2023 General Assembly (Current Session Updates)
SB3:9–8–8 Trust Fund – Funding: Requiring the Governor to include in the annual budget bill for fiscal year 2025 an appropriation of $12,000,000 to the 9-8-8 Trust Fund.
SB101: Maryland Medical Assistance Program – Collaborative Care Model Services – Implementation and Reimbursement Expansion: Repealing the Collaborative Care Pilot Program; and requiring the Maryland Department of Health to expand access to and provide reimbursement for services provided in accordance with the Collaborative Care Model under the Maryland Medical Assistance Program.
SB154: Public Health – Mental Health Advance Directives – Awareness and Statewide Database – Requiring the Maryland Department of Health to develop and implement a public awareness campaign to encourage the use of mental health advance directives in the State; requiring the Behavioral Health Administration to study the feasibility and cost of establishing a centralized statewide database of mental health advance directives; and requiring the Behavioral Health Administration to report to the certain committees of the General Assembly on the findings of the study by December 1, 2023.
SB190/HB44: Correctional Services – Pregnant Incarcerated Individuals – Substance Use Disorder Assessment and Treatment: Requiring that a pregnant incarcerated individual be screened for substance use disorder at intake, regardless of the jurisdiction or the length of the individual’s sentence, be referred to health care providers, and be provided with certain medications and treatment; requiring a correctional unit to arrange for health insurance coverage and follow-up health care before release of a pregnant incarcerated individual; and requiring that a pregnant incarcerated individual be provided with medical records on release.
SB283/HB418: Mental Health – Workforce Development – Fund Established: Establishing the Behavioral Health Workforce Investment Fund to provide reimbursement for costs associated with educating, training, certifying, recruiting, placing, and retaining behavioral health professionals and paraprofessionals; providing that money expended from the Fund is supplemental and not intended to supplant funding that would otherwise be appropriated; and requiring the Maryland Health Care Commission to conduct a comprehensive behavioral health workforce needs assessment on or before December 1, 2023.
SB308/HB305: Health Insurance – Utilization Review – Revisions: Altering and establishing requirements and prohibitions related to health insurance utilization review, including provisions regarding benchmarks for standardizing and automating the preauthorization process, the online preauthorization system for payors, preauthorizations for prescription drugs, and private review agents; altering timelines related to internal grievance procedures and adverse decision procedures; increasing the penalties for violating certain provisions of law regarding private review agents; etc.
SB362: Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics – Established: Requiring, on or before December 1, 2023, the Maryland Department of Health to submit a State plan amendment to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to establish certified community behavioral health clinics; requiring, if the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services approves the amendment, the Department to amend the State plan to cover certain services; and requiring the Department to establish certain payment systems.
SB515/HB785: Health Insurance – Step Therapy or Fail–First Protocol – Revisions: Prohibiting certain insurers, nonprofit health service plans, and health maintenance organizations from imposing a step therapy or fail-first protocol on an insured or an enrollee for certain prescription drugs used to treat a certain mental disorder or condition; and requiring certain insurers, nonprofit health service plans, or health maintenance organizations to establish a certain process for requesting an exception to a step therapy or fail-first protocol.
SB532/HB667: Criminal Law – Overdosing in Public – Prohibition: Prohibiting a person from overdosing in certain public places or on a public conveyance; and authorizing a court to refer a person who overdoses in certain public places or on a public conveyance to drug court or substance abuse treatment rather than imposing a term of imprisonment not exceeding 60 days or a fine not exceeding $500 or both.
SB534: Preserve Telehealth Access Act of 2023 – Extending to June 30, 2025, the inclusion of certain audio-only telephone conversations under the definition of “telehealth” for the purpose of certain provisions of law relating to reimbursement and coverage of telehealth by the Maryland Medical Assistance Program and certain insurers, nonprofit health service plans, and health maintenance organizations; etc.
SB546/HB427: Criminal Procedure – Medical Emergency – Immunity: Altering certain provisions relating to immunity from criminal arrest, charge, or prosecution for a person experiencing a medical emergency after ingesting or using alcohol or drugs.
