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. 19 20 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 21 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.