Behavioral/Mental Health
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One in five Texans experience a mental health condition each year. Half a million Texas children have a serious emotional disturbance. More than two-thirds of people with a behavioral health condition get no treatment for that condition.

Workforce shortages, limited funding and insurance/treatment barriers create obstacles to accessing appropriate behavioral health care. The result is that adults and children in Texas with behavioral health needs increasingly rely on clinically inappropriate settings, such as hospital emergency departments, to receive needed behavioral health treatment. To improve the behavioral health care system and improve access to care, the Texas Hospital Association supports:

Funding for behavioral health care that is commensurate with the need for services and policies that foster, rather than inhibit, access to emergency psychiatric care.

  • Increase state funding to ensure timely and appropriate access to inpatient and outpatient, community-based services and supports for Texans with a behavioral health diagnosis.
  • Support revising the Texas Mental Health Code to allow physicians, not only law enforcement, to detain temporarily a patient deemed to be a danger to self or others for the purpose of conducting a thorough psychiatric assessment and evaluation and assessing the need for continued psychiatric treatment.
  • Support revising the Texas Mental Health Code to allow physicians to delegate to an advanced practice registered nurse or physician assistant the ability to conduct a pre-admission examination to determine whether an individual meets the criteria for voluntary inpatient mental health services and obtain a physician’s order for admission if admission criteria are met.

Related:

Charge: To discuss and make policy recommendations to the Council on Policy Development regarding behavioral health care issues affecting hospital members that provide behavioral health services (meets as needed).

MEMBERS

Chair: Jacob Cuellar, MD, Laurel Ridge Treatment Center
Vice-Chair: Christine (Chris) Bryan, Clarity Child Guidance Center, San Antonio
Heather Chung, Houston Methodist Hospital
Sally Taylor, MD, University Health System, San Antonio
Matthew Feehery, Memorial Hermann Prevention/Recovery, Houston
Charlzetta McMurray-Horton, Ben Taub General Hospital, Houston
Tom Collins, Green Oaks Hospital, Dallas
Laci Laird, ETMC Behavioral Health, Tyler
Celeste Johnson, Parkland Health & Hospital System
Becky Tresnicky, Valley Baptist Behavioral Health System, Brownsville
Sherry Bustin, Oceans Behavioral Hospital Lufkin
Stephen Glazier, UTHealth Harris County Psychiatric Center, Houston
Ed Prettyman, Texas NeuroRehab Center, Austin


Bill Tracker
Senate Bill 1238

  • Filed
  • Referred to Committee
  • Heard in Committee
  • Voted Out of Committee
  • Heard in Senate
  • Voted Out of Senate
  • Referred to Committee
  • Heard in Committee
  • Voted Out of Committee
  • Heard in House
  • Voted Out of House
  • Sent to Governor
  • Signed by Governor

Contacts:

Sara Gonzalez, vice president, advocacy and public policy, 512/465-1596

Steve Wohleb, J.D., senior vice president and general counsel, 512/465-1577

Sharon Beasley, legal manager, legal & regulatory compliance, 512/465-1030

Resources

Streamlining Hospital Admission Processes for Texans Seeking Voluntary Inpatient Mental Health Treatment
Streamlining Hospital Admission Processes for Texans Seeking Voluntary Inpatient Mental Health Treatment


THA Voluntary Guidelines for Hospital Emergency Department Prescribers of Opioids

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According to Texas Government Code 305.027, portions of this material may be considered “legislative advertising.” Authorization for its publication is made by John Hawkins, Texas Hospital Association, 1108 Lavaca, Suite 700, Austin, TX 78701-2180.