Introduced Version Senate Bill 62 History

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Senate Bill No. 62

(By Senators Cookman, Laird and Plymale)


[Introduced January 8, 2014; referred to the Committee on the Judiciary; and then to the Committee on Finance.]





A BILL to amend and reenact §62-15-7 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to authorizing drug courts to refer drug court participants who may have co-occurring addiction and mental illness conditions to properly licensed, certified mental health professionals for purposes of diagnosis and treatment; and directing the Department of Health and Human Resources to pay for the services using the Medicaid fee schedule if the participant is without insurance and unable to pay.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

    That §62-15-7 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:


§62-15-7. Treatment and support services.

    (a) As part of any diagnostic assessments, the individual assessment should shall make specific recommendations to the drug court team regarding the type of treatment program and duration necessary so that a drug offender's individualized needs can be addressed. These assessments and resulting recommendations should must be based upon objective medical diagnostic criteria. Treatment recommendations accepted by the court, pursuant to the provisions of this article, shall be deemed are considered to be reasonable and necessary.

    (b) A drug court making a referral for substance abuse treatment shall refer the drug offender to a program that is licensed, certified or approved by the court.

    (c) The court shall determine which treatment programs are authorized to provide the recommended treatment to drug offenders. The relationship between the treatment program and the court should shall be governed by a memorandum of understanding, which should shall include the timely reporting of the drug offender's progress or lack thereof of progress to the drug court.

    (d) It is essential to provide offenders with adequate support services and aftercare.

    (e) Recognizing that drug offenders are frequently dually diagnosed, appropriate services should be made available, where practicable.

    (f) Recognizing that the longer a drug offender stays in treatment, the better the outcome, the length of stay in treatment should shall be determined by the drug court team based on individual needs and accepted practices: Provided, That drug court participation shall may not be less than one year duration.

    (g) When a drug court has cause to believe that a drug court participant may have co-occurring addiction and mental health issues it may direct that the participant be evaluated and, if necessary, treated by a psychiatrist, psychologist or other mental health professional. Any program to which a participant is referred must be appropriately licensed or certified. A participant who has been ordered into a program pursuant to this section who does not have insurance coverage or the ability to pay shall, pursuant to the court order, have his or her mental health evaluation and treatment, including, but not limited to, prescribed medications, paid for by the Department of Health and Human Resources, based on the Medicaid fee schedule for the services while the participant is under the jurisdiction of the drug court.

    NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to require the Department of Health and Human Resources to pay for mental health evaluations and treatment for drug offenders participating in drug courts.

    Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.

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