SB558/HB681: Recovery Residence Grant Program – Establishment: Establishing the Recovery Residence Grant Program within the Maryland Department of Health to award competitive grants to recovery residences to support operations, services, and programs; requiring the Department to establish certain procedures; requiring the annual budget bill to include $500,000 for the Program beginning in fiscal year 2024 and each fiscal year thereafter; and requiring the Department to submit an annual report to the Governor and General Assembly about the Program’s grant recipients by December 1, 2024
SB581: Behavioral Health Care Coordination Value-Based Purchasing Pilot Program: Establishing the Behavioral Health Value-Based Purchasing Pilot Program in the Maryland Department of Health to establish and implement an intensive care coordination model using value-based purchasing in the specialty behavioral health system; requiring the Governor, for fiscal years 2025 through 2027, to include in the annual budget bill an appropriation of $600,000 for the Pilot Program; and requiring the Department to report by November 1, 2027 on the findings and recommendations from the Pilot Program.
SB618/HB953: Public Health – Overdose and Infectious Disease Prevention Services Program: Authorizing a community-based organization, with the approval of the Maryland Department of Health, to establish an Overdose and Infectious Disease Prevention Services Program to provide a location for the consumption of preobtained drugs, provide sterile needles, administer first aid, and certain other services; authorizing a Program to bill the insurance carrier of an individual who uses the services; authorizing the Department to approve no more than 6 programs, preferably two in urban, two in rural, and two in suburban areas; etc
SB811: School Discipline – Behavioral Health and Safety – Data Collection and School Resource Officers: Requiring the State Department of Education to disaggregate certain discipline-related data in an electronic spreadsheet format for the Department’s website, make the data available to the public, and report certain discipline-related information each year; requiring the Department to lower and maintain a certain risk ratio used to identify a school’s disproportional disciplinary practices; requiring each county board of education to develop a behavioral health and safety plan for certain schools by September 1, 2024; etc.
HB185: Nonpublic Schools and Child Care Providers – Corporal Punishment – Prohibition – Prohibiting the State Board of Education from issuing a certificate of approval to noncollegiate educational institutions that do not have a policy prohibiting the administration of corporal punishment; requiring regulations adopted by the State Board for the registration of family child care homes and large family child care homes and the licensing and operation of child care centers to prohibit corporal punishment; and requiring the State Board to identify certain methods in a certain overall plan.
HB 307: Firearm Safety – Storage Requirements and Youth Suicide Prevention (Jaelynn’s Law) – Altering a certain provision relating to the storage of firearms and ammunition in a location that can be accessed by an unsupervised child; prohibiting the storage of firearms and ammunition in a manner that allows access by a certain person who is prohibited from possessing a firearm; repealing a certain provision relating to negligence; and requiring the Deputy Secretary for Public Health Services to develop a youth suicide prevention and firearm safe storage guide, with recommendations from a stakeholder committee.
HB375: Education – Coaches – Mental Health First Aid Training: Requiring the State Department of Education to develop guidelines for public schools and the Maryland Higher Education Commission to develop guidelines for public institutions of higher education to train coaches in providing mental health first aid to students who participate in athletic programs in public schools and public institutions of higher education; requiring public schools and public institutions that offer athletic programs to provide mental health first aid training to coaches; etc.
HB615: Workgroup on Black, Latino, Asian American Pacific Islander, and Other Underrepresented Behavioral Health Professionals – Extension of Dates: Extending the reporting and termination dates, to July 1, 2024, and June 30, 2025, respectively, for the Workgroup on Black, Latino, Asian American Pacific Islander, and Other Underrepresented Behavioral Health Professionals.
HB1107: Anne Arundel County – School-Age Children Mental Health Support System Pilot Program: Establishing the School-Aged Children Mental Health Support System Pilot Program in Anne Arundel County to help implement the goals and recommendations of the Anne Arundel Mental Health Task Force with focus on providing mental and behavioral health supports to school-age children in Anne Arundel County; and requiring the Anne Arundel County Mental Health Agency to submit a report on the effectiveness of the program to the Anne Arundel County Delegation and the House Ways and Means Committee of the General Assembly by August 1, 2024, and 2025.
HB1155: Workgroup on Establishing a Youth Codesigned Integrated Behavioral Health Model: Establishing the Workgroup on Establishing a Youth Codesigned Integrated Behavioral Health Model to study youth codesigned behavioral health models and develop a plan and make recommendations regarding the implementation of a youth codesigned behavioral health care pilot in the State on or before July 1, 2024; and requiring the Workgroup to report its findings and recommendations to the Governor and the General Assembly by December 1, 2023.
