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S.F. No. 717 - Mental Health Crisis Services
Author: Senator Chris A. Eaton
Prepared By: Katie Cavanor, Senate Counsel (651/296-3801)
Date: March 6, 2015


Section 1 (62Q.55, subdivision 3) includes mental health crisis services as an emergency service with respect to an emergency medical condition within this section.  Under this section, an enrollee of a health plan has the right to available and accessible emergency services, 24 hours a day and seven days a week.   Emergency services are required to be covered by a health plan company whether provided by participating or nonparticipating provider, and whether provided within or outside the health plan company’s service area, and if provided by a nonparticipating provider without coverage, restrictions or limitations that are more restrictive then apply to emergency services provided by a participating provider.

Section 2 (62Q.81, subdivision 4) includes mental health crisis services as part of the emergency services that individual and small group health plans must offer as part of the essential benefits package.

Section 3 appropriates money to the Commissioner of  Human Services from the general fund to increase access to mental health crisis services for children and adults.  Funding must be used to:  (1) develop a central phone number where calls can be routed to the appropriate crisis services; (2) create a statewide pool of experts available for consultation when addressing a mental health crisis of a person with co-occurring disabilities; (3) expand crisis services across the state; (4) establish and implement state standards for crisis services; and (5) fund new crisis residential beds.

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