House Bill No. 6995

Public Act No. 99-273

An Act Concerning the Collection and Evaluation of Data Related to Substance Use, Abuse and Addiction Programs.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 17a-451 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) The Commissioner of Mental Health and Addiction Services shall be a qualified person with a masters degree or higher in a health-related field and at least ten years' experience in hospital, health, mental health or substance abuse administration.

(b) The commissioner shall be the executive head of the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.

(c) [He] The commissioner shall prepare and issue regulations for the administration and operation of the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, and all state-operated facilities and community programs providing care for persons with psychiatric disabilities or persons with substance abuse disabilities, or both.

(d) [He] The commissioner shall coordinate the community programs receiving state funds with programs of state-operated facilities for the treatment of persons with psychiatric disabilities or persons with substance abuse disabilities, or both.

(e) [He] The commissioner shall collaborate and cooperate with other state agencies providing services for mentally disordered children and adults with psychiatric disabilities or persons with substance abuse disabilities, or persons with both disabilities, and shall coordinate the activities of the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services with the activities of said agencies.

(f) [He] The commissioner shall establish and enforce standards and policies for the care and treatment of persons with psychiatric disabilities or persons with substance abuse disabilities, or both, in public and private facilities which are consistent with other health care standards.

(g) [He] The commissioner shall establish and direct research, training, and evaluation programs.

(h) [He] The commissioner shall develop a state-wide plan for the development of mental health services which identifies needs and outlines procedures for meeting these needs.

(i) [He] The commissioner shall be responsible for the coordination of all activities in the state relating to substance abuse disabilities and treatment, including activities of the Departments of Children and Families, Correction, Public Health, Social Services [,] and Veterans' Affairs, the Judicial [Department] Branch and any other department or entity providing services to persons with substance abuse disabilities.

(j) [He] The commissioner shall be responsible for developing and implementing the Connecticut comprehensive plan for prevention, treatment and reduction of alcohol and drug abuse problems to be known as the state substance abuse plan. The plan shall include state-wide, long-term planning goals and objectives and annual revisions of objectives. In the development of the substance abuse plan the commissioner shall solicit and consider the recommendations of the subregional planning and action councils established under section 17a-671.

(k) [He] The commissioner shall prepare a consolidated budget request for the operation of the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.

(l) [He] The commissioner shall appoint professional, technical and other personnel necessary for the proper discharge of [his] the commissioner's duties, subject to the provisions of chapter 67.

(m) [He] The commissioner shall from time to time adjust the geographic territory to be served by the facilities and programs under [his] the commissioner's jurisdiction.

(n) [He] The commissioner shall specify uniform methods of keeping statistical information by public and private agencies, organizations and individuals, including a client identifier system, and collect and make available relevant statistical information, including the number of persons treated, demographic and clinical information about such persons, frequency of admission and readmission, [and] frequency and duration of treatment, [and] level or levels of care provided and discharge and referral information. The commissioner shall also require all facilities [for the] that provide prevention or treatment of alcohol or drug abuse or dependence that are operated or funded by the state or licensed under sections 19a-490 to 19a-503, inclusive, to implement such methods. The commissioner shall report any licensed facility that fails to report to the licensing authority. The client identifier system shall be subject to the confidentiality requirements set forth in section 17a-688 and regulations adopted thereunder.