HB1176: Voluntary 9-1-1 Registry for Individuals Needing Special Assistance: Establishing the 9-1-1 Registry Program to authorize individual adults, parents or guardians of minor children, or guardians of individuals with special needs to register with a local jurisdiction or local 9-1-1 call center in order to alert first responders of certain behaviors, diagnoses, or traits that individuals with special needs may present during encounters with first responders; and requiring local jurisdictions and local 9-1-1 centers to create 9-1-1 registry programs meeting certain characteristics.
SB13: Family Law – Custody Evaluators – Qualifications and Training: Requiring that an individual meet certain educational and experiential requirements in order to be appointed or approved by a court as a custody evaluator; requiring that, beginning October 1, 2024, an individual complete 20 hours of initial training in certain areas in order to be appointed or approved by a court as a custody evaluator; requiring that an individual receive 5 hours of ongoing education and training every 2 years in order to continue to be appointed or approved by a court as a custody evaluator; etc.
SB213: Health Occupations – Clinical Nurse Specialists – Prescribing – Defining “clinical nurse specialist” and “practice as a clinical nurse specialist” for the purpose of authorizing clinical nurse specialists to prescribe drugs and durable medical equipment under regulations adopted by the State Board of Nursing; designating a clinical nurse specialist as an “authorized prescriber” under the Maryland Pharmacy Act; and authorizing a licensed physician to personally prepare and dispense a prescription written by a clinical nurse specialist.
SB154/HB475: Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Compact: Entering into the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Compact; establishing criteria for participating states; authorizing an advanced practice registered nurse to practice in a party state under certain scope of practice rules; establishing the Interstate Commission of APRN Compact Administrators and its duties and powers; providing for the amendment of and withdrawal from the Compact; providing that the Compact is contingent on the enacting of substantially similar legislation in six other states; etc.
SB507: Criminal Procedure – Incompetency to Stand Trial – Dismissal of Charges and Victims’ Rights: Altering the time period after which a court is required to dismiss a certain charge against a defendant found incompetent to stand trial under certain circumstances; and authorizing a victim or victim’s representative to petition the court to extend the time for dismissal of certain charges against a defendant found incompetent to stand trial.
SB674/HB722: Physician Assistants – Parity With Other Health Care Practitioners (Physician Assistant Parity Act of 2023): Altering certain provisions of law to include physician assistants in the health care practitioners who may take certain actions, including actions related to the guardianship of disabled persons, admission of individuals to mental health facilities, the Emergency and Allergy Treatment Program, the Attendant Care Program, and petitions for extreme risk protective orders; requiring the Maryland Department of Health to cover charges related to examinations by a physician assistant for certain emergency evaluees; etc.
SB845/HB933: End–of–Life Option Act (The Honorable Elijah E. Cummings and the Honorable Shane E. Pendergrass Act): Authorizing an individual to request aid in dying by making certain requests; establishing requirements and prohibitions governing aid in dying, including requirements related to requests for aid in dying, consulting physicians, mental health assessments, the disposal of drugs prescribed for aid in dying, health care facility policies, and the effect of aid in dying on insurance policies; authorizing a pharmacist to dispense medication for aid in dying only to certain individuals under certain circumstances; etc.
HB69: Education – Student Behavior – Parent and Guardian Notice and Required Counseling (Parent and Guardian Accountability Act): Establishing that it is unlawful for a parent or guardian of a student in a public school to fail to seek and participate in counseling with the parent’s or guardian’s child after receiving notice of violent and disruptive behavior; and requiring a public school principal to provide written notice to the parent or guardian of a student who engages in two or more incidents of violent and disruptive behavior in a public school during the school year.
HB121: Mental Health – Treatment Plans for Individuals in Facilities – Requirements: Requiring a treatment plan for an individual with a mental disorder admitted to a certain health care facility to include a certain discharge goal and an estimate of the probable length of the inpatient stay the individual requires before transfer to a certain setting; requiring certain facility staff to review and reassess a plan of treatment within certain time periods; requiring a certain health care facility to take certain actions if the facility is unable to address certain needs under a plan of treatment; etc.
HB1070: Courts – Expert Witnesses – Licensed Certified Social Workers-Clinical: Altering a provision of law authorizing a licensed psychologist to testify as an expert witness on certain issues in a court or administrative hearing to also include a certified social worker-clinical licensed under the “Maryland Social Workers Practice Act” and qualified as an expert witness.
HB1114: Education – Prohibited Behavior on School Grounds and Property – Application: Specifying that provisions of law prohibiting and penalizing certain disruptive and threatening behavior on certain school grounds and property do not apply to students who commit offenses at the institution they attend or students who commit offenses at another institution while participating in or attending a sporting event or other extracurricular program sponsored at that institution.
