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Substitute Senate Bill No. 322

Public Act No. 14-115


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

Section 1. Section 38a-1041 of the general statutes is amended by adding subsection (g) as follows (Effective July 1, 2014):

(NEW) (g) Not later than January 1, 2015, the Office of the Healthcare Advocate shall establish an information and referral service to help residents and providers receive behavioral health care information, timely referrals and access to behavioral health care providers. In developing and implementing such service, the Healthcare Advocate, or the Healthcare Advocate's designee, shall: (1) Collaborate with stakeholders, including, but not limited to, (A) state agencies, (B) the Behavioral Health Partnership established pursuant to section 17a-22h, (C) community collaboratives, (D) the United Way's 2-1-1 Infoline program, and (E) providers; (2) identify any basis that prevents residents from obtaining adequate and timely behavioral health care services, including, but not limited to, (A) gaps in private behavioral health care services and coverage, and (B) barriers to access to care; (3) coordinate a public awareness and educational campaign directing residents to the information and referral service; and (4) develop data reporting mechanisms to determine the effectiveness of the service, including, but not limited to, tracking (A) the number of referrals to providers by type and location of providers, (B) waiting time for services, and (C) the number of providers who accept or reject requests for service based on type of health care coverage. Not later than February 1, 2016, and annually thereafter, the Office of the Healthcare Advocate shall submit a report, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a, to the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to children, human services, public health and insurance. The report shall identify gaps in services and the resources needed to improve behavioral health care options for residents.

Approved June 6, 2014