An Act To Protect Access to Services for Adults with Serious and Persistent Mental Illness
Sec. 1. 34-B MRSA §3613 is enacted to read:
§ 3613. Access to services
An adult with serious and persistent mental illness may not obtain department review of a provider's refusal to provide residential treatment if there was no vacancy or if the department did not authorize the service.
The informal review process must include an opportunity for the provider and the person requesting the review to provide relevant information to the department and for informal dispute resolution by the department to facilitate access to the service.
This bill establishes the right of an adult with serious and persistent mental illness who is denied access to certain services by a provider contrary to the terms of the provider's contract with the Department of Health and Human Services to seek informal department review of the provider's action and informal dispute resolution by the department to facilitate access to the service. If the adult continues to be denied access to the mental health service following department review, the adult may bring a private civil action in Superior Court for injunctive relief to enforce the terms of the provider's contract with the department. The bill requires the department to adopt routine technical rules governing the process for informal department review, which must include a definition of "adult with serious and persistent mental illness."