Committee to Consider Alzheimer's Bills, Mental Health Topics - news.mt.gov

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Committee to Consider Alzheimer's Bills, Mental Health Topics

Friday, April 29, 2016/Categories: Legislative Branch/Tags: Children Families Health & Human Services Interim

HELENA -- A legislative committee will continue work on two mental health studies and review six preliminary bill drafts for its study of guardianship and Alzheimer's disease when it meets in Helena on May 9.

Members of the Children, Families, Health, and Human Services Interim Committee also will review a bill to eliminate several advisory councils and required reports for the Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS).

The committee will take a first look at bill drafts to revise guardianship laws and put into effect suggestions made by the Montana Alzheimer's/Dementia Work Group. The committee will take public comment on the bills, which would:

  • establish financial protections for vulnerable people; 
  • create an interdisciplinary working group on guardianship;
  • provide grants for facilitating services related to Alzheimer's disease and other  dementias;
  • create more community-based placement options for people with dementia;
  • fund respite care services; and
  • provide funding to state area agencies on aging.

For their study of children's mental health outcomes, members will focus on information technology questions. The committee is looking into ways to improve and track outcomes for children receiving state-funded mental health services. But members learned in March that DPHHS does not have a database it could use for collecting outcomes data.

The committee also will:

  • hear more detail on budget issues facing community mental health centers that provide crisis services;
  • learn about agreements that allow pharmacists to manage and change prescriptions for people under a doctor's care; and
  • consider a bill draft to eliminate four DPHHS advisory councils that have not been active in recent years and five reports that are no longer published. The bill would eliminate the Child Support Enforcement Advisory Board, Commission on Provider Rates and Services, Community Health Centers Advisory Group, and the Montana 2-1-1 Community Coalition.

The meeting will begin at 8 a.m. in Room 137 of the Capitol in Helena. For an agenda and other meeting information, visit the committee's website at www.leg.mt.gov/cfhhs or contact Sue O'Connell, 406-444-3597.

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