HB1198: Drug and Alcohol Treatment Programs – Discharge of Patients and Referral Services – Standards: Requiring the Maryland Department of Health to establish by regulation standards relating to the discharge of patients from drug and alcohol treatment programs and certain referral services offered to patients by certain drug and alcohol treatment programs.
HB1224: Public Schools – Medical and Psychological Treatment in School-Based Health Centers and Public Schools – Parental Notice: Requiring a school health practitioner, health care practitioner, or certified school psychologist employed by or under a contract with a school-based health center, local school system, or local health department to provide school health services at a public school to provide certain information to a certain student’s parent or guardian about any consultation, diagnosis, or treatment provided to the student.
Support With Amendments:
SB108: Health Insurance – Annual Behavioral Health Wellness Visits – Coverage and Reimbursement: Requiring certain health insurers, nonprofit health service plans, and health maintenance organizations to provide coverage and certain reimbursement for annual behavioral health wellness visits.
SB151/HB162: Firearms – Maryland Voluntary Do Not Sell Firearm Registry – Establishment: Requiring the Department of State Police to create and maintain a Maryland Voluntary Do Not Sell Firearm Registry in which a person may voluntarily enroll for the purpose of being prohibited from obtaining a firearm; prohibiting a dealer or other person from selling, renting, loaning, or transferring a firearm to a purchaser, lessee, borrower, or transferee who the dealer or other person knows or has reason to believe is registered on the registry; etc.
SB201/HB82: Maryland Medical Assistance and Children’s Health Insurance Programs – School-Based Behavioral Health Services – Reimbursement: Requiring, on or before December 1, 2023, the Maryland Department of Health to apply to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for a State plan amendment authorizing certain reimbursement of behavioral health services when provided in a school setting by certain health care providers under the Maryland Medical Assistance Program or the Maryland Children’s Health Insurance Program.
SB255: Public Health – Home- and Community-Based Services for Children and Youth – Requiring the Maryland Department of Health to expand access to and provide reimbursement for certain behavioral health collaborative care, case management, and wraparound services; requiring, beginning in fiscal year 2024, the Behavioral Health Administration to fund 100 slots in the mental health case management program for children or youth at risk of out-of-home placement who are not eligible for program services; requiring the Governor to include funding in the annual budget bill for certain behavioral health services; etc.
SB263: Maryland Higher Education Commission – Access to Mental Health Advisory Committee – Establishment – Establishing the Access to Mental Health Advisory Committee within the Maryland Higher Education Commission; and requiring the Committee to submit an annual report of its findings and recommendations to the Governor and certain legislative committees of the Maryland General Assembly beginning on December 1, 2023.
SB480/HB823: Mental Health Law – Assisted Outpatient Treatment Programs: Authorizing a county to establish an assisted outpatient treatment program; and providing that an individual’s failure to comply with an order of assisted outpatient treatment issued under a program may be considered by a hearing officer for a certain purpose when determining whether an individual is to be admitted as an involuntary patient at a certain facility or hospital.
SB482/HB488: Janet L. Hoffman Loan Assistance Repayment Program – Mental Health Professionals in Public Schools: Expanding the purpose of the Janet L. Hoffman Loan Assistance Repayment Program to include assisting in the repayment of loans for mental health professionals serving as school psychologists, resource psychologists, psychologist coordinators, social workers, social worker supervisors, or mental health coordinators in the public schools; and requiring the Office of Student Financial Assistance to publicize the Program to eligible mental health professionals to help recruit and retain mental health professionals in the public schools.
HB274: Task Force on Reducing Emergency Department Wait Times – Establishing the Task Force on Reducing Emergency Department Wait Times to study best practices for reducing emergency department wait times; and requiring the Task Force to report its findings and recommendations to the Governor and the General Assembly by January 1, 2024.
HB1147: Public Health – Cannabis Programs – Cannabis-Induced Psychosis and THC Concentration Limit: Requiring the cannabis oversight agency to, by regulation, establish a procedure to ensure that no individual who has been diagnosed with cannabis-induced psychosis may purchase cannabis or cannabis products through the State’s medical cannabis program or adult-use cannabis program; and requiring the cannabis oversight agency to, by regulation, prohibit any cannabis or cannabis product sold through the State’s adult-use cannabis program from containing greater than a 15% concentration of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol.