Bill Text: NH HB1565 | 2018 | Regular Session | Amended

NOTE: There are more recent revisions of this legislation. Read Latest Draft
Bill Title: Requiring the secure psychiatric unit to be accredited as a behavioral health facility.

Spectrum: Bipartisan Bill

Status: (Passed) 2018-07-10 - Signed by Governor Sununu 07/02/2018; Chapter 353; Eff. 07/02/2018 [HB1565 Detail]

Download: New_Hampshire-2018-HB1565-Amended.html

HB 1565-FN - AS AMENDED BY THE HOUSE

 

22Feb2018... 0348h

2018 SESSION

18-2184

01/04

 

HOUSE BILL 1565-FN

 

AN ACT relative to requiring the secure psychiatric unit to be accredited as a psychiatric hospital and making an appropriation therefor.

 

SPONSORS: Rep. Cushing, Rock. 21; Rep. P. Gordon, Rock. 29; Rep. Fothergill, Coos 1; Rep. Knirk, Carr. 3; Rep. Bove, Rock. 5; Rep. Tanner, Sull. 9; Rep. Messmer, Rock. 24; Rep. Guthrie, Rock. 13; Rep. Bean, Rock. 21; Sen. Fuller Clark, Dist 21; Sen. Hennessey, Dist 5

 

COMMITTEE: Executive Departments and Administration

 

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ANALYSIS

 

This bill requires the commissioner of the department of corrections to apply to the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals seeking that the secure psychiatric unit be accredited as a psychiatric hospital.  Under this bill, the commissioner of the department of corrections shall submit a biennial report in even numbered years of its findings as to whether certain provisons, standards, or practices should be revised to improve treatment at the secure psychiatric unit.

 

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

22Feb2018... 0348h 18-2184

01/04

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Eighteen

 

AN ACT relative to requiring the secure psychiatric unit to be accredited as a psychiatric hospital and making an appropriation therefor.

 

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

 

1  Statement of Findings.

I.  The general court hereby finds that:

(a)  A separate forensic psychiatric hospital would be the preferred solution for persons who are violently psychotic.

(b)  The placement of the secure psychiatric unit inside the state's men's prison causes problems for civil patients and their families.

(c)  Transferring patients to forensic facilities outside of New Hampshire is not a viable option.

II.  Therefore the general court hereby seeks to have the secure psychiatric unit accredited as a psychiatric hospital.

2  Department of Corrections; Duties of the Commissioner; Secure Psychiatric Unit.  Amend RSA 21-H:8, XI-a to read as follows:

XI-a.(a)  The commissioner shall be the principal administrator of the secure psychiatric unit established pursuant to RSA 622:41.  [He] The commissioner shall establish the treatment standards for the unit after consultation with the commissioner of the department of health and human services.  The commissioner shall:

[(a)] (1)  Administer the unit;

[(b)] (2)  [Repealed.]

[(c)] (3)  Consult with the commissioner of the department of health and human services regarding transfers to the unit;

[(d)] (4)  Transfer persons in his or her custody to the unit if treatment is needed for mental disturbance;

[(e)] (5)  Discharge persons pursuant to RSA 622:48;

[(f)] (6)  Review, at least annually, the mental health programs with the commissioner of the department of health and human services to determine what policies, standards, or practices should be revised to improve treatment;

[(g)] (7)  Appoint qualified persons to positions established in RSA 622:43, I;

[(h)] (8)  Administer the unit in such a manner as to meet accreditation standards [and to seek accreditation]; and

[(i)] (9)  Perform other tasks necessary to carry out the administration of RSA 622:40-48.

(b)  The commissioner shall seek to have the secure psychiatric unit accredited as a psychiatric hospital.

3  Report Required.  The commissioner shall make a report, on or before November 1, 2018, relative to the steps taken to receive accreditation as required under RSA 21-H:8, XI-a(b) as inserted by section 1 of this act and identifying any barriers to securing such accreditation to the speaker of the house of representatives, the president of the senate, and the chairpersons of the house and senate committees having jurisdiction over criminal justice and health and human services.

4  Secure Psychiatric Unit; Treatment Standards.  Amend RSA 622:46, I to read as follows:

I.  The commissioner shall establish clinical and treatment standards for the operation of the unit in consultation with the commissioner of the department of health and human services.  The commissioners shall review, at least [annually] biennially, any interagency agreements and the mental health program at the unit to determine which provisions, standards, or practices should be revised to improve treatment.  The commissioner shall submit a report of its findings in each even-numbered year, commencing on or before November 1, 2020, to the speaker of the house of representatives, the senate president, the governor, and the chairpersons of the house committees having jurisdiction over criminal justice issues and health and human services issues, and the chairpersons of the senate committees having jurisdiction over judicial issues and health and human services issues.

5  Appropriation.  The sum of $1 is hereby appropriated to the department of corrections for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2019 for the purpose of seeking the  accreditation required under RSA 21-H:8, XI-a(b) as inserted by section 2 of the act.  This sum shall be in addition to any other sums appropriated to the department of corrections.  The governor is authorized to draw a warrant for said sum out of any money in the treasury not otherwise appropriated.

6  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.

 

LBAO

18-2184

Amended 3/5/18

 

HB 1565-FN- FISCAL NOTE

AS AMENDED BY THE HOUSE (AMENDMENT #2018-0348h)

 

AN ACT relative to requiring the secure psychiatric unit to be accredited as a psychiatric hospital and making an appropriation therefor.

 

FISCAL IMPACT:      [ X ] State              [    ] County               [    ] Local              [    ] None

 

 

 

Estimated Increase / (Decrease)

STATE:

FY 2019

FY 2020

FY 2021

FY 2022

   Appropriation

$1

$0

$0

$0

   Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Expenditures

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Funding Source:

  [ X ] General            [    ] Education            [    ] Highway           [    ] Other

 

 

 

 

 

METHODOLOGY:

This bill would require the Commissioner of the Department of Corrections to apply to the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals (JCAH) seeking that the secure psychiatric unit be accredited as a psychiatric hospital.  The bill also requires the Department to submit a biennial report in even numbered years on provisions, standards, or practices that should be revised to improve treatment.  In the event the secure psychiatric unit is not accredited by January 1, 2020, no patient involuntarily committed to New Hampshire Hospital could be transported to the Secure Psychiatric Unit.

 

In FY 2017, the cost to the Department of Corrections to incarcerate an individual in the Secure Psychiatric Unit was $110,490.  The Department indicates the total cost to achieve accreditation is indeterminable and may require the Department to seek additional funding for operating and capital costs.  The Department does have information on following costs:

 

Determinable Expenditures

FY 2019

FY 2020

FY 2021

FY 2022

Annual Accreditation Fee

$5,015

$5,015

$5,050

$5,050

Survey Fee

$6,220

0

0

$6,500

Early Survey Option

$2,300

0

0

0

Total

$13,535

$5,015

$5,500

$12,000

 

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) indicates, under current law, persons committed to New Hampshire Hospital may be transferred to the Department of Corrections, Secure Psychiatric Unit upon determination that a person would present a serious likelihood of danger to himself or others if retained at New Hampshire Hospital.  The occasional transfer of individuals to the secure, controlled environment is necessary to protect staff and other patients from serious harm.  There would be no impact to the DHHS in fiscal year 2019 but, under this bill, if the secure psychiatric unit was not accredited by the JCAH by January 1, 2020, there would be an indeterminable increase in expenditures for the DHHS.  To assure safety, the DHHS would have to consider building or re-purposing a facility to serve dangerous patients, or bear the cost of out of state placements.  Without the ability to transfer dangerous patients, the DHHS would face increased workers' compensation costs.

 

AGENCIES CONTACTED:

Departments of Corrections and Health and Human Services

 

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