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AB-1314 County mental health services: veterans.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 02/17/2017 09:00 PM
AB1314:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 1314


Introduced by Assembly Member Irwin

February 17, 2017


An act to amend Section 5600.3 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to mental health services.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1314, as introduced, Irwin. County mental health services: veterans.
Existing law contains provisions governing the operation and financing of community mental health services for the mentally disordered in every county through locally administered and locally controlled community mental health programs. Existing law further provides that, to the extent resources are available, the primary goal of the use of funds deposited in the mental health account of the local health and welfare trust fund should be to serve specified target populations, including, among others, California veterans in need of mental health services who meet specified eligibility requirements. Existing law prohibits a county from denying county mental health services to an eligible veteran based solely on his or her status as a veteran. Existing law requires a county to refer a veteran to the county veterans service office, if any, to determine the veteran’s eligibility for, and the availability of, mental health services provided by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs or any other federal health care provider.
This bill would declare the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would simplify the process and reduce the burden placed on veterans seeking mental health services and require the counties to cooperate with federal agencies, as specified, to seek reimbursement after providing mental health services to veterans. This bill would require a county to provide mental health services to any veteran who requests treatment, without regard to his or her status as a veteran or eligibility for health services provided by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs or any other federal health care provider. The bill would specify that a veteran seeking treatment by a county is not required to first seek health services provided by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs or any other federal health care provider before receiving treatment from the county.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 It is the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would simplify the process and reduce the burden placed on veterans seeking mental health services by requiring counties to provide mental health treatment to veterans without requiring them to first seek health services provided by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs or any other federal health care provider before receiving treatment from the county. It is also the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation requiring counties to cooperate with the United States Department of Veterans Affairs or any other federal health care provider to seek reimbursement after providing mental health services to veterans.

SEC. 2.

 Section 5600.3 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

5600.3.
 To the extent resources are available, the primary goal of the use of funds deposited in the mental health account of the local health and welfare trust fund should be to serve the target populations identified in the following categories, which shall not be construed as establishing an order of priority:
(a) (1) Seriously emotionally disturbed children or adolescents.
(2) For the purposes of this part, “seriously emotionally disturbed children or adolescents” means minors under the age of 18 years who have a mental disorder as identified in the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, other than a primary substance use disorder or developmental disorder, which results in behavior inappropriate to the child’s age according to expected developmental norms. Members of this target population shall meet one or more of the following criteria:
(A) As a result of the mental disorder, the child has substantial impairment in at least two of the following areas: self-care, school functioning, family relationships, or ability to function in the community; and either of the following occur:
(i) The child is at risk of removal from home or has already been removed from the home.
(ii) The mental disorder and impairments have been present for more than six months or are likely to continue for more than one year without treatment.
(B) The child displays one of the following: psychotic features, risk of suicide or risk of violence due to a mental disorder.
(C) The child has been assessed pursuant to Article 2 (commencing with Section 56320) of Chapter 4 of Part 30 of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Education Code and determined to have an emotional disturbance, as defined in paragraph (4) of subdivision (c) of Section 300.8 of Title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
(b) (1) Adults and older adults who have a serious mental disorder.
(2) For the purposes of this part, “serious mental disorder” means a mental disorder that is severe in degree and persistent in duration, which may cause behavioral functioning which interferes substantially with the primary activities of daily living, and which may result in an inability to maintain stable adjustment and independent functioning without treatment, support, and rehabilitation for a long or indefinite period of time. Serious mental disorders include, but are not limited to, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as major affective disorders or other severely disabling mental disorders. This section shall not be construed to exclude persons with a serious mental disorder and a diagnosis of substance abuse, developmental disability, or other physical or mental disorder.
(3) Members of this target population shall meet all of the following criteria:
(A) The person has a mental disorder as identified in the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, other than a substance use disorder or developmental disorder or acquired traumatic brain injury pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 4354 unless that person also has a serious mental disorder as defined in paragraph (2).
(B) (i) As a result of the mental disorder, the person has substantial functional impairments or symptoms, or a psychiatric history demonstrating that without treatment there is an imminent risk of decompensation to having substantial impairments or symptoms.
(ii) For the purposes of this part, “functional impairment” means being substantially impaired as the result of a mental disorder in independent living, social relationships, vocational skills, or physical condition.
(C) As a result of a mental functional impairment and circumstances, the person is likely to become so disabled as to require public assistance, services, or entitlements.
(4) For the purpose of organizing outreach and treatment options, to the extent resources are available, this target population includes, but is not limited to, persons who are any of the following:
(A) Homeless persons who are mentally ill.
(B) Persons evaluated by appropriately licensed persons as requiring care in acute treatment facilities including state hospitals, acute inpatient facilities, institutes for mental disease, and crisis residential programs.
(C) Persons arrested or convicted of crimes.
(D) Persons who require acute treatment as a result of a first episode of mental illness with psychotic features.
(5) California veterans in need of mental health services and who meet the existing eligibility requirements of this section, shall be provided services to the same extent services are available to other adults pursuant to this section. Veterans who may be eligible for mental health services through the United States Department of Veterans Affairs should be advised of these services by the county and assisted in linking to those services.
(A) No An eligible veteran shall not be denied county mental health services based solely on his or her status as a veteran.

(B)Counties shall refer a veteran to the county veterans service officer, if any, to determine the veteran’s eligibility for, and the availability of, mental health services provided by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs or other federal health care provider.

(B) A county shall provide mental health services to an eligible veteran who requests treatment, without regard to his or her status as a veteran or eligibility for health services provided by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs or any other federal health care provider. A veteran seeking treatment by a county is not required to first seek health services provided by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs or any other federal health care provider before receiving treatment from the county.
(C) Counties should consider contracting with community-based veterans’ services agencies, where possible, to provide high-quality, veteran specific mental health services.
(c) Adults or older adults who require or are at risk of requiring acute psychiatric inpatient care, residential treatment, or outpatient crisis intervention because of a mental disorder with symptoms of psychosis, suicidality, or violence.
(d) Persons who need brief treatment as a result of a natural disaster or severe local emergency.