Florida Senate - 2015                                    SB 1144
       By Senator Simpson
       18-01074-15                                           20151144__
    2                        A bill to be entitled                      
    3         An act relating to services for veterans and their
    4         families; creating s. 394.9087, F.S.; requiring the
    5         Department of Children and Families to establish the
    6         Florida Veterans’ Care Coordination Program; providing
    7         goals of the program; requiring the designation of
    8         implementation teams; providing a list of required
    9         services; providing an appropriation; providing an
   10         effective date.
   12  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   14         Section 1. Section 394.9087, Florida Statutes is created to
   15  read:
   16         394.9087 Florida Veterans Care Coordination Program.—
   17         (1) The Department of Children and Families, in cooperation
   18  with the Agency for Health Care Administration and pursuant to
   19  the requirements of s. 408.913, shall establish the Florida
   20  Veterans Care Coordination Program in all department service
   21  districts to provide veterans and their families in this state
   22  with dedicated behavioral healthcare referral services,
   23  especially mental health and substance abuse services. The
   24  department shall model the program after the proof-of-concept
   25  pilot program conducted in 2014 by the Crisis Center of Tampa
   26  Bay and the Department of Veterans Affairs in Hillsborough,
   27  Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, and Manatee Counties.
   28         (2) The goals of the program are to:
   29         (a) Prevent suicides by veterans in this state.
   30         (b) Increase the number of veterans who make use of agency
   31  services.
   32         (c) Increase the level of Veterans Administration funding
   33  for needed services to veterans in this state, thereby saving
   34  money for the state.
   35         (3) The department shall designate care coordination teams
   36  to implement the program statewide. The teams shall provide
   37  referral services to veterans and their families and expand the
   38  existing Florida 211 Network, authorized by s. 408.918, to
   39  include the optimal range of veterans service organizations and
   40  programs.
   41         (4) Services provided by the program must include:
   42         (a) Telephonic peer support, crisis intervention, and the
   43  communication of information and referral resources.
   44         (b) Treatment coordination, including followup care.
   45         (c) Suicide assessment.
   46         (d) Promotion of the safety and wellness of veterans and
   47  their families, including continuous safety planning and
   48  support.
   49         (e) Resource coordination, including data analysis, to
   50  ensure acceptance, enrollment, and attendance by veterans and
   51  their families in Veterans Administration programs and services
   52  and community-based programs and services.
   53         (f) Immediate needs assessments, including safety planning.
   54         (5) To enhance program services, program teams shall:
   55         (a) Track the number of requests from callers who are
   56  veterans or their family members.
   57         (b) Follow up with callers to determine whether they have
   58  acted on the referrals or received the assistance needed, or if
   59  additional referrals or advocacies are needed.
   60         (c) Develop communication strategies, such as media
   61  promotions, public service announcements, print and Internet
   62  stories, or community presentations, to inform veterans and
   63  their families about available services.
   64         (d) Document all calls and capture all data to improve
   65  outreach to veterans and their families.
   66         Section 2. For the 2015-2016 fiscal year, the sum of $2
   67  million in recurring funds is appropriated from the General
   68  Revenue Fund to the Department of Children and Families for the
   69  purpose of implementing this act.
   70         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2015.