Bill Text: NJ A2067 | 2016-2017 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Permits court to order involuntary outpatient treatment in any county; concerns patient compliance with taking medication.

Spectrum: Slight Partisan Bill (Democrat 4-2)

Status: (Introduced) 2016-01-27 - Introduced, Referred to Assembly Human Services Committee [A2067 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2016-A2067-Introduced.html

ASSEMBLY, No. 2067

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

217th LEGISLATURE

 

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2016 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  REED GUSCIORA

District 15 (Hunterdon and Mercer)

Assemblywoman  SHAVONDA E. SUMTER

District 35 (Bergen and Passaic)

Assemblywoman  L. GRACE SPENCER

District 29 (Essex)

Assemblywoman  NANCY F. MUNOZ

District 21 (Morris, Somerset and Union)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblymen Caputo and S.Kean

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Permits court to order involuntary outpatient treatment in any county; concerns patient compliance with taking medication.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel.

  


An Act concerning involuntary commitment to treatment and supplementing and amending P.L.1987, c.116 and P.L.2009, c.112.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    (New section) In any county in which the involuntary commitment to outpatient treatment program established pursuant to P.L.2009, c.112 has not been implemented, a court may assign a person, who has been determined to be in need of involuntary commitment to treatment pursuant to section 15 of P.L.1987, c.116 (C.30:4-27.15), to an outpatient treatment provider in the county, in accordance with section 17 of P.L.2009, c.112 (C.30:4-27.15a).

 

     2.    (New section) If taking medication is included in a patient's plan of outpatient treatment, and the patient's compliance with taking the medication is of concern to the physician prescribing the medication, the physician may order that the medication be administered by a periodic depot dosage.  In the event of noncompliance of the patient with taking the depot dosage of the medication, the physician shall inform:

     a.     the court, which may impose any sanctions which may have been waived as a result of the patient's participation in outpatient treatment; and

     b.    the outpatient treatment provider, who shall refer the patient to a screening service for an assessment to determine what mental health services are appropriate and where those services may be provided, in accordance with section 5 of P.L.1987, c.116 (C.30:4-27.5).  The patient shall be afforded the protections and procedures provided for in P.L.1987, c.116 and P.L.2009, c.112.

 

     3.    Section 2 of P.L.1987, c.116 (C.30:4-27.2) is amended to read as follows:

     2.    As used in P.L.1987, c.116 (C.30:4-27.1 et seq.) [and], P.L.2009, c.112, and P.L.    , c.   (C.       ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill):

     a.     "Chief executive officer" means the person who is the chief administrative officer of an institution or psychiatric facility.

     b.    "Clinical certificate" means a form prepared by the division and approved by the Administrative Office of the Courts, that is completed by the psychiatrist or other physician who has examined the person who is subject to commitment within three days of presenting the person for involuntary commitment to treatment, and which states that the person is in need of involuntary commitment to treatment.  The form shall also state the specific facts upon which the examining physician has based his conclusion and shall be certified in accordance with the Rules of the Court.  A clinical certificate may not be executed by a person who is a relative by blood or marriage to the person who is being screened.

     c.     "Clinical director" means the person who is designated by the director or chief executive officer to organize and supervise the clinical services provided in a screening service, short-term care or psychiatric facility.  The clinical director shall be a psychiatrist, however, those persons currently serving in the capacity will not be affected by this provision.  This provision shall not alter any current civil service laws designating the qualifications of such position.

     d.    "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Human Services.

     e.     "County counsel" means the chief legal officer or advisor of the governing body of a county.

     f.     "Court" means the Superior Court or a municipal court.

     g.    "Custody" means the right and responsibility to ensure the provision of care and supervision. 

     h.    "Dangerous to self" means that by reason of mental illness the person has threatened or attempted suicide or serious bodily harm, or has behaved in such a manner as to indicate that the person is unable to satisfy his need for nourishment, essential medical care or shelter, so that it is probable that substantial bodily injury, serious physical harm or death will result within the reasonably foreseeable future; however, no person shall be deemed to be unable to satisfy his need for nourishment, essential medical care or shelter if he is able to satisfy such needs with the supervision and assistance of others who are willing and available.  This determination shall take into account a person's history, recent behavior and any recent act, threat or serious psychiatric deterioration.

     i.     "Dangerous to others or property" means that by reason of mental illness there is a substantial likelihood that the person will inflict serious bodily harm upon another person or cause serious property damage within the reasonably foreseeable future. This determination shall take into account a person's history, recent behavior and any recent act, threat or serious psychiatric deterioration.

