Existing law establishes the Medi-Cal program, which is administered by the State Department of Health Care Services and under which qualified low-income individuals receive health care services, including specialty mental health services and nonspecialty mental health services. The Medi-Cal program is, in part, governed and funded by federal Medicaid program provisions.
Existing law requires the department to implement managed mental health care for Medi-Cal beneficiaries through contracts with county mental health plans. Under existing law, the county mental health plans are responsible for providing specialty mental health services to enrollees.
This bill would authorize a certified crisis stabilization unit designated by a mental health plan, at the discretion of the mental health plan, to provide
medically necessary crisis stabilization services to individuals beyond the service time of 24 hours, but not for more than
36 48 hours, when the individual needs inpatient psychiatric care or outpatient care and inpatient psychiatric beds or outpatient services are not reasonably available. The bill would require a person who is placed under, or who is already under, a 72-hour involuntary hold because the person, as a result of a mental disorder, is a danger to themselves or others, or is gravely disabled, to be credited for the time detained at a certified crisis stabilization unit. The bill would require the department to amend its contract with a mental health plan to include a provision authorizing the provision of crisis stabilization services for more than 24 hours if the mental health plan elects to provide
crisis stabilization services under these provisions. The bill would require the department to require these mental health plans to complete specified duties, including to establish, only if the plan opts to offer extended services, treatment protocols, documentation standards, and administrative procedures, consistent with best practices and other evidence-based medicine, to be followed by a certified crisis stabilization unit for appropriate treatment to individuals who are provided crisis stabilization services for more than 24 hours. The bill would require a certified crisis stabilization unit that provides crisis stabilization services under these provisions to comply with specified requirements, including ensuring that a psychiatrist is available at all times to address psychiatric emergencies. The bill would require the department to seek any state plan amendments or waivers, or amendments to
existing waivers, that are necessary to implement these provisions.