SB 5389 proposes that the University of Washington (UW), in collaboration with Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes), design a training curriculum and training delivery system to train middle, junior high, and high school staff to identify students who are at risk for substance abuse, violence, or youth suicide.
The curriculum has the goal of identifying students who may be struggling with mental health issues;
have had thoughts of suicide or harming others; and/or have abused, are abusing, or are at risk of abusing alcohol or drugs, including opioids.
The curriculum must be use live tele-conference or store-and-forward technology to deliver the training and will be designed in consultation with mental health providers and aligned with national best practices.
The bill proposes that the UW, in collaboration with Project ECHO, seek funding to support the development of the training curriculum, training delivery system, and directory of psychiatrists, and reimbursement for health care services provided by psychiatrists for the provision of psychiatric tele-consultations to students who do not have health insurance coverage.
The bill also outlines the circumstances in which students may be at risk for substance abuse, violence, and/or suicide, how they will access two psychiatry tele-consultations within 30 days of referral, and training requirements for professionals.
Updated on 4.12.19:
The substitute bill:
- Clarifies that school districts must provide at least one psychiatry teleconsultation for identified at-risk students and a second teleconsultation if recommended by the psychiatrist.
House (Updated on 4.12.19):
Compared to the engrossed substitute bill, the amended bill:
- Modifies the requirement that the University of Washington (UW) design a training curriculum and training delivery system to train middle through high school staff in a pilot program to identify students who are at risk for substance abuse, violence, or suicide (at-risk students), by changing collaborators (for example, to include OSPI) and aspects of the curriculum and delivery system requirements (such as no longer requiring the curriculum to be designed to assist students struggling with mental health issues and removing store-and-forward technology as a named option for the delivery system);
- Added that the directory of psychiatrists who have access to the technology necessary to provide telemedicine to at-risk students must include psychologists and mental health counselors who have this technology;
- Defined "telemedicine" to mean the delivery of health care services through the use of interactive audio and video technology, permitting real-time communication between the patient at the originating site and the provider, for the purpose of diagnosis, consultation, or treatment;
- But also specified that "telemedicine" does not include the use of audio-only telephone, facsimile, or electronic mail;
- Directs the OSPI, in conjunction with the Washington State School Directors' Association and the UW, to develop a policy and procedure regarding the use of telemedicine in schools, including provisions related to privacy, student consent, parent notification, and parent involvement; and requires school districts in the pilot program to adopt this policy;
- Requires that the UW and child and adolescent psychiatrists, psychologists, and mental health counselors licensed to practice in Washington (LMHPs) at Seattle Children's Hospital, in consultation with the OPSI, establish a five-year pilot program for three school districts on the use of telemedicine in schools;
- Specifies that school districts in the pilot project must require that certificated employees receive the training developed by the UW and follow a specified process for identifying, referring, and providing telemedicine services to at-risk students;
- Modifies provisions related to the process for identifying, referring, and providing telemedicine services to at-risk students, for example, by allowing the school districts participating in the pilot program (rather than requiring all school districts) to schedule telemedicine consultations or visits in specified situations; and allowing LMHPs to provide treatment in addition to consultation;
- Requires annual reports on the pilot projects to the Governor, and the Joint Select Committee on Health Care Oversight and the education committees of the Legislature;
- Continues to allow LMHPs who provide telemedicine to seek reimbursement from a student's health plan or, for students with no health care coverage, from the state;
- Removes provisions related to using donations to support development of the training curriculum and delivery system, and creating a system and methodology related to reimbursements for services provided to students without health insurance; and
Maintains limitation of liability language, an emergency clause, and intent language.