HBA-CCH, MSH H.B. 1497 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 1497 By: Farabee Public Health 3/23/2001 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE The Texas Mental Health Code consists of definitions and concepts that no longer meet the needs of mental health care providers and their patients. In particular, the current definition of "facility" might impede the placement of patients in community settings. Past legislatures granted the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation the authority, with the approval of local courts, to designate community centers as single portal authorities responsible for determining the best placement for mentally ill and mentally retarded patients. Today, however, every local mental health authority is designated as a single portal authority thereby creating confusion related to the powers and duties of a single portal authority. House Bill 1497 removes the term "single portal authority" and clarifies the authority of state and local mental health and mental retardation authorities. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that rulemaking authority is expressly delegated to the Texas Board of Mental Health and Mental Retardation in SECTION 2 (Section 533.014) of this bill. ANALYSIS House Bill 1497 amends the Health and Safety Code to define "facility" and "department facility" and to clarify other terms (Secs. 531.002 and 571.003). The bill replaces references to single portal authorities with local mental health and mental retardation (MHMR) authorities (Secs. 533.014, 573.022, 574.012, 574.023, 574.027, 574.041, 575.011, 575.012). The bill requires the Texas Board of Mental Health and Mental Retardation (board) to adopt rules relating to the responsibility of local MHMR authorities to make recommendations relating to the most appropriate treatment alternatives for individuals in need of MHMR services (Secs. 533.014, 533.035, and 574.012). The bill requires local MHMR authorities to consider public input, ultimate cost-benefit, and client care issues to ensure consumer choice and the best use of public money in making such recommendations. The bill authorizes the board to delegate to the local MHMR authorities the authority and responsibility to coordinate with criminal justice entities (Sec. 533.035). On the request of the local mental health authority, the judge may order that a person admitted for emergency detention be detained in a department mental health facility (Secs. 573.022, 574.023, and 574.027). EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001.