Florida Senate - 2021                              CS for SB 260
       By the Committee on Appropriations; and Senators Harrell,
       Wright, Rodriguez, Cruz, Stewart, Burgess, and Perry
       576-04250-21                                           2021260c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to services for veterans and their
    3         families; creating s. 394.9087, F.S.; authorizing the
    4         Department of Veterans’ Affairs 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         authorizing 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 to submit such data to
   15         the department; requiring the department to submit a
   16         report to the Governor and Legislature by a specified
   17         date; providing requirements for the report; providing
   18         an effective date.
   20  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   22         Section 1. Section 394.9087, Florida Statutes, is created
   23  to read:
   24         394.9087 Florida Veterans’ Care Coordination Program.—
   25         (1)The Department of Veterans’ Affairs may establish the
   26  Florida Veterans’ Care Coordination Program. If the Department
   27  of Veterans’ Affairs establishes the program, it may contract
   28  with a nonprofit entity that is accredited by the Council on
   29  Accreditation, is fully accredited by the National Alliance of
   30  Information and Referral Services, and has statewide phone
   31  capacity to serve veterans to enter into agreements with Florida
   32  211 Network participants to provide veterans and their families
   33  in this state with dedicated behavioral health care referral
   34  services, especially mental health and substance abuse services.
   35  The Department of Veterans’ Affairs shall model the program
   36  after the proof-of-concept pilot program established in 2014 by
   37  the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay and the Department of Veterans’
   38  Affairs in Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, and Manatee
   39  Counties.
   40         (2)The goals of the program are to:
   41         (a)Prevent suicides by veterans.
   42         (b)Increase veterans’ use of programs and services
   43  provided by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.
   44         (c)Increase the number of veterans who use other available
   45  community-based programs and services.
   46         (3)The program must be available statewide. Program
   47  services must be provided by program teams operated by Florida
   48  211 Network participants as authorized by s. 408.918. A Florida
   49  211 Network participant may provide services in more than one
   50  geographic area under a single contract.
   51         (4)The program teams shall provide referral and care
   52  coordination services to veterans and their families and expand
   53  the existing Florida 211 Network to include the optimal range of
   54  veterans’ service organizations and programs. Florida 211
   55  Network participants in the Florida Veterans’ Care Coordination
   56  Program must include all of the following:
   57         (a)Telephonic peer support, crisis intervention, and the
   58  communication of information on referral resources.
   59         (b)Treatment coordination, including coordination of
   60  follow-up care.
   61         (c)Suicide risk assessment.
   62         (d)Promotion of the safety and wellness of veterans and
   63  their families, including continuous safety planning and
   64  support.
   65         (e)Resource coordination, including data analysis, to
   66  facilitate acceptance, enrollment, and attendance of veterans
   67  and their families in programs and services provided by the
   68  United States Department of Veterans Affairs and other available
   69  community-based programs and services.
   70         (f)Immediate needs assessments, including safety planning
   71  and support.
   72         (5)To enhance program services, program teams shall:
   73         (a)Track the number of requests from callers who are
   74  veterans or members of a veteran’s family.
   75         (b)Follow up with callers who are veterans or members of a
   76  veteran’s family to determine whether they have acted on the
   77  referrals or received the assistance needed and whether
   78  additional referral or advocacy is needed.
   79         (c)Develop and implement communication strategies, such as
   80  media promotions, public service announcements, print and
   81  Internet articles, and community presentations, to inform
   82  veterans and their families about available programs and
   83  services provided by the United States Department of Veterans
   84  Affairs and other available community-based programs and
   85  services.
   86         (d)Document all calls and capture all necessary data to
   87  improve outreach to veterans and their families and report such
   88  data to the contracted entity.
   89         (6)Florida 211 Network participants in the Florida
   90  Veterans’ Care Coordination Program shall maintain a database of
   91  veteran-specific services available in the communities served by
   92  the programs. The Department of Veterans’ Affairs and its
   93  selected contractor shall work with managing entities as defined
   94  in s. 394.9082(2) to educate service providers about the Florida
   95  Veterans Support Line and the Florida Veterans’ Care
   96  Coordination Program.
   97         (7)Florida 211 Network participants shall collect data on
   98  the program and submit such data to the Department of Veterans’
   99  Affairs in the format prescribed by the Department of Veterans’
  100  Affairs. The Department of Veterans’ Affairs shall use such data
  101  to prepare a report for submittal to the Governor, the President
  102  of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives
  103  by December 15, 2022. The report must include all of the
  104  following:
  105         (a)The number of calls received.
  106         (b)Demographic information for each caller, including, but
  107  not limited to, the caller’s military affiliation, the caller’s
  108  veteran status, and whether the caller is receiving services
  109  provided by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs or
  110  other available community-based programs and services.
  111         (c)The nature of each call, including, but not limited to,
  112  the concerns prompting the call and the services requested.
  113         (d)The outcome of each call, including, but not limited
  114  to, the services for which referrals were made and the
  115  organizations to which the caller was referred.
  116         (e)Services received as a result of each call.
  117         (f)Information regarding follow-up by the program team,
  118  including, but not limited to, the percentage of calls receiving
  119  follow-up and the outcome of follow-up.
  120         (g) Information regarding the program’s impact on each
  121  caller’s quality of life and on the avoidance of negative
  122  outcomes, including arrest and suicide.
  123         (h) Each caller’s level of satisfaction with program
  124  services.
  125         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2021.