A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT REQUIRING THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, DIVISION OF MENTAL HEALTH, DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES, AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE SERVICES, TO DEVELOP AND ESTABLISH A STATEWIDE TELEPSYCHIATRY PROGRAM.
Identical to S 562, filed 3/28/13.
Requires the Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services (Division), to develop and submit a plan for implementing a statewide telepsychiatry program to specified General Assembly committees by June 1, 2013. Requires that the plan be substantially similar to the Albemarle Hospital Foundation telepsychiatry program and include specified items.
Appropriates $2 million for 2013-14 and $2 million for 2014-15 from the General Fund to the Division to (1) establish and administer the telepsychiatry program, (2) purchase needed telepsychiatry equipment, and (3) contract with outside vendors to manage the program. Effective July 1, 2013.
Enacts new Article 1B, Statewide Telepsychiatry Program (Program), in GS Chapter 122. Requires the Division to establish a program allowing referring sites to utilize consulting providers at a consultant site to provide timely psychiatric assessment and rapid initiation of the treatment of patients at the referring site. Defines telepsychiatry as the delivery of acute mental health or substance abuse care by means of two-way real-time interactive audio or video by a consulting provider at a consultant site to an individual patient at a referring site; excludes the standard use of phones, fax machines, unsecured e-mail, or any combination thereof in the course of care. Requires the Commission to adopt necessary rules and includes items that must be specified in the rules. Requires DHHS to periodically evaluate the effectiveness of the program. Effective January 1, 2014.
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