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HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 3731         FILED ON: 6/25/2013

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 3621

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

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PRESENTED BY:

Linda Campbell

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To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
              Court assembled:

              The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act relative to suicide prevention for veterans in the Commonwealth .

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PETITION OF:

 

Name:

District/Address:

Linda Campbell

15th Essex


HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 3731        FILED ON: 6/25/2013

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 3621

By Ms. Campbell of Methuen, a petition (subject to Joint Rule 12) of Linda Campbell relative to mental health and substance abuse programs for veterans.  Veterans and Federal Affairs. 


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
 

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In the Year Two Thousand Thirteen

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An Act relative to suicide prevention for veterans in the Commonwealth .
 

              Whereas, The deferred operation of this act would tend to defeat its purpose, which is to Protect vulnerable citizens of the Commonwealth, therefore, it is hereby declared to be an emergency law, necessary for the immediate preservation of the public safety.
 

              Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
 

              SECTION 1. Chapter 118E of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 10G the following sections:-

              Section 10H. (a) The division shall establish a program of mental health and substance abuse services for veterans, as defined in clause forty-third of section 7 of chapter 4.  The program, which shall be known as the veteran mental health relief program shall provide health care services, as defined in section 8A, as follows:

              (1) Any veteran may apply directly or through his or her veteran’s agent, as appointed under section 3 of chapter 115 or otherwise defined under section 1 of chapter 115, for immediate health care services for the diagnosis and treatment of the following biologically-based mental disorders, as described in the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association: (i) schizophrenia; (ii) schizoaffective disorder; (iii) major depressive disorder; (iv) bipolar disorder; (v) paranoia and other psychotic disorders; (vi) obsessive-compulsive disorder; (vii) panic disorder; (viii) delirium and dementia; (ix) affective disorders; (x) eating disorders; (xi) post traumatic stress disorder; (xii) substance abuse disorders; or (xiii) autism;

              (2) Any licensed provider of health care services for the diagnosis and treatment of the biologically-based mental disorders identified in paragraph (1) who accepts MassHealth patients shall provide such health care services to a requesting veteran immediately; and

              (3) Health care services may be provided by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs if they are available within a reasonable amount of time, such reasonableness being determined solely by the veteran seeking treatment. 

              (b) The appropriate licensing authority may suspend or revoke, after an adjudicatory proceeding pursuant to chapter 30A, the license of any licensed provider of health care services required to provide such services under this section who fails to do so.

              (c) Other than those services provided by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs under the specific conditions of subsection (a), the division shall expend funds from the Veteran Care Trust Fund to cover the cost of all services provided under this program, including any prescribed drug or follow up treatment. 

              (d) The division shall coordinate with other agencies and entities, including but not limited to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, the department of public health, the commissioner of veterans’ services and veterans’ agents, to implement this program and efficiently administer benefits herein.

              (e) The division shall promulgate rules and regulations necessary to implement this section.

              Section 10I. There shall be established and set up on the books of the commonwealth a fund to be known as the Veteran Care Trust Fund.  The commissioner of medical assistance shall be the trustee of the fund and shall only expend monies in the fund for the veteran mental health relief program established in section 10H.  There shall be credited to the fund: (i) fees assessed under sections 129B and 131 of chapter 140; (ii) any revenue from appropriations or other monies authorized by the general court and specifically designated to be credited to the fund; (iii) any gifts, grants, private contributions, investment income earned on the fund's assets; and (iv) all other monies credited or transferred to the fund from any other source under law.

              SECTION 2. Paragraph (9A) of section 129B of chapter 140 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2010 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out, in line 191, the figure “$50” and inserting in place thereof the following:- $30.

              SECTION 3. Said paragraph (9A) of said section 129B of said chapter 140, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by inserting after the word “Fund”, in line 191, the following:-

              ; $20 of the fee shall be deposited in the Veteran Care Trust Fund established in section 10I of chapter 118E.

              SECTION 4. Subsection (i) of section 131 of said chapter 140, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out, in line 248, the figure “$50” and inserting in place thereof the following:- $30.

              SECTION 5. Said subsection (i) of said section 131 of said chapter 140, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by inserting after the word “Fund”, in line 253, the following:-

              ; $20 of the fee shall be deposited in the Veteran Care Trust Fund established in section 10I of chapter 118E.

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