Legislative Committee to Review Mental Health, Guardianship, Alzheimer’s Topics at Billings Meeting - news.mt.gov

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Legislative Committee to Review Mental Health, Guardianship, Alzheimer’s Topics at Billings Meeting

Tuesday, November 10, 2015/Categories: Legislative Branch/Tags: Children Families Health & Human Services Interim

FOR RELEASE: Nov. 10, 2015

CONTACT: Sue O'Connell, 406-444-3597 or soconnell@mt.gov

Legislative Committee to Review Mental Health, Guardianship, Alzheimer’s Topics at Billings Meeting

HELENA -- The Children, Families, Health, and Human Services Interim Committee will travel to Billings this month to hear ideas for its study of children's mental health outcomes.

The committee also will take an in-depth look at Alzheimer's disease at its Nov. 19-20 meeting, which will be held at Montana State University Billings.

House Bill 422 requires the committee to conduct the study of children's mental health outcomes and develop a bill for a pilot project. It also directs the committee to hold a meeting outside of Helena to obtain comment from children's mental health providers and other interested parties.

The committee will spend the morning of Nov. 19 on the HB 422 study. As part of the study, the committee is develop a bill for pilot project designed to:

  • improve outcomes by stabilizing youth and their families;
  • improve cooperative efforts between mental health providers and the Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS); and
  • link outcomes to performance-based payment options for providers.

Speakers will discuss the use of evidence-based practices for mental health treatment and the measurement of treatment outcomes. Mental health providers also have been invited to provide their ideas for the pilot project legislation during an extended public comment period.

On Nov. 20, the committee will take up the Senate Joint Resolution 22 study of guardianship laws and services.

Members decided in June to expand the study to include Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. At the Billings meeting, they'll learn about the causes and stages of Alzheimer's disease and the different levels of care needed for Alzheimer's and dementia patients. They'll also hear fromfamily members who serve as caregivers and from the Montana Alzheimer's/Dementia Work Group.

Other speakers will discuss guardianship programs that have been set up at the local level for people who are unable to make decisions about their medical care or personal affairs.

Also during the two-day meeting, the committee will:

  • hear an update on the use of new appropriations for mental health services;
  • review the plan for measuring how well DPHHS is meeting objectives set out in Senate Bill 418 for the use of those mental health funds;
  • hear a presentation from Dr. Eric Arzubi of the Billings Clinic on a psychiatric training track proposal; and
  • hear legislative staff and DPHHS updates on topics ranging from the proposed forensic mental health facility to medical marijuana to the review of advisory councils and reports required by law.

The meeting will begin at 8 a.m. on Nov. 19 in Room 163 of McDonald Hall at Montana State University Billings, 100 Poly Dr. The meeting will continue at 8 a.m. on Nov. 20.

An agenda and other materials related to the meeting are available on the committee's website, www.leg.mt.gov/cfhhs.

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