Florida Senate - 2019 SB 1222 By Senator Harrell 25-01617B-19 20191222__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to services for veterans and their 3 families; creating s. 394.9087, F.S.; requiring the 4 Department of Children and Families to establish the 5 Florida Veterans’ Care Coordination Program to provide 6 veterans and their families with behavioral health 7 care referral and care coordination services; 8 requiring the department to contract with managing 9 entities to enter into agreements with Florida 211 10 Network participants to provide such services; 11 providing program goals; providing for the statewide 12 delivery of specified services by program teams; 13 requiring Florida 211 Network participants to collect 14 program implementation data and submit such data to 15 the department; requiring the department to submit a 16 report to the Governor and Legislature; providing an 17 effective date. 18 19 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 20 21 Section 1. Section 394.9087, Florida Statutes, is created 22 to read: 23 394.9087 Florida Veterans’ Care Coordination Program.— 24 (1) The Department of Children and Families, in 25 consultation with the Florida Alliance of Information and 26 Referral Services, shall establish the Florida Veterans’ Care 27 Coordination Program. The department shall contract with 28 managing entities as defined in s. 394.9082(2)(e) to enter into 29 agreements with Florida 211 Network participants to provide 30 veterans and their families in this state with dedicated 31 behavioral health care referral services, especially mental 32 health and substance abuse services. The department shall model 33 the program after the proof-of-concept pilot program established 34 in 2014 by the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay and the Florida 35 Department of Veterans’ Affairs in Hillsborough, Pasco, 36 Pinellas, Polk, and Manatee Counties. 37 (2) The goals of the program are to: 38 (a) Prevent suicides by veterans. 39 (b) Increase veterans’ use of programs and services 40 provided by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. 41 (c) Increase the number of veterans who use other available 42 community-based programs and services. 43 (3) The program must be available statewide. Program 44 services must be provided by program teams operated by Florida 45 211 Network participants, as authorized by s. 408.918. A Florida 46 211 Network participant may provide services in more than one 47 managing entity’s geographic area under a single contract. 48 (4) The program teams shall provide referral and care 49 coordination services to veterans and their families and expand 50 the existing Florida 211 Network to include the optimal range of 51 veterans’ service organizations and programs. Program services 52 must include: 53 (a) Telephonic peer support, crisis intervention, and the 54 communication of information on referral resources. 55 (b) Treatment coordination, including coordination of 56 followup care. 57 (c) Suicide risk assessment. 58 (d) Promotion of the safety and wellness of veterans and 59 their families, including continuous safety planning and 60 support. 61 (e) Resource coordination, including data analysis, to 62 facilitate acceptance, enrollment, and attendance of veterans 63 and their families in programs and services provided by the 64 United States Department of Veterans Affairs and other available 65 community-based programs and services. 66 (f) Immediate needs assessments, including safety planning 67 and support. 68 (5) To enhance program services, program teams shall: 69 (a) Track the number of requests from callers who are 70 veterans or members of a veteran’s family. 71 (b) Follow up with callers who are veterans or members of a 72 veteran’s family to determine whether they have acted on the 73 referrals or received the assistance needed and whether 74 additional referral or advocacy is needed. 75 (c) Develop and implement communication strategies, such as 76 media promotions, public service announcements, print and 77 Internet articles, and community presentations, to inform 78 veterans and their families about available programs and 79 services provided by the United States Department of Veterans 80 Affairs and other available community-based programs and 81 services. 82 (d) Document all calls and capture all necessary data to 83 improve outreach to veterans and their families and report such 84 data to the managing entity. 85 (6) Florida 211 Network participants shall collect data on 86 the implementation of the program and submit such data to the 87 department in the format prescribed by the department. The 88 department shall use such data to prepare a report for submittal 89 to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of 90 the House of Representatives by December 15, 2020. The report 91 must include: 92 (a) The number of calls received. 93 (b) Demographic information for each caller, including, but 94 not limited to, the caller’s military affiliation, the caller’s 95 veteran status, and whether the caller is receiving services 96 provided by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs or 97 other available community-based programs and services. 98 (c) The nature of each call, including, but not limited to, 99 the concerns prompting the call and the services requested. 100 (d) The outcome of each call, including, but not limited 101 to, the services for which referrals were made and the 102 organizations to which the caller was referred. 103 (e) Services received as a result of each call. 104 (f) Information regarding followup by the program team, 105 including, but not limited to, the percentage of calls receiving 106 followup and the amount of time between initial contact and 107 followup. 108 (g) Information regarding the program’s impact on each 109 caller’s quality of life and on the avoidance of negative 110 outcomes, including arrest and suicide. 111 (h) Each caller’s level of satisfaction with program 112 services. 113 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2019.