74.09.492  <<  74.09.495 >>   74.09.497

Behavioral health servicesAccess by childrenReport.

(1) To better assure and understand issues related to network adequacy and access to services, the authority and the department shall report to the appropriate committees of the legislature by December 1, 2017, and annually thereafter, on the status of access to behavioral health services for children [from] birth through age seventeen using data collected pursuant to RCW 70.320.050.
(2) At a minimum, the report must include the following components broken down by age, gender, and race and ethnicity:
(a) The percentage of discharges for patients ages six through seventeen who had a visit to the emergency room with a primary diagnosis of mental health or alcohol or other drug dependence during the measuring year and who had a follow-up visit with any provider with a corresponding primary diagnosis of mental health or alcohol or other drug dependence within thirty days of discharge;
(b) The percentage of health plan members with an identified mental health need who received mental health services during the reporting period;
(c) The percentage of children served by behavioral health organizations, including the types of services provided;
(d) The number of children's mental health providers available in the previous year, the languages spoken by those providers, and the overall percentage of children's mental health providers who were actively accepting new patients; and
(e) Data related to mental health and medical services for eating disorder treatment in children and youth by county, including the number of:
(i) Eating disorder diagnoses;
(ii) Patients treated in outpatient, residential, emergency, and inpatient care settings; and
(iii) Contracted providers specializing in eating disorder treatment and the overall percentage of those providers who were actively accepting new patients during the reporting period.

NOTES:

FindingsIntent2018 c 175: "The legislature finds that the children's mental health work group established in chapter 96, Laws of 2016 reported recommendations in December 2016 related to increasing access to adequate, appropriate, and culturally and linguistically relevant mental health services for children and youth. The legislature further finds that legislation implementing many of the recommendations of the children's mental health work group was enacted in 2017. Despite these gains, barriers to service remain and additional work is required to assist children with securing adequate mental health treatment. The legislature further finds that by January 1, 2020, the community behavioral health program must be fully integrated in a managed care health system that provides behavioral and physical health care services to medicaid clients. Therefore, it is the intent of the legislature to reestablish the children's mental health work group through December 2020 and to implement additional recommendations from the work group in order to improve mental health care access for children and their families." [ 2018 c 175 § 1.]
Children's mental health work groupReport2018 c 175: "(1) A children's mental health work group is established to identify barriers to and opportunities for accessing mental health services for children and families and to advise the legislature on statewide mental health services for this population.
(2) The work group shall consist of members and alternates as provided in this subsection. Members must represent the regional, racial, and cultural diversity of all children and families in the state. Members of the children's mental health work group created in chapter 96, Laws of 2016, and serving on the work group as of December 1, 2017, may continue to serve as members of the work group without reappointment.
(a) The president of the senate shall appoint one member and one alternate from each of the two largest caucuses in the senate.
(b) The speaker of the house of representatives shall appoint one member and one alternate from each of the two largest caucuses in the house of representatives.
(c) The governor shall appoint six members representing the following state agencies and offices: The department of children, youth, and families; the department of social and health services; the health care authority; the department of health; the office of homeless youth prevention and protection programs; and the office of the governor.
(d) The governor shall appoint one member representing each of the following:
(i) Behavioral health organizations;
(ii) Community mental health agencies;
(iii) Medicaid managed care organizations;
(iv) A regional provider of co-occurring disorder services;
(v) Pediatricians or primary care providers;
(vi) Providers specializing in infant or early childhood mental health;
(vii) Child health advocacy groups;
(viii) Early learning and child care providers;
(ix) The evidence-based practice institute;
(x) Parents or caregivers who have been the recipient of early childhood mental health services;
(xi) An education or teaching institution that provides training for mental health professionals;
(xii) Foster parents;
(xiii) Providers of culturally and linguistically appropriate health services to traditionally underserved communities;
(xiv) Pediatricians located east of the crest of the Cascade mountains; and
(xv) Child psychiatrists.
(e) The governor shall request participation by a representative of tribal governments.
(f) The superintendent of public instruction shall appoint one representative from the office of the superintendent of public instruction.
(g) The insurance commissioner shall appoint one representative from the office of the insurance commissioner.
(h) The work group shall choose its cochairs, one from among its legislative members and one from among the executive branch members. The representative from the health care authority shall convene at least two, but not more than four, meetings of the work group each year.
(3) The work group shall:
(a) Monitor the implementation of enacted legislation, programs, and policies related to children's mental health, including provider payment for depression screenings for youth and new mothers, consultation services for child care providers caring for children with symptoms of trauma, home visiting services, and streamlining agency rules for providers of behavioral health services;
(b) Consider system strategies to improve coordination and remove barriers between the early learning, K-12 education, and health care systems; and
(c) Identify opportunities to remove barriers to treatment and strengthen mental health service delivery for children and youth.
(4) Staff support for the work group, including administration of work group meetings and preparation of the updated report required under subsection (6) of this section, must be provided by the health care authority. Additional staff support for legislative members of the work group may be provided by senate committee services and the house of representatives office of program research.
(5) Legislative members of the work group are reimbursed for travel expenses in accordance with RCW 44.04.120. Nonlegislative members are not entitled to be reimbursed for travel expenses if they are elected officials or are participating on behalf of an employer, governmental entity, or other organization. Any reimbursement for other nonlegislative members is subject to chapter 43.03 RCW.
(6) The work group shall update the findings and recommendations reported to the legislature by the children's mental health work group in December 2016 pursuant to chapter 96, Laws of 2016. The work group must submit the updated report to the governor and the appropriate committees of the legislature by December 1, 2020.
(7) This section expires December 30, 2020." [ 2018 c 175 § 2.]
Sustainable solutions for the integration of behavioral and physical health2017 c 226: See note following RCW 74.09.497.
FindingsIntent2017 c 202: See note following RCW 74.09.492.
FindingsIntent2016 c 96: "(1) The legislature understands that adverse childhood experiences, such as family mental health issues, substance abuse, serious economic hardship, and domestic violence, all increase the likelihood of developmental delays and later health and mental health problems. The legislature further understands that early intervention services for children and families at high risk for adverse childhood experience help build secure parent-child attachment and bonding, which allows young children to thrive and form strong relationships in the future. The legislature finds that early identification and intervention are critical for children exhibiting aggressive or depressive behaviors indicative of early mental health problems. The legislature intends to improve access to adequate, appropriate, and culturally responsive mental health services for children and youth. The legislature further intends to encourage the use of behavioral health therapies and other therapies that are empirically supported or evidence-based and only prescribe medications for children and youth as a last resort.
(2) The legislature finds that nearly half of Washington's children are enrolled in medicaid and have a higher incidence of serious health problems compared to children who have commercial insurance. The legislature recognizes that disparities also exist in the diagnosis and initiation of treatment services for children of color, with studies demonstrating that children of color are diagnosed and begin receiving early interventions at a later age. The legislature finds that within the current system of care, families face barriers to receiving a full range of services for children experiencing behavioral health problems. The legislature intends to identify what network adequacy requirements, if strengthened, would increase access, continuity, and coordination of behavioral health services for children and families. The legislature further intends to encourage managed care plans and behavioral health organizations to contract with the same providers that serve children so families are not required to duplicate mental health screenings, and to recommend provider rates for mental health services to children and youth which will ensure an adequate network and access to quality based care.
(3) The legislature recognizes that early and accurate recognition of behavioral health issues coupled with appropriate and timely intervention enhances health outcomes while minimizing overall expenditures. The legislature intends to assure that annual depression screenings are done consistently with the highly vulnerable medicaid population and that children and families benefit from earlier access to services." [ 2016 c 96 § 1.]
Site Contents
Selected content listed in alphabetical order under each group