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June 21, 2024 Clouds | 76°F
The 193rd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 16: Development and maintenance of community mental health services

Section 16. The department shall develop and maintain, subject to appropriation, and in accordance with its standards, a comprehensive, area-based system to provide community mental health services, including specialized services for both children and adults.

Major consideration shall be given to the development of (a) inpatient services; (b) outpatient services; (c) emergency services on a twenty-four hour basis; (d) partial hospitalization services for day care and night care; (e) mental health consultation and educational services to community agencies and professional personnel practicing in the area; (f) employment opportunities for patients; and (g) support services to enable patients to live in apartment housing in the community.

Mental health services shall include case management services, the primary purpose of which is to assure continuity of care for a patient's medical or psychiatric needs, but which shall include a determination of eligibility for existing federal, state, and municipal programs to provide for social and economic needs as well. The department shall issue rules and regulations which shall govern the provision of such management services, to be implemented and adhered to by each area, provided, however, that each patient shall have the right to confidentiality of all records and communications to the extent provided by chapter one hundred and twenty-three. Mental health services shall also, where applicable, include: (a) diagnostic services; (b) rehabilitative services; (c) preventive, precare, and aftercare services within the area; and (d) research programs including evaluation of effectiveness and efficiency of the various programs operating within the area.

The services described in this section may, unless otherwise provided in this chapter or by departmental regulations, be developed for each area through commonwealth-operated facilities or, subject to appropriation, by contracts for services. Programs and services may also be developed in cooperation with facilities or other resources located in other community mental health areas of the commonwealth or operated regionally, subject to appropriation. In arranging cooperative services between or among areas, or on a regional basis, provision should be made to ensure continuity of services to clients. The department may also receive funds under contracts or other agreements from community sources, including municipalities as authorized by clause (40C) of section five of chapter forty for the rendering of services in collaboration with such municipal or other community or private agencies providing cooperative or complementary services. Those eligible for participation in any one service must be eligible for and have access to other services made available in the area. Services shall be offered without discrimination to all people in the area except where specialized programs are developed such as for children or the aging, provided that within such specialized categories the services shall be equally available to all such persons in the area.

Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, all revenues received by the community mental health facilities operated by the department shall be deposited in one or more trust funds in the state treasury of which the commissioner shall be trustee and may be expended by the department for the operation and maintenance of such community mental health facilities and may be further expended for the management, stabilization, and delivery of mental health services by and through such community mental health facilities and other affiliated service providing agencies; provided, that all expenditures from said trust funds so made shall conform to standard state accounting procedures and such further requirements as prescribed by the comptroller; provided further, that the commissioner in his capacity as trustee shall report monthly to the commissioner of administration and to the house and senate committees on ways and means such revenues and reimbursements received and expenditures made; and provided further, that whenever any such trust fund ceases to be operative, all monies remaining in such fund shall accrue to the General Fund.