New 2017 Maryland Laws

PLEASE NOTE: Unless otherwise indicated, the bills below have not been signed by the Governor, but they will become law automatically after 30 days of presentment to the Governor. In all likelihood, all passed bills which have NOT been signed will become law and take effect on the date indicated.


HB 331/SB 786– Education – Behavior Intervention Plans – Physical Restraint and Seclusion- This bill prohibits the use of physical restraint and seclusion in disciplining a public or nonpublic school student except under specified conditions, including a new requirement for a risk assessment by a licensed professional prior to the use of seclusion.

Update: Senate version passed. The bill takes effect July 1, 2017.


HB 580/SB 476– Behavioral Health Community Providers – Keep the Door Open Act- Requiring, except under specified circumstances, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to adjust the rate of reimbursement for community providers each fiscal year by the rate adjustment included in the State budget for that fiscal year.

Update: This bill was rolled in to another piece of legislation that is targeting the opioid epidemic, HB 1329/SB 967 which passed. The amended bill provides a 3.5% rate increase for community providers for fiscal years 2019 and 2020. The bill further requires DHMH and the Behavioral Health Administration to conduct a study on community provider reimbursement and implement a payment system that reflects the actual costs of providing community behavioral health services. Most provisions take effect June 1, 2017. The prior authorization provision takes effect January 1, 2018.


HB 775/SB 600– Public Health – Maternal Mental Health- Requiring the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, in consultation with stakeholders, to identify specified information about perinatal mood and anxiety disorders; requiring the Department to make available such information on the Department’s Web site and to provide such information to specified health care facilities and health care providers; requiring the Department, in collaboration with specified health professional associations, to develop specified training programs to improve early identification of postpartum depression and perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.

Update: Passed.  Approved by the Governor on 4/18/17. The bill takes effect July 1, 2017.


HB 786– Education – Individualized Counseling Services – Requirements- Authorizing school-based personnel to recommend a student to a school guidance counselor or the school counseling program to determine whether the student needs a behavioral health assessment.

Update: Passed. The bill takes effect July 1, 2017.


HB 1127/SB 968– Health Insurance – Coverage Requirements for Behavioral Health Disorders – Modifications- Altering specified coverage requirements applicable to specified health benefit plans for the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness and emotional, drug use, and alcohol use disorders (makes explicit additional SUD levels of care in the basic insurance benefit requirements).

Update: Passed. The bill takes effect June 1, 2017.


HB 352/SB 1106– Health Care Practitioners – Use of Teletherapy- Authorizing specified health care practitioners to use teletherapy for a patient; establishing requirements for the technology a health care practitioner uses for teletherapy; requiring a health care practitioner to make a specified identification and establish a safety protocol that includes specified information before the first teletherapy session; defining teletherapy as the use of specified telecommunications or electronic technology to deliver behavioral health services under specified circumstances.

Update: Passed the House with significant amendments. MPS/SMPS are taking no position on the amended version. Passed. The bill’s provisions authorizing health care practitioners to use teletherapy take effect October 1, 2018.

Link to amended bill: