Joint Committee on Mental Health to Hold Hearings (June 29) on Two Bills to Improve Care for Those Suffering From Acute Mental Illness
One Bill Creates a Pilot Program to Provide Care for Psychiatric Patients Currently Boarding in Hospital Emergency Departments; and the Other will Create a Special Unit to Provide Optimum Care for Difficult to Manage Patients
M E D I A A D V I S O R Y
Jun 26, 2015, 11:29 ET
BOSTON, June 26, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is being released by Massachusetts Nurses Association:
Behavioral health care advocates and nurses will testify Monday on two critically important bills designed to improve care for residents of Massachusetts suffering from acute mental illness who are currently going without proper care while being boarded in overcrowded hospital emergency departments or being inappropriately housed in our corrections system. Both measures result from recommendations made by a special Mental Health Advisory Committee in 2014, which included stakeholders from throughout the mental health system.
An Act Relative to Creating a Pilot Program to Transfer High Acuity Behavioral Health and Dual Diagnosis Patients Away from Crowded Emergency Departments (S.1051/H.1793) responds to a recommendation by the state's Mental Health Advisory Committee and a recent study that found more than 40,000 patients suffering from acute mental illness are boarding for days or even weeks in our hospitals emergency departments each year, leaving these patients languishing without care and impacting staff's ability to provide care to other patients requiring emergency medical care. This bill will create a pilot program at Taunton State Hospital to transfer medically stable, high acuity behavioral health and dual diagnosis patients away from overcrowded emergency departments until such time that an appropriate placement is found to meet the patient's needs. The lead sponsors for this bill are Senator Marc Pacheco/Representative Patricia Haddad. To view the bill, visit: https://malegislature.gov/Bills/189/House/H1793
An Act Relative to Creating Difficult to Manage Units within the Department of Mental Health (H.1792) which is sponsored by Rep. Haddad, will create a "Difficult to Manage" unit for women and reinstate the "Difficult to Manage" Unit for men, both within the Department of Mental Health. These units will be highly structured environments with specially trained staff to provide care to those patients with acute mental illness, who can be extremely violent and pose a danger to other patients and staff. This small segment of the patient population is currently going without proper care, and as a result, these patients are engaging in dangerous and violent behaviors, which often results in their being housed in the corrections system where their conditions go untreated or are exacerbated. To view this bill visit: https://malegislature.gov/Bills/189/House/H1792
When: Monday, June 29 at 1 p.m.
Where: Room A2 , State House
Founded in 1903, the Massachusetts Nurses Association is the largest professional health care organization and the largest union of registered nurses in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Its 23,000 members advance the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting the economic and general welfare of nurses in the workplace, projecting a positive and realistic view of nursing, and by lobbying the Legislature and regulatory agencies on health care issues affecting nurses and the public. The MNA is also a founding member of National Nurses United, the largest national nurses union in the United States with more than 170,000 members from coast to coast.
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SOURCE Massachusetts Nurses Association
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