Working to transform the child welfare system.

SB 5397: Improving access to behavioral health treatment in certified crisis facilities

Overall, SB5397:
Requires an evaluation and treatment facility or secure withdrawal management and stabilization facility that has treatment capacity to admit a person detained for involuntary treatment, or who is applying for transfer from a single-bed certification facility, unless an exception applies.

Requires managed care organizations and behavioral health administrative services organizations to secure a safe placement or safe discharge for a person who is detained for involuntary treatment if no other placement is available. 

Requires crisis facilities to provide medically necessary co-occurring disorder treatment to persons receiving involuntary treatment by July 1, 2022.

Some of the other provisions include:

When a crisis responder is unable to find a placement for a detained person after at least two denials of admission, the crisis responder or facility shall immediately transmit notification to the managed care organization responsible for the cost of the person’s care, or other behavioral health service provider, of the need for emergency intervention to secure access to crisis services for the person.

Effective July 1, 2022, evaluation and treatment facilities, including secure withdrawal management and stabilization facilities, must provide medically necessary substance use disorder services to persons with a co-occurring substance use disorder. 

Among other provisions, SB5397 amends current law to shift some responsibility from crisis responders to managed care organizations or behavioral health administrative services organizations, such as:

A managed care organization or behavioral health administrative services organization, instead of a designated crisis responder, shall make a report to the authority after the expiration of a 24-hour emergency hold period 

The managed care organization or behavioral health administrative services organization, instead of the crisis responder, has 24 hours from the expiration of the 24-hour emergency period to submit a completed report to the authority.

Similarly, some language is changed from “service provider” to “agency.”

SB5397 also requires a behavioral health administrative services organization or managed care organization that files a report under RCW 71.05.750 to continue to attempt to engage the person in appropriate services for which the person is eligible and report back again within seven days to the authority.

Additionally, SB5397 requires that managed care organizations must provide emergency services  and reporting under RCW 71.05.750, including providing for and publicizing a suitable means of receiving timely notification.

Sections 4 and 6 of this act expire July 1, 2022. Sections 5 and 7 of this act take effect 2 July 1, 2022.