By Maxey                                              H.B. No. 1709
         76R3483 SMJ-D                           
                                A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 1-1                                   AN ACT
 1-2     relating to the establishment of an advisory committee on standards
 1-3     of care for mental health care.
 1-5           SECTION 1.  Chapter 571, Health and Safety Code, is amended
 1-6     by adding Section 571.028 to read as follows:
 1-7           Sec. 571.028.  ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON STANDARDS OF CARE.  (a)
 1-8     The board shall appoint an advisory committee to develop guidelines
 1-9     for standards  of care for mental health care providers in this
1-10     state.  The guidelines must prescribe the incorporation of
1-11     treatment algorithms for mental health care, as developed by the
1-12     Texas Medication Algorithm Project, where practicable.
1-13           (b)  The committee shall be composed of not more than 15
1-14     members, with an equal number of representatives from each of the
1-15     following groups:
1-16                 (1)  private mental health care providers;
1-17                 (2)  state agencies that provide mental health care
1-18     services; and
1-19                 (3)  individuals who receive mental health services or
1-20     families of individuals who receive mental health services.
1-21           (c)  A representative from the department shall serve as the
1-22     presiding officer of the committee.  The department shall provide
1-23     administrative support to the committee.
1-24           (d)  A committee member serves at the pleasure of the board
 2-1     or until the member ceases to represent a group listed in
 2-2     Subsection (b).
 2-3           (e)  A committee member serves without compensation and is
 2-4     not entitled to reimbursement of an expense incurred while serving
 2-5     on the committee.
 2-6           (f)  The committee shall meet at regular intervals to be
 2-7     determined by the board and at any other time at the call of the
 2-8     presiding officer.  The committee shall report to the board
