2023 Session

Budget Amendments - SB800 (Member Request)

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Chief Patron: Hanger
Pilot Program to Address Subacute Behavioral Health Needs of the Uninsured

Item 287 #4s

Item 287 #4s

First Year - FY2023 Second Year - FY2024
Health and Human Resources
Department of Health FY2023 $0 FY2024 $250,000 GF

Page 334, line 13, strike "$55,360,000" and insert "$55,610,000".

Page 347, after line 34, insert:

"4. Out of this appropriation, $250,000 the second year from the general fund shall be provided to the Virginia Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (VAFCC) and the Virginia Telehealth Network (VTN) to conduct a pilot program in which:

a. VAFCC shall partner with the Virginia Telehealth Networks' Virginia Telemental Health Initiative to support free and charitable clinics in integrating behavioral health safety planning and intervention into all clinical services to address patients' sub-acute behavioral health needs.
b. VTN shall work with free and charitable clinics from four regions of the Commonwealth and will train free clinic volunteer and paid staff to:
1. Incorporate evidence-based practices to enable free clinic providers and staff to screen for suicidal tendencies;
2. Integrate screening, safety, and assessment tools in free clinic workflows;
3. Develop and utilize patient safety assessments to identify patients in need of behavioral health services and develop traditional and telehealth care plans;
4. Develop safety plans for the clinic to deal with patient behavioral health emergencies that include community connections and continuity of care processes; and
5. Triage safety concerns to identify the appropriate level and setting of clinical management and patient support (i.e. when to refer patients to alternative care settings, if needed. in lieu of telehealth services.)
c. Free Clinics participating in this pilot shall engage in community mapping and the establishment of referral agreements to enhance connections with local and regional resources for crisis intervention and telehealth services
d. VAFCC and VTN shall report to the Virginia Department of Health and the Chairs of House Appropriations and Senate Finance and Appropriations Committees on the number of patients the participating clinics screened and served, the care provided, including behavioral telehealth services, and if referrals were made to other community providers by September 1, 2024."


(This amendment provides $250,000 the second year from the general fund for a pilot program developed by the Virginia Telehealth Network to help free clinics provide sub-acute behavioral health services to uninsured and Medicaid patients through telehealth and/or partnerships with community behavioral health providers. The pilot program would also help free clinics develop safety plans to ensure staff and patients are safe when free clinic patients experience mental health crisis.)