House Democrats are offering a handful of proposals on mental health reform to the legislature. Various house bills aim to establish uniform fire safety codes for both public and private residential facilities across state, make direct care staff at these facilities reporters of suspected abuse or neglect, make it mandatory for the state to terminate contracts with vendors that have demonstrated a pattern of abuse or neglect, develop minimum and maximum case load levels and prohibit the state from forcing residents to move from public to private mental health facilities without the permission of residents’ parents or guardians. Another proposal would establish four teams to provide intensive 24-hour treatment to patients with severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or major depression. House Minority Leader Jeff Harris says these proposals offer comprehensive reform to state health care. He says the bottom line is to protect patients.
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