An Act establishing the State Mental Health Facilities Evaluation Task Force.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. As used in this act:
“Commissioner” means the Commissioner of Human Services.
1[“County psychiatric facility” means a psychiatric facility that is operated and maintained by the governing body of a county, or such a facility for which the State has assumed the operation and management thereof pursuant to an agreement with the governing body of the county, in accordance with State and federal law and regulations.]1
“Department” means the Department of Human Services.
1[“Screening service” means a screening service as defined in section 2 of P.L.1987, c.116 (C.30:4-27.2).
“Short-term care facility” means a short-term care facility as defined in section 2 of P.L.1987, c.116 (C.30:4-27.2).]1
“State psychiatric facility” means a State psychiatric hospital listed in R.S.30:1-7.
2. a. There is established the State Mental Health Facilities Evaluation Task Force.
b. The purpose of the task force shall be to 1[study a number of specified issues relating to the care and cost of persons who are currently patients in one of the State psychiatric facilities and to develop a plan for the effective functioning of these facilities that will ensure that the current and long-term needs of these patients are met in the setting most appropriate to their individual circumstances, to which end the task force, in accordance with the provisions of subsection c. of this section, shall review all relevant past and current patient data for the State psychiatric facilities and examine those issues which serve the purpose of the task force and relate to the State psychiatric facilities, short-term care facilities, county psychiatric facilities, and community-based care for persons with mental illness throughout New Jersey] review and assess the viability of the department’s “Plan for the Closure of the Senator Garrett W. Hagedorn Psychiatric Hospital” and its impact on New Jersey’s State psychiatric facility system1.
c. In order to effectuate the purposes of subsection b. of this section, the task force shall, at a minimum1, advise the department on the following issues1:
(1) 1[evaluate the current and long-term needs for inpatient psychiatric beds in New Jersey, including those in the State psychiatric facilities, short-term care facilities, and county psychiatric facilities] the plan’s consistency with the United States Supreme Court Olmstead decision and the department’s July 2009 Olmstead settlement agreement1;
(2) 1[assess the availability of appropriate and adequate supportive services in the community, including, but not limited to, housing, case management, medication, and treatment] whether sufficient capacity and appropriate staff expertise will be made available in the remaining State psychiatric facilities to accommodate the current and future needs of patients requiring that level of care, including, but not limited to, an evaluation of geriatric care1;
(3) 1[evaluate the effects of patient displacement from the State psychiatric facilities on general hospital emergency departments, correctional facilities, and homeless shelters, including in that evaluation data gathered from the closure of Marlboro Psychiatric Hospital and overcrowding at Ancora Psychiatric Hospital] whether geographic accessibility for State psychiatric facility care is maintained throughout the State, while considering the option of specialization of care at a single location1;
(4) 1[assess the long-term psychiatric care needs of special populations, including, but not limited to, the geriatric, forensic, and culturally/linguistically diverse populations, and persons with developmental disabilities] whether the State psychiatric facility system can accommodate patients with a forensic background, while considering the option of specialization of care at a single location1;
(5) 1[compare the readmission rates at State psychiatric facilities, short-term care facilities, and county psychiatric facilities, by category of facility, during Fiscal Year 2010 with the readmission rates for those facility categories during the prior three fiscal years, and compare the rate of referrals for treatment from screening services during Fiscal Year 2010 with the rate of referrals during the prior three fiscal years] whether the plan adequately examines the allocation of State resources between the State psychiatric facility system and community system of care, while considering how to yield the most savings from the State psychiatric facility system1; 1and1
(6) 1[analyze and estimate projected cost savings that may be realized if ancillary services at the State psychiatric facilities are outsourced;
(7) provide a complete analysis of the costs of caring for patients at all State psychiatric facilities, including, but not limited to, a comparison among the State psychiatric facilities of their respective: costs of care; staffing ratios; overtime costs; and costs of renovations and capital expenses projected over the next five years, including the total cost of bringing Ancora Psychiatric Hospital into compliance with federal standards;
(8) examine the feasibility of partial closures at each State psychiatric facility and actions needed to allow for utilization of the most modern facilities; and
(9) analyze The Joint Commission survey results for each of the State psychiatric facilities and the cost-effectiveness of making changes recommended by The Joint Commission] the impact on other State and private agencies that share State-owned campuses, as well as the impact on area hospitals and the community mental health system1.
d. The task force shall include 21 members, as follows:
(1) the Commissioner of Human Services and the Directors of the Divisions of Mental Health Services, Medical Assistance and Health Services, and Developmental Disabilities in the department, or their designees, as ex officio members;
(2) two members each from the Senate and the General Assembly, to be appointed by the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the General Assembly, respectively, who in each case shall be members of different political parties; and
(3) 13 public members who are residents of this State, as follows:
(a) 11 public members to be appointed by the Governor, including: one person who is a county 1mental1 health administrator; 1one person who is a county human services director;1 one person appointed upon the recommendation of the New Jersey Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies; one person appointed upon the recommendation of NAMI New Jersey; one person appointed upon the recommendation of the Mental Health Association in New Jersey; 1[one person appointed upon the recommendation of a New Jersey affiliate of Mental Health America other than the Mental Health Association in New Jersey;]1 one person upon the recommendation of the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; one person upon the recommendation of the New Jersey Psychiatric 1Rehabilitation1 Association; one person upon the recommendation of the New Jersey Hospital Association; one person upon the recommendation of the Coalition of Mental Health Consumer Organizations of New Jersey; one person who is a member of the board of trustees of a State psychiatric facility; and one member of the general public with an interest or expertise in the work of the task force; and
(b) two additional members of the general public with an interest or expertise in the work of the task force, who in each case have, or have had, a family member who is, or has been, a patient in a State psychiatric facility, one of whom shall be appointed by the President of the Senate and one of whom shall be appointed by the Speaker of the General Assembly.
e. The legislative members of the task force shall serve during their terms of office. Vacancies in the membership of the task force shall be filled in the same manner provided for the original appointments.
f. The commissioner or the commissioner's designee shall serve as chairperson of the task force. The task force shall organize as soon as practicable following the appointment of its members and shall select a vice-chairperson from among the members. The chairperson shall appoint a secretary who need not be a member of the task force.
g. The public members shall serve without compensation, but shall be reimbursed for necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties and within the limits of funds available to the task force.
h. The task force shall be entitled to call to its assistance and avail itself of the services of the employees of any State, county or municipal department, board, bureau, commission or agency as it may require and as may be available to it for its purposes.
i. The task force may meet and hold hearings at the places that it designates during the sessions or recesses of the Legislature, but shall hold a minimum of three public hearings, one each in the southern, central, and northern regions of the State.
j. The department shall provide staff support to the task force.
k. The task force shall report its findings and recommendations to the Governor, and to the Legislature pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1991, c.164 (C.52:14-19.1), along with any legislative bills that it desires to recommend for adoption by the Legislature, no later than February 1, 2011. The report shall contain 1[the plan provided for] an analysis of the issues set forth1 in subsection 1[b.] c.1 of this section.
3. This act shall take effect immediately and shall expire upon the issuance of the task force report.
Establishes State Mental Health Facilities Evaluation Task Force.