An Act To Improve Maine's Involuntary Commitment Processes
Sec. 1. 34-B MRSA §3861, sub-§4 is enacted to read:
Sec. 2. 34-B MRSA §3863, sub-§2, as amended by PL 2009, c. 651, §14, is further amended to read:
Sec. 3. 34-B MRSA §3863, sub-§3, ¶¶D and E are enacted to read:
(1) The hospital has had an evaluation of the person conducted by an appropriately designated individual and that evaluation concludes that the person poses a likelihood of serious harm due to mental illness;
(2) The hospital, after undertaking its best efforts, has been unable to locate an available inpatient bed at a psychiatric hospital or other appropriate alternative; and
(3) The hospital has notified the department of the name of the person, the location of the person, the name of the appropriately designated individual who conducted the evaluation pursuant to subparagraph (1) and the time the person first presented to the hospital.
(1) The hospital satisfies again the requirements of paragraph D; and
(2) The department provides its best efforts to find an inpatient bed at a psychiatric hospital or other appropriate alternative.
Sec. 4. 34-B MRSA §3863, sub-§4, ¶B, as amended by PL 2007, c. 319, §9, is further amended to read:
Sec. 5. 34-B MRSA §3864, sub-§2, ¶C, as amended by PL 1995, c. 496, §3, is further amended to read:
Sec. 6. 34-B MRSA §3864, sub-§2, ¶D, as amended by PL 2007, c. 319, §10, is further amended to read:
Sec. 7. 34-B MRSA §3864, sub-§2, ¶E is enacted to read:
Sec. 8. 34-B MRSA §3868, sub-§1, ¶C is enacted to read:
Sec. 9. 34-B MRSA §3874 is enacted to read:
§ 3874. Medical examinations conducted via telemedicine technologies
Notwithstanding any other provision in this subchapter, any medical examination or consultation required or permitted to be conducted under this subchapter may be conducted using telemedicine or other similar technologies that enable the medical examination or consultation to be conducted in accordance with applicable standards of care. As used in this section, "telemedicine" has the same meaning as in Title 24-A, section 4316, subsection 1.
This bill is based on certain recommendations in the report "Recommendations for Improving the Involuntary Commitment Process," by the Judicial Branch Mental Health Working Group dated December 15, 2014. It amends the laws governing involuntary hospitalization by:
1. Authorizing a health care practitioner to administer involuntary treatment to a person being involuntarily held or detained if the person's condition poses a serious, imminent risk to the person's physical or mental health and other conditions are met;
2. Specifying that family members may be the source of history and information that forms the basis of an opinion of a medical practitioner regarding a person for whom an emergency application for admittance to a psychiatric hospital has been filed;
3. Creating exceptions to the 24-hour hospital emergency hold period to authorize a hospital to involuntarily detain a mentally ill person meeting certain criteria for emergency psychiatric hospitalization for 2 additional 48-hour periods;
4. Limiting the State's costs related to transporting certain patients to reasonable costs;
5. Allowing for the discharge of an involuntary petition if the patient subsequently agrees to voluntary commitment;
6. Clarifying that orders of involuntary commitment and treatment also transfer with a patient that is transferred from one hospital to another; and
7. Permitting medical examinations and consultations required or permitted under involuntary hospitalization laws to be conducted using telemedicine technologies.