adult population, and that address barriers and stigma experienced by older adult populations. The standardized training module shall be made available to mental health professionals and other providers.
(d) The Older Adult Mental Health Services Administrator shall receive any data, the access to which is not restricted by any state or federal law, that is necessary to develop outcome-related indicators as specified in paragraph (4) of subdivision (c), including, but not limited to, data held by other state agencies or departments.
(e) The Older Adult Mental Health Services Administrator shall maintain the confidentiality of information received pursuant to this section in a manner that is equal to the manner in which other state agencies or departments maintain the confidentiality of data.
(f) The Older Adult Mental Health Services Administrator may establish one or more advisory bodies to guide and inform the selection of outcome and related indicators and the strategy for developing and reporting those indicators. An existing state entity that involves diverse representation of older adults, including, but not limited to, the California Commission on Aging, may act as an advisory body for purposes of this section.
(g) The Older Adult Mental Health Services Administrator shall report to the entities listed in subdivision (d) of Section 5892, on or before July 1, 2022, all of the outcome and related indicators developed by the administrator pursuant to paragraph (4) of subdivision (c). The report shall also include recommendations on ways to establish a system for monitoring those indicators on a continual basis, including additional staffing or technology that might be necessary, and any regulatory or fiscal barriers that may hinder future progress on the development of a monitoring system. The report may be made available to the Legislature, upon request by the Legislature.
(h) The Older Adult Mental Health Services Administrator shall also develop a strategy and standardized training for all county mental health personnel, including clinicians, involved in delivering Mental Health Services Act mental health care and prevention services to older adults in order for counties to assist the administrator in obtaining the data necessary to develop the outcome and related indicators specified in paragraph (4) of subdivision (c).
SEC. 2.
 The Legislature finds and declares that this act clarifies procedures and terms of the Mental Health Services Act within the meaning of Section 18 of the Mental Health Services Act.