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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: December 12, 2022 10:17 AM
From: Representative Dan L. Miller and Rep. Carol Kazeem
To: All House members
Subject: Mental Health Bed Registry (former HB 721)
While many individuals who seek mental health treatment do not require inpatient treatment, finding an available bed in an appropriate treatment facility can be a confusing process for those seeking acute services. In times of desperate need, provider-patient communication is of the utmost importance, and in these cases, there is no time to waste. It is crucial to remove the administrative barriers that stand in the way of connecting people to personalized care, and we must ensure we are doing everything in our power to improve our communication strategies at all levels.

There is currently no unified system to identify and facilitate such placements. Under our legislation, the Department of Health would be required to establish a web-based mental health bed registry that is accessible to both providers and their designees, as well as to the residents of this Commonwealth. The mental health bed registry would assist providers and advocates who work closely with these individuals in times of urgent need, while also providing a limited view to the public to ensure confidentiality of personal and medical record information.

Additionally, under our bill, the mental health bed registry would include the following information: contact information for each mental health facility as well as a description of the services, supports and number of beds available, the level of security provided at each mental health facility, the type of patient that may be admitted into each mental health facility, and any other information that may be necessary to assist in placing an individual in a facility geared towards their needs. To ensure accuracy, participants would be required to update registry information on an 8-hour basis.

Twenty-three other states operate robust mental health bed registries, while five states have taken a step further in equipping the public with real-time information related to the availability of services in their communities. For those in mental health crisis or seeking treatment for substance use disorder, time is precious. By establishing a mental health bed registry, we have the opportunity to empower these individuals, their families, and the providers that care for them with the ability to quickly initiate comprehensive wraparound services that could prove to be the difference between life and death.

Please consider showing your support for this potentially life-saving legislation that can offer a more streamlined and transparent approach to providing compassionate and timely mental health care.

Please refer to the attached document for the draft language of this bill.

View Attachment

Introduced as HB814