     j.     "Department" means the Department of Human Services.

     k.    "Director" means the chief administrative officer of a screening service, short-term care facility or special psychiatric hospital.

     l.     "Division" means the Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services in the Department of Human Services.

     m.   "In need of involuntary commitment" or "in need of involuntary commitment to treatment" means that an adult with mental illness, whose mental illness causes the person to be dangerous to self or dangerous to others or property and who is unwilling to accept appropriate treatment voluntarily after it has been offered, needs outpatient treatment or inpatient care at a short-term care or psychiatric facility or special psychiatric hospital because other services are not appropriate or available to meet the person's mental health care needs.

     n.    "Institution" means any State or county facility providing inpatient care, supervision and treatment for persons with developmental disabilities; except that with respect to the maintenance provisions of Title 30 of the Revised Statutes, institution also means any psychiatric facility for the treatment of persons with mental illness.

     o.    "Mental health agency or facility" means a legal entity which receives funds from the State, county or federal government to provide mental health services.

     p.    "Mental health screener" means a psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, registered professional nurse or other individual trained to do outreach only for the purposes of psychological assessment who is employed by a screening service and possesses the license, academic training or experience, as required by the commissioner pursuant to regulation; except that a psychiatrist and a State licensed clinical psychologist who meet the requirements for mental health screener shall not have to comply with any additional requirements adopted by the commissioner.

     q.    "Mental hospital" means, for the purposes of the payment and maintenance provisions of Title 30 of the Revised Statutes, a psychiatric facility.

     r.     "Mental illness" means a current, substantial disturbance of thought, mood, perception or orientation which significantly impairs judgment, capacity to control behavior or capacity to recognize reality, but does not include simple alcohol intoxication, transitory reaction to drug ingestion, organic brain syndrome or developmental disability unless it results in the severity of impairment described herein.  The term mental illness is not limited to "psychosis" or "active psychosis," but shall include all conditions that result in the severity of impairment described herein.

     s.     "Patient" means a person over the age of 18 who has been admitted to, but not discharged from, a short-term care or psychiatric facility, or who has been assigned to, but not discharged from, an outpatient treatment provider.

     t.     "Physician" means a person who is licensed to practice medicine in any one of the United States or its territories, or the District of Columbia.

     u.    "Psychiatric facility" means a State psychiatric hospital listed in R.S.30:1-7, a county psychiatric hospital, or a psychiatric unit of a county hospital.

     v.    "Psychiatrist" means a physician who has completed the training requirements of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

     w.   "Psychiatric unit of a general hospital" means an inpatient unit of a general hospital that restricts its services to the care and treatment of persons with mental illness who are admitted on a voluntary basis.

     x.    "Psychologist" means a person who is licensed as a psychologist by the New Jersey State Board of Psychological Examiners.

     y.    "Screening certificate" means a clinical certificate executed by a psychiatrist or other physician affiliated with a screening service.

     z.     "Screening service" means a public or private ambulatory care service designated by the commissioner, which provides mental health services including assessment, emergency and referral services to persons with mental illness in a specified geographic area.

     aa.   "Screening outreach visit" means an evaluation provided by a mental health screener wherever the person may be when clinically relevant information indicates the person may need involuntary commitment to treatment and is unable or unwilling to come to a screening service.

     bb.  "Short-term care facility" means an inpatient, [community based] community-based mental health treatment facility which provides acute care and assessment services to a person with mental illness whose mental illness causes the person to be dangerous to self or dangerous to others or property.  A short-term care facility is so designated by the commissioner and is authorized by the commissioner to serve persons from a specified geographic area.  A short-term care facility may be a part of a general hospital or other appropriate health care facility and shall meet certificate of need requirements and shall be licensed and inspected by the Department of Health [and Senior Services] pursuant to P.L.1971, c.136 (C.26:2H-1 et seq.) and in accordance with standards developed jointly with the Commissioner of Human Services.

     cc.   "Special psychiatric hospital" means a public or private hospital licensed by the Department of Health [and Senior Services] to provide voluntary and involuntary mental health services, including assessment, care, supervision, treatment and rehabilitation services to persons with mental illness.

     dd.  "Treatment team" means one or more persons, including at least one psychiatrist or physician, and may include a psychologist, social worker, nurse and other appropriate services providers.  A treatment team provides mental health services to a patient of a screening service, outpatient treatment provider, or short-term care or psychiatric facility.

