PORTSMOUTH, R.I. — Two bills introduced by Rep. Dennis M. Canario (D-Dist. 71, Portsmouth, Little Compton, Tiverton) have been signed into law by the governor.
The bills relate to license plates benefiting the New England Patriots Charitable Fund and requiring comprehensive discharge plans for patients with mental health disorders.
The first bill (2017-H 5761A) makes combination vehicles eligible for the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation registration plates.
“The New England Patriots Charitable Foundation does so much good work for so many worthy causes and I felt it was important to allow the widest amount of vehicles possible to be able to participate in this program,” said Representative Canario.
The second bill (2017-H 6306A) signed into law requires medical treatment facilities to provide discharge plans for patients with nonsubstance abuse related mental health disorders.
“As we as a society learn more about the importance of mental health, we must ensure that people who suffer from these diseases have the adequate and proper care they need to regain their health. This legislation will make sure that patients with mental health issues receive the best possible care for their conditions in the medically best way possible,” said Representative Canario.
According to the legislation, on or before September 1, 2017, each hospital and freestanding emergency care facility shall submit a discharge plan and transition process for patients with a primary diagnosis of a mental health disorder without a co-occurring substance use disorder.
On or before January 1, 2018, the director of the Department of Health, with the director of the Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities, and Hospitals, shall develop and disseminate mental health best practices standards for health care clinics, urgent care centers, and emergency diversion facilities regarding protocols for patient screening, transfer, and referral to clinically appropriate inpatient and outpatient services. The best practice standards shall include information and strategies to facilitate clinically appropriate prompt transfers and referrals from hospitals and freestanding emergency care facilities to less intensive settings.