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Mental health changes (new law)

Published (5/29/2009)
By Patty Ostberg
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Some adult and child mental health policies in the Human Services Department are changed under a new law.

Sponsored by Rep. Larry Hosch (DFL-St. Joseph) and Sen. Linda Berglin (DFL-Mpls), the new law modifies statutes related to drug and alcohol counselor licensure and county maintenance of effort provisions, and clarifies rate setting and reimbursement procedures for intensive residential treatment services and certain community treatment.

The law takes effect Aug. 1, 2009, except for the reimbursement procedures provision, which is effective with services provided on or after Jan. 1, 2010, through Dec. 31, 2011.

Under the law, a provision is removed that would have sunset July 1, 2009. The provision provided for exceptions for drug and alcohol counselors integrating dual-diagnosis treatment for adults in mental health rehabilitative programs certified by the department.

How counties establish base level expenditures is included to simplify administration and improve budgeting predictability. The human services commissioner is instructed to use each county’s actual prior year revenues to adjust the county’s minimum required expenditures for the coming year, and is permitted to use current information regarding major revenue changes if the change is known early enough to allow counties time to adjust their budgets. If a county doesn’t comply with the changes, the commissioner can approve a corrective action plan for the county.

Other clarifying provisions include definitions of an adult mental health rehabilitation worker, community health worker and mental health behavioral aide services.


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