     ee.   "Voluntary admission" means that an adult with mental illness, whose mental illness causes the person to be dangerous to self or dangerous to others or property and is willing to be admitted to a facility voluntarily for care, needs care at a short-term care or psychiatric facility because other facilities or services are not appropriate or available to meet the person's mental health needs. A person may also be voluntarily admitted to a psychiatric facility if his mental illness presents a substantial likelihood of rapid deterioration in functioning in the near future, there are no appropriate community alternatives available and the psychiatric facility can admit the person and remain within its rated capacity.

     ff.   "County adjuster" means the person appointed pursuant to R.S.30:4-34.

     gg.  "Least restrictive environment" means the available setting and form of treatment that appropriately addresses a person's need for care and the need to respond to dangers to the person, others or property and respects, to the greatest extent practicable, the person's interests in freedom of movement and self-direction.

     hh.  "Outpatient treatment" means clinically appropriate care based on proven or promising treatments directed to wellness and recovery, provided by a member of the patient's treatment team to a person not in need of inpatient treatment.  Outpatient treatment may include, but shall not be limited to, day treatment services, case management, residential services, outpatient counseling and psychotherapy, [and] medication treatment, and alcohol and drug addiction services.

     ii.    "Outpatient treatment provider" means:  a community-based provider, designated as an outpatient treatment provider pursuant to section 8 of P.L.1987, c.116 (C.30:4-27.8)[, that]; or a community-based provider to which a person has been assigned to receive outpatient treatment pursuant to section 1 of P.L.    , c.   (C.       ) or (C.      ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).  An outpatient treatment provider provides or coordinates the provision of outpatient treatment to persons in need of involuntary commitment to treatment.

     jj.    "Plan of outpatient treatment" means a plan for recovery from mental illness approved by a court pursuant to section 17 of P.L.2009, c.112 (C.30:4-27.15a) that is to be carried out in an outpatient setting and is prepared by an outpatient treatment provider for a patient who has a history of responding to treatment.  The plan may include medication as a component of the plan; however, medication shall not be involuntarily administered in an outpatient setting.

     kk.  "Reasonably foreseeable future" means a time frame that may be beyond the immediate or imminent, but not longer than a time frame as to which reasonably certain judgments about a person's likely behavior can be reached.

     ll.    "Depot dosage" means a form of medication that can be stored in a patient's body for several days or weeks.

(cf:  P.L.2009, c.112, s.2)

 

     4.    Section 9 of P.L.2009, c.112 (C.30:4-27.8a) is amended to read as follows:

     9.    a.  An outpatient treatment provider shall develop a plan of outpatient treatment, in cooperation with screening service or short term care facility staff or the court, as applicable, for patients committed and assigned to outpatient treatment by screening service staff or order of a court, or both.  When appropriate and available, and as permitted by law, the provider shall make reasonable efforts to gather information from the patient's family or significant others for the purposes of developing the plan of outpatient treatment.

     b.    During the time a patient is assigned to the outpatient treatment provider for services pursuant to a commitment to outpatient treatment, the outpatient treatment provider shall provide and coordinate the provision of care consistent with the plan of outpatient treatment.

     c.     If a patient fails to materially comply with the plan of outpatient treatment during the time the patient is assigned by a screening service to the outpatient treatment provider for services pursuant to a commitment to outpatient treatment, or if the outpatient treatment provider determines that the plan of outpatient treatment is inadequate to meet the patient's mental health needs, the provider shall notify the screening service of the material noncompliance or plan inadequacy, as applicable, and the patient shall be referred to a screening service for an assessment to determine what mental health services are appropriate and where those services may be provided, in accordance with section 5 of P.L.1987, c.116 (C.30:4-27.5).  In such a case, the patient shall be afforded the protections and procedures provided for in P.L.1987, c.116 and P.L.2009, c.112.

     d.    If a patient fails to materially comply with the plan of outpatient treatment during the time the patient is assigned by a court to the outpatient treatment provider for services pursuant to a commitment to outpatient treatment, or if the outpatient treatment provider determines that the plan of outpatient treatment is inadequate to meet the patient's mental health needs, the provider shall notify the court and screening service of the material noncompliance or plan inadequacy, as applicable [,].  The court may impose any sanctions which may have been waived as a result of the patient's participation in outpatient treatment, and the patient shall be referred to a screening service for an assessment to determine what mental health services are appropriate and where those services may be provided, in accordance with section 5 of P.L.1987, c.116 (C.30:4-27.5).  In such a case, the patient shall be afforded the protections and procedures provided for in P.L.1987, c.116 and P.L.2009, c.112.

     e.     If an outpatient treatment provider determines that a plan of outpatient treatment is inadequate and needs to be modified, but referral to a screening service is not necessary, the provider shall seek court approval for such modification and shall notify the court, the patient's attorney and the county adjuster of the request for court approval of such modification.

