Florida Senate - 2016 SB 128 By Senator Simpson 18-00201-16 2016128__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to services for combat veterans and 3 their families; creating s. 394.9087, F.S.; defining 4 the term “combat veteran”; requiring that the 5 Department of Children and Families establish the 6 Florida Combat Veterans’ Care Coordination Program to 7 provide combat veterans and their families with 8 behavioral health care referral and care coordination 9 services; requiring that the department contract with 10 managing entities to enter into agreements with 11 Florida 211 Network participants for such services; 12 providing program goals; providing for the statewide 13 delivery of services by program teams; requiring 14 Florida 211 Network participants to collect data on 15 the implementation of the program and submit such data 16 to the department; requiring the department to submit 17 a report on such implementation to the Governor and 18 Legislature; providing an appropriation; providing an 19 effective date. 20 21 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 22 23 Section 1. Section 394.9087, Florida Statutes, is created 24 to read: 25 394.9087 Florida Combat Veterans’ Care Coordination 26 Program.— 27 (1) As used in this section, the term “combat veteran” 28 means a wartime veteran as defined in s. 1.01(14). 29 (2) The Department of Children and Families, in 30 consultation with the Florida Alliance of Information and 31 Referral Services, shall establish the Florida Combat Veterans’ 32 Care Coordination Program. The department shall contract with 33 managing entities, as defined in s. 394.9082(2)(d), to enter 34 into agreements with Florida 211 Network participants to provide 35 combat veterans and their families in this state with dedicated 36 behavioral health care referral services, especially mental 37 health and substance abuse services. The department shall model 38 the program after the proof-of-concept pilot program established 39 in 2014 by the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay and the Florida 40 Department of Veterans’ Affairs in Hillsborough, Pasco, 41 Pinellas, Polk, and Manatee Counties. 42 (3) The goals of the program are to: 43 (a) Prevent suicides by combat veterans. 44 (b) Increase the use of United States Department of 45 Veterans Affairs’ programs and services by combat veterans. 46 (c) Increase the number of combat veterans who use other 47 available community-based programs and services. 48 (4) The program must be available statewide. Program 49 services must be provided by program teams operated by Florida 50 211 Network participants, as authorized by s. 408.918. A Florida 51 211 Network participant may provide services in more than one 52 managing entity’s geographic area under a single contract. 53 (5) The program teams shall provide referral and care 54 coordination services to combat veterans and their families and 55 expand the existing Florida 211 Network to include the optimal 56 range of veterans’ service organizations and programs. Program 57 services must include: 58 (a) Telephonic peer support, crisis intervention, and the 59 communication of information on referral resources. 60 (b) Treatment coordination, including coordination of 61 followup care. 62 (c) Suicide assessment. 63 (d) Promotion of the safety and wellness of combat veterans 64 and their families, including continuous safety planning and 65 support. 66 (e) Resource coordination, including data analysis, to 67 facilitate acceptance, enrollment, and attendance by combat 68 veterans and their families in United States Department of 69 Veterans Affairs’ programs and services and other available 70 community-based programs and services. 71 (f) Immediate needs assessments, including safety planning 72 and support. 73 (6) To enhance program services, program teams shall: 74 (a) Track the number of requests from callers who are 75 combat veterans or their family members. 76 (b) Follow up with callers or their family members to 77 determine whether they have acted on the referrals or received 78 the assistance needed, or if additional referral or advocacy is 79 needed. 80 (c) Develop and implement communication strategies, such as 81 media promotions, public service announcements, print and 82 Internet articles, and community presentations, to inform combat 83 veterans and their families about available United States 84 Department of Veterans Affairs’ programs and services and other 85 available community-based programs and services. 86 (d) Document all calls and capture all necessary data to 87 improve outreach to combat veterans and their families and 88 report such data to the managing entity. 89 (7) Florida 211 Network participants shall collect and 90 submit data on the implementation of the program to the 91 department in the format prescribed by the department. The 92 department shall use such data to prepare a report for submittal 93 to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of 94 the House of Representatives by December 15, 2017. The report 95 must include: 96 (a) The number of calls received. 97 (b) Demographic information for each caller, including, but 98 not limited to, the caller’s military affiliation, the caller’s 99 veteran status, and if the caller is receiving services through 100 United States Department of Veterans Affairs’ programs and 101 services or other available community-based programs and 102 services. 103 (c) The nature of each call, including, but not limited to, 104 the concerns prompting the call and the services requested. 105 (d) The outcome of each call, including, but not limited 106 to, the service referrals made and the organizations to which 107 the caller was referred. 108 (e) Services received as a result of each call. 109 (f) Followup by the program team, including, but not 110 limited to, the percentage of calls receiving followup and the 111 amount of time between initial contact and followup. 112 (g) The program’s impact on each caller’s quality of life 113 and on the avoidance of negative outcomes, including arrest and 114 suicide. 115 (h) Each caller’s satisfaction with program services. 116 Section 2. For the 2016-2017 fiscal year, the sum of 117 $2,000,155 in recurring funds is appropriated from the General 118 Revenue Fund to the Department of Children and Families for the 119 purpose of implementing this act. 120 Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2016.