SENATE, No. 2375

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

216th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED SEPTEMBER 22, 2014

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator† JOSEPH F. VITALE

District 19 (Middlesex)

Senator† ROBERT W. SINGER

District 30 (Monmouth and Ocean)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Senators Lesniak and Allen

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

†††† Provides for licensure of ambulatory care facilities to provide integrated primary care services including behavioral health care.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

†††† As introduced.

††


An Act concerning behavioral health care services provided by ambulatory care facilities and supplementing Title 26 of the Revised Statutes.

 

†††† Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

†††† 1.††† In order to ensure that ambulatory care facilities that are licensed to provide primary health care services pursuant to N.J.A.C.8:43A are able to provide their patients with integrated primary health care services that include behavioral health care, the Commissioner of Health, in consultation with the Commissioner of Human Services, shall adopt regulations, pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), to allow an ambulatory care facility to apply for a modifier to its license to allow it to provide limited behavioral health care services under its ambulatory care facility license, without a license to operate a mental health program or a substance abuse treatment facility issued by the Department of Human Services.

†††† Behavioral health care services authorized under this section shall include outpatient mental health and substance abuse treatment services for individuals who exhibit either mild or moderate symptoms of a behavioral health disorder.† Such treatment services shall include, but need not be limited to:† assessment and evaluation; referral; linkage, and follow-up; individual, group, and family therapy; psychiatric evaluation; medication services; and medication monitoring.

†††† Behavioral health care services authorized under this section shall be provided by an individual who is licensed to practice as a physician, physician assistant, advanced practice nurse, psychologist, or clinical social worker.

 

†††† 2.††† An ambulatory care facility that is authorized under its current license to provide integrated primary health care services that include behavioral health care services on the effective date of this act shall be deemed to be in compliance with the requirements for a license modifier established pursuant to this act, and shall be granted a license modifier upon its application to the Department of Health.

 

†††† 3.††† This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

†††† This bill would allow ambulatory care facilities, including Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), to provide integrated primary health care services, including behavioral health care services, under a single license.†

†††† The bill requires the Commissioner of Health, in consultation with the Commissioner of Human Services, to adopt regulations to allow an ambulatory care facility to apply for a modifier to its license to allow it to provide, under its ambulatory care facility license, limited behavioral health care services for individuals who exhibit either mild or moderate symptoms of a behavioral health disorder.† Authorized treatment services would include, but need not be limited to:† assessment and evaluation; referral; linkage, and follow-up; individual, group, and family therapy; psychiatric evaluation; medication services; and medication monitoring.† Services would be provided by a licensed physician, physician assistant, advanced practice nurse, psychologist, or clinical social worker.

†††† In general, providers of behavioral health services are licensed by the Department of Human Services (DHS), while ambulatory care facilities are licensed by the Department of Health (DOH).† The requirement to obtain multiple licenses places an unnecessary burden on these facilities, reduces patientsí access to needed care, reduces facilitiesí ability to provide coordinated health care to their patients, and creates barriers to the provision of integrated health care services.† The bill would allow a single license to include all primary health care services, permitting greater coordination between traditional primary health care staff and behavioral health care staff, improving integration of health care services at the facility.