(o) The commissioner shall establish uniform policies and procedures for collecting, standardizing, managing and evaluating data related to substance use, abuse and addiction programs administered by state agencies, state-funded community-based programs and the Judicial Branch, including, but not limited to: (1) The use of prevention, education, treatment and criminal justice services related to substance use, abuse and addiction; (2) client demographic and substance use, abuse and addiction information; and (3) the quality and cost effectiveness of substance use, abuse and addiction services. The commissioner shall, in consultation with the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, ensure that the Judicial Branch, all state agencies and state-funded community-based programs with substance use, abuse and addiction programs or services comply with such policies and procedures. Notwithstanding any other provision of the general statutes concerning confidentiality, the commissioner, within available appropriations, shall establish and maintain a central repository for such substance use, abuse and addiction program and service data from the Judicial Branch, state agencies and state-funded community-based programs administering substance use, abuse and addiction programs and services. The central repository shall not disclose any data that reveals the personal identification of any individual. The Connecticut Alcohol and Drug Policy Council established pursuant to section 17a-667 shall have access to the central repository for aggregate analysis. The commissioner shall submit an annual report to the General Assembly, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a, the Office of Policy and Management and the Connecticut Alcohol and Drug Policy Council. The report shall include, but need not be limited to, a summary of: (A) Client and patient demographic information; (B) trends and risks factors associated with alcohol and drug use, abuse and dependence; (C) effectiveness of services based on outcome measures; and (D) a state-wide cost analysis.

[(o) He] (p) The commissioner may contract for services to be provided for the department or by the department for the prevention of mental illness or substance abuse in persons, as well as other mental health or substance abuse services described in section 17a-478 and shall consult with providers of such services in developing methods of service delivery.

[(p) (1) He] (q) (1) The commissioner may make available to municipalities or nonprofit community organizations any services, premises and property under the control of the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services but shall be under no obligation to continue to make such property available in the event the department permanently vacates a facility. Such services, premises and property may be utilized by such municipalities or nonprofit community organizations in any manner not inconsistent with the intended purposes for such services, premises and property. The Commissioner of Mental Health and Addiction Services shall submit to the Commissioner of Administrative Services any agreement for provision of services by the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services to municipalities or nonprofit community organizations for approval of such agreement prior to the provision of services pursuant to this section. (2) The municipality or nonprofit community organization using any premises and property of said department shall be liable for any damage or injury which occurs on said premises and property and shall furnish to the Commissioner of Mental Health and Addiction Services proof of financial responsibility to satisfy claims for damages on account of any physical injury or property damage which may be suffered while said municipality or nonprofit community organization is using said premises and property of said department in such amount as the commissioner determines to be necessary. The state of Connecticut shall not be liable for any damage or injury sustained on said premises and property while said premises and property are being utilized by any municipality or nonprofit community organization. (3) The Commissioner of Mental Health and Addiction Services shall adopt regulations, pursuant to sections 4-166 to 4-174, inclusive, to carry out the provisions of this subsection.

[(q) He] (r) The commissioner shall prepare an annual report for the Governor.

[(r) He] (s) The commissioner shall perform all other duties which are necessary and proper for the operation of the department.

[(s) He] (t) The commissioner may direct clinical staff at Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services facilities or in crisis intervention programs funded by the department who are providing treatment to a patient to request disclosure, to the extent allowed under state and federal law, of the patient's record of previous treatment in order to accomplish the objectives of diagnosis or treatment of the patient. If the clinical staff in possession of the requested record determines that disclosure would assist the accomplishment of the objectives of diagnosis or treatment, the record may be disclosed, to the extent allowed under state and federal law, to the requesting clinical staff without patient consent. Records disclosed shall be limited to records maintained at department facilities or crisis intervention programs funded by the department. The Commissioner of Mental Health and Addiction Services shall adopt regulations in accordance with chapter 54 to administer the provisions of this subsection and to ensure maximum safeguards of patient confidentiality.

[(t)] (u) The commissioner shall adopt regulations to establish a fair hearing process which provides the right to appeal final determinations of the Mental Health Division of the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services or of said division's grantee agencies as determined by the commissioner regarding: The nature of denial, involuntary reduction or termination of services. Such hearings shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, after a person has exhausted the department's established grievance procedure. Any matter which falls within the jurisdiction of the Psychiatric Security Review Board under sections 17a-580 to 17a-603, inclusive, shall not be subject to the provisions of this section. Any person receiving services from a Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services facility or a grantee agency determined by the commissioner to be subject to this subsection and who is aggrieved by a violation of sections 17a-540 to 17a-549, inclusive, may elect to either use the procedure specified in this subsection or file for remedies under section 17a-550.

Approved June 29, 1999

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