State Rep. Tom Delnicki Supports HB 5001 – An Act Concerning Children’s Mental Health

Posted on April 28, 2022


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The legislation, House Bill 5001, An Act Concerning Children’s Mental Health, aims to address the youth mental health crisis and support children and families through the following measures:

  • Enhancing the Behavioral Health Workforce
    • Creates a partnership with Connecticut Children’s to co-ordinate a training program for pediatricians to treat early-stage mental health concerns.
    • Provides funding for the recruitment and retention of child and adolescent psychologists to address the state shortage.
    • Expands License reciprocity for out of state mental health professionals to increase the number of providers and establishes a need-based state licensure fee scholarship with a focus on diverse applicants.
    • Establishes grant program for local school boards, youth camps, and summer programs to hire mental health specialists.
    • Creates a screening tool for pediatricians and emergency room physicians to recognize mental health concerns in children for early intervention.
  • Expanding Behavioral Health Treatment Facilities Across the State
  • Creates an intensive outpatient counseling pilot program in Waterbury for a federally qualified health center to provide treatment for adolescents with behavioral health needs. The program, slated to open before Fall 2022, will serve at least 144 children per year.
  • Supports opening of the new DCF Urgent Crisis Centers specializing in meeting urgent pediatric behavioral health needs.
  • Expands ACCESS Mental Health to provide up to three follow-up telehealth visits directly to certain patients after a pediatrician has first utilized ACCESS Mental Health on behalf of a patient and to provide short term care coordination services, through a contractor, for all patients on whose behalf ACCESS Mental Health is utilized.
  • Increasing Access Through Insurance Coverage
    • Eliminates prior authorization for inpatient psychiatric services in certain circumstances where there is imminent danger in the patient’s health or safety, or the health or safety or safety others.
  • Requires individual and group health insurers to cover intensive evidence-based services used to treat mental and behavioral health conditions in children and adolescents.
  • Requires individual and group insurers to cover collaborative care for behavioral healthcare.