SECTION 1. Chapter 118E of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2018 Official Edition, is hereby amended by adding the following new section:-
Section 79. Notwithstanding any general or special law, rule or regulation to the contrary, the division of medical assistance shall convene a working group to develop a process to enhance the current community-based behavioral health screening process and direct Medicaid contracted health insurers, health plans, health maintenance organizations, behavioral health management firms and third party administrators under contract to a Medicaid managed care organization or the Medicaid primary care clinician plans to allow admission to inpatient behavioral health services from a community-based setting where a patient is presenting with a behavioral health condition that requires such admission but does not require a medical screening examination in an emergency department.
The working group shall include representatives from the Association for Behavioral Healthcare, Massachusetts College of Emergency Physicians, Massachusetts Psychiatric Society, Massachusetts Health and Hospital Association, National Alliance on Mental Illness, the Massachusetts Association of Behavioral Health Systems, and all applicable carriers that cover such services. The working group shall convene no later than thirty days after the effective date of this act.
The division shall file a report with the working group’s recommendations, an implementation schedule, and recommendations for legislation, if necessary, to implement the plan. The report shall be filed with the clerks of the senate and house of representatives, the house and senate chairs of the joint committee on mental health, substance use and recovery, the house and senate chairs of the joint committee on public health, the house and senate chairs of the joint committee on health care financing and the house and senate committees on ways and means no later than six months after the effective date of this legislation.
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