(cf: P.L.2009, c.112, s.9)

 

     5.    Section 17 of P.L.2009, c.112 (C.30:4-27.15a) is amended to read as follows:

     17.  a.  The court shall determine whether a patient who has been found to need continued involuntary commitment to treatment pursuant to section 15 of P.L.1987, c.116 (C.30:4-27.15) should be assigned to an outpatient setting or admitted to an inpatient setting for treatment, and shall issue the order authorizing such placement pursuant to section 15 of P.L.1987, c.116 (C.30:4-27.15), in accordance with this section.  In determining the commitment placement, the court shall consider the least restrictive environment for the patient to receive clinically appropriate treatment that would ameliorate the danger posed by the patient and provide the patient with appropriate treatment.

     b.    If the court determines that the least restrictive environment for the patient to receive clinically appropriate treatment would be in an outpatient setting and that there is a likelihood of the patient responding to outpatient treatment, the court shall obtain, from a designated outpatient treatment provider or an outpatient treatment provider that is providing or coordinating outpatient treatment pursuant to section 1 of P.L.   , c.   (C.       ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), a proposed plan of outpatient treatment for the patient which the court shall review.  The plan of outpatient treatment shall be approved by the court.

     c.     If the court determines that the least restrictive environment for the patient to receive clinically appropriate treatment would be in an inpatient setting, the court shall issue an order for admission to a psychiatric facility.

     d.    Between the time periods for periodic court review hearings pursuant to section 16 of P.L.1987, c.116 (C.30:4-27.16), the chief executive officer of a psychiatric facility may recommend changing the placement of the patient from an inpatient to outpatient setting, in order to ensure that the patient receives clinically appropriate treatment in the least restrictive environment.  The chief executive officer of the facility shall notify the court of the recommendation for the change in placement.

     e.     At the time the court sets the date for a hearing on the change in placement, notice of the hearing shall be served upon the patient, the patient's guardian, if any, the patient's next-of-kin, the patient's attorney and the county adjuster of the county in which the patient has legal settlement.

     f.     The provisions of section 14 of P.L.1987, c.116 (C.30:4-27.14) concerning patient rights at a hearing shall apply to the hearing pursuant to this subsection.

(cf:  P.L.2009, c.112, s.17)

 

     6.    (New section) a.  The Commissioner of Human Services, pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), shall adopt rules and regulations as necessary to effectuate the purposes of this act.

     b.    The Supreme Court of New Jersey may adopt court rules to effectuate the purposes of this act.

7.  This act shall take effect on the first day of the seventh month next following the date of enactment, but the Commissioner of Human Services may take such anticipatory administrative action in advance thereof as shall be necessary for the implementation of the act.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill provides that in any county in which the involuntary commitment to outpatient treatment program has not been implemented, a court may assign a person who has been determined to be in need of involuntary commitment to treatment to an outpatient treatment provider in the county.

     If taking medication is included in the patient's plan of outpatient treatment, and the patient's compliance with taking the medication is of concern to the prescribing physician, the physician may order medication to be administered by a periodic depot dosage.  "Depot dosage" is defined as a form of medication that can be stored in a patient's body for several days or weeks. In the event of noncompliance with the depot dosage of the medication, the physician is required to inform: the court, which may impose any sanctions which may have been waived as a result of the patient's participation in outpatient treatment; and the outpatient treatment provider, who is to refer the patient to a screening service for an assessment to determine what mental health services are appropriate and where those services may be provided.

     Lastly, the bill amends: the current definition of "outpatient treatment provider" to include community-based providers to which patients are assigned by courts under the bill; the current definition of "outpatient treatment" to specify alcohol and drug addiction services; section 9 of 2009, c.112 (C.30:4-27.8a) to provide that in cases of noncompliance, a court may impose any sanctions which may have been waived as a result of a patient's participation in outpatient treatment; and section 17 of P.L.2009, c.112 (C.30:4-27.15a) to provide that when assigning a patient to outpatient commitment, the court may obtain a plan of outpatient treatment from these community-based providers.

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