SECTION 1. Chapter 17 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2018 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after section 19 the following section:-
Section 19A.(a) As used in this section, the following words shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly requires otherwise:
“Relapse discharge”, termination of treatment of a patient for substance use disorder as determined by treatment provider staff, despite a lack of maximal clinical improvement in the patient, due to the use of alcohol or drugs, not including the distribution of alcohol or drugs.
“Department”, the department of public health.
“Bureau”, the bureau of substance addiction services.
(b) The bureau, in consultation with the department, shall establish standard criteria and methodology for use in making relapse discharge decisions regarding the appropriate level of treatment based on severity of symptoms.
(c) The department shall promulgate regulations relative to relapse discharge decisions for substance use disorder treatment programs subject to licensure or approval under sections 24 and 24D of chapter 90, sections 6 and 6A of chapter 111B and section 7 of chapter 111E. The regulations shall include, but not be limited to, a requirement that such substance use disorder treatment providers shall:
(1) make all decisions involving the relapse discharge of patients from a licensed substance use disorder treatment program pursuant to said methodology established in subsection (b) of section 19.
(2) prior to the relapse discharge of any patient from a licensed substance use disorder treatment program, connect the patient to the appropriate level of treatment based on the clinical needs of the patient as determined by the treating clinician.
SECTION 2. Section 18 of chapter 111E of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2018 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting the following subsections after subsection (e):
(f) no patient may be discharged from care as the result of a relapse discharge decision without the connection to clinically appropriate level of care as determined by the treating clinician.
SECTION 3. Section 16 of chapter 6D of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2018 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting the following subsection after subsection (b) :
(c) The office shall: -- (1) have the authority to administer and enforce the standards and procedures established by section 19A of chapter 17. The commission shall promulgate such regulations to enforce this section. The regulations authorized by this section shall be consistent with, and not duplicate or overlap with, regulations promulgated by the bureau of substance abuse services established in the department of public health pursuant to said chapter 17.
(2) assist patients with questions or concerns relating to substance use disorder treatment and care;
(3) establish, by regulation, procedures and rules relating to appeals by patients aggrieved by denials of service or disenrollment resulting from any final action of a substance use disorder treatment program, and to conduct hearings and issue rulings on appeals brought by substance use disorder treatment program patients that are not otherwise properly heard by the patient’s treatment program or care provider.
The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only. The General Court provides this information as a public service and while we endeavor to keep the data accurate and current to the best of our ability, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.