H.1071 An Act to provide more timely treatment of inpatient mental health care

Type:  Mental Health and Substance Abuse 

This bill will address many different aspects of inpatient mental health treatment in the state. It will require the Department of Mental Health to consider the number of available physicians when creating regulations for inpatient mental health facilities and to bring these regulations closer to national standards. This will reduce the unnecessarily high standards DMH currently imposes on community based hospitals. This bill also aims to limit delays in the guardianship process. This would include creating stricter timelines for the process of obtaining a Rogers’ order, but does not take away any patient safeguards in the current statute.  It would limit the ability of counsel to automatically request a delay for up to 14 days, reduce the timeline for requesting second medical opinions in guardianship proceedings and ensure that patients already committed to mental health facilities will have guardianship hearings within 7 days. Finally, this bill will direct DCF, with EOHHS and the OCA, to develop a more streamlined process in which children in their custody can receive antipsychotic medications, while maintaining adequate patient safeguards.