Working to transform the child welfare system.

Bills

SB 5884: Establishing behavioral health support specialists

SSB 5884 concerns behavioral health support specialists, which are trained, certified paraprofessionals who deliver low-intensity, evidence-based behavioral health interventions to adults with mild-to-moderate behavioral health conditions in partnership with a licensed health care provider whose scope of practice includes behavioral health, including at a licensed community behavioral health agency.. The bill states that the Department of Health shall partner with the University of Washington Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences to develop rules surrounding behavioral health support specialists, including standards for educational program accreditation. The Secretary of Health shall have the authority to establish certification, examination, and renewal fees for certification, issue certifications to qualified applicants, develop an examination for certification applicants, etc. Qualified applicants will have graduated from a bachelor’s degree program, completed an accredited behavioral health support specialist program, completed a practicum, etc. Additionally, the bill states that the WA Health Care Authority shall take steps to ensure that behavioral health support specialist services are covered under the state Medicaid program, and the Office of the Insurance Commissioner shall recommend that these services are incorporated into commercial health care provider networks.

 

Amendment:

5884-S2: Removes requirement for the Office of the Insurance Commissioner to make recommendations to health carriers regarding behavioral health support specialists and instead directs the Office to integrate behavioral health support specialists into its network access standards through enforcement of existing standards.