TOPEKA — Rep. Brenda Landwehr says she cried when the Home handed laws to certify and fund neighborhood behavioral well being clinics.
The Wichita Republican, who chairs the well being committee, had labored to cross some form of reform measure for a number of years earlier than the COVID-19 pandemic escalated the necessity to handle psychological well being companies in Kansas.
“That is the most important change in psychological well being in Kansas in 30 years,” Landwehr mentioned. “That’s how huge that is.”
She joined different lawmakers and Gov. Laura Kelly at a information convention Thursday to rejoice the passage in April of House Bill 2208. One part of the laws requires state companies to certify 26 community-based psychological well being facilities as behavioral well being clinics inside three years and set new charges for the companies they supply. The state estimates this funding ultimately will complete $74 million yearly.
After the closing of a state hospital in 1997 and the relocation in 2003 of the Menninger Clinic from Topeka to Houston, Kansas has struggled to “get again to the place we have to be,” Landwehr mentioned.
“In all ages and all incomes, it doesn’t discriminate with how a lot you have got or how nice your life is,” Landwehr mentioned. “Psychological sickness is actual. It’s a incapacity.”
Rep. John Eplee, an Atchison Republican and household doctor, mentioned the invoice is essentially the most historic piece of psychological well being laws in a long time.
“It is going to present extra assets and extra stability for our psychological well being clinics,” he mentioned.
The invoice requires the Kansas Division for Getting old and Incapacity Providers to certify six amenities by Could 1, 2022, three extra by July 1, 2022, a further 9 by July 1, 2023, and a further eight by July 1, 2024.
Randy Callstrom, CEO of the Wyandotte Behavioral Well being Community and board president of the Affiliation of Group Psychological Well being Facilities in Kansas, mentioned the brand new certification emphasizes restoration, wellness, trauma-informed care and bodily behavioral well being integration.
The brand new clinics are “particularly designed to deal with lots of the challenges our system presently faces, together with the suicide disaster, boundaries to well timed entry, delayed care, overburdened jails and emergency departments, and workforce shortages,” Callstrom mentioned.
Home Invoice 2208 was the product of negotiations between the Home and Senate that led to the bundling of a number of items of laws. The invoice contains provisions to allow rural hospitals to obtain federal well being care reimbursements, and authorizes licensed out-of-state physicians to observe telemedicine in Kansas.
The Senate handed the invoice 34-4, and the Home vote was 120-2.
The governor mentioned the teachings she discovered early in her profession, when she labored at psychological well being establishments in different states, proceed to information her coverage priorities.
“As we proceed to recuperate from the COVID-19 pandemic, provisions on this laws are extra important than ever,” Kelly mentioned.