Florida Senate - 2019                             CS for SB 1222
       By the Committee on Military and Veterans Affairs and Space; and
       Senators Harrell and Mayfield
       583-03494-19                                          20191222c1
    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 Veterans’ Affairs to establish the Florida
    5         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 a certain
    9         nonprofit entity to enter into agreements with Florida
   10         211 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.
   19  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   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 Veterans’ Affairs shall establish the
   25  Florida Veterans’ Care Coordination Program. The Department of
   26  Veterans’ Affairs shall contract with a nonprofit entity that is
   27  accredited by the Council on Accreditation, is fully accredited
   28  by the National Alliance of Information and Referral Services,
   29  and has statewide phone capacity to serve veterans, to enter
   30  into agreements with Florida 211 Network participants to provide
   31  veterans and their families in this state with dedicated
   32  behavioral health care referral services, especially mental
   33  health and substance abuse services. The Department of Veterans’
   34  Affairs shall model the program after the proof-of-concept pilot
   35  program established in 2014 by the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay
   36  and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs in Hillsborough, Pasco
   37  Pinellas, Polk, and Manatee counties.
   38         (2) The goals of the program are to:
   39         (a) Prevent suicides by veterans.
   40         (b) Increase veterans’ use of programs and services
   41  provided by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.
   42         (c) Increase the number of veterans who use other available
   43  community-based programs and services.
   44         (3) The program must be available statewide. Program
   45  services must be provided by program teams operated by Florida
   46  211 Network participants, as authorized by s. 408.918. A Florida
   47  211 Network participant may provide services in more than one
   48  geographic area under a single contract.
   49         (4) The program teams shall provide referral and care
   50  coordination services to veterans and their families and expand
   51  the existing Florida 211 Network to include the optimal range of
   52  veterans’ service organizations and programs. Florida 211
   53  Network participants in the Florida Veterans’ Care Coordination
   54  Program must include:
   55         (a) Telephonic peer support, crisis intervention, and the
   56  communication of information on referral resources.
   57         (b) Treatment coordination, including coordination of
   58  followup care.
   59         (c) Suicide risk assessment.
   60         (d) Promotion of the safety and wellness of veterans and
   61  their families, including continuous safety planning and
   62  support.
   63         (e) Resource coordination, including data analysis, to
   64  facilitate acceptance, enrollment, and attendance of veterans
   65  and their families in programs and services provided by the
   66  United States Department of Veterans Affairs and other available
   67  community-based programs and services.
   68         (f) Immediate needs assessments, including safety planning
   69  and support.
   70         (5) To enhance program services, program teams shall:
   71         (a) Track the number of requests from callers who are
   72  veterans or members of a veteran’s family.
   73         (b) Follow up with callers who are veterans or members of a
   74  veteran’s family to determine whether they have acted on the
   75  referrals or received the assistance needed and whether
   76  additional referral or advocacy is needed.
   77         (c) Develop and implement communication strategies, such as
   78  media promotions, public service announcements, print and
   79  Internet articles, and community presentations, to inform
   80  veterans and their families about available programs and
   81  services provided by the United States Department of Veterans
   82  Affairs and other available community-based programs and
   83  services.
   84         (d) Document all calls and capture all necessary data to
   85  improve outreach to veterans and their families and report such
   86  data to the contracted entity.
   87         (6)Florida 211 Network participants in the Florida
   88  Veterans’ Care Coordination Program shall maintain a database of
   89  veteran-specific services available in the communities served by
   90  the programs. The Department of Veterans’ Affairs and its
   91  selected contractor shall work with managing entities as defined
   92  in s. 394.9082(2)(e)to educate service providers about the
   93  Florida Veterans Support Line and Veterans Care Coordination
   94  Program.
   95         (7) Florida 211 Network participants shall collect data on
   96  the program and submit such data to the Department of Veterans’
   97  Affairs in the format prescribed by the Department of Veterans’
   98  Affairs. The Department of Veterans’ Affairs shall use such data
   99  to prepare a report for submittal to the Governor, the President
  100  of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives
  101  by December 15, 2020. The report must include:
  102         (a)The number of calls received.
  103         (b) Demographic information for each caller, including, but
  104  not limited to, the caller’s military affiliation, the caller’s
  105  veteran status, and whether the caller is receiving services
  106  provided by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs or
  107  other available community-based programs and services.
  108         (c) The nature of each call, including, but not limited to,
  109  the concerns prompting the call and the services requested.
  110         (d) The outcome of each call, including, but not limited
  111  to, the services for which referrals were made and the
  112  organizations to which the caller was referred.
  113         (e) Services received as a result of each call.
  114         (f) Information regarding followup by the program team,
  115  including, but not limited to, the percentage of calls receiving
  116  followup and the outcome of followup.
  117         (g) Information regarding the program’s impact on each
  118  caller’s quality of life and on the avoidance of negative
  119  outcomes, including arrest and suicide.
  120         (h) Each caller’s level of satisfaction with program
  121  services.
  122         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2019.