Children and their families face systemic barriers to accessing necessary mental health services. The legislature finds that greater coordination across systems, including early learning, K-12 education, workforce development, and health care, is necessary to provide children and their families with coordinated care. Therefore, this bill intends to implement recommendations from the children's mental health work group, as reported in December 19 2016, in order to improve mental health care access for children and their families through the early learning, K-12 education, and health care systems.
Specifically, this bill addresses the following areas: Access to and coordination of resources and services through the managed health care system to ensure that the child receives the treatment and appropriate care based on their assessed needs, regardless of the origin of the referral; A reporting requirement regarding the number of children’s mental health providers available in the previous year and the overall percentage of children’s mental health providers who were actively accepting new patients; adolescent depression screens; child care consultation; the role of the Educational Service Districts and OSPI; workforce issues, including a focus on the availability of culturally/linguistically diverse services; child psychiatry residencies; the Partnership Access Line; and, telemedicine.
EFFECT: Changes the formula for calculating the costs of the partnership access line (PAL) program expansion and provides that the costs will be collected by the Office of the Insurance Commissioner.
EFFECT: Eliminates requirement for DSHS to expand the partnership access line pilot program statewide and collect a proportional share of the annual operating costs of the program from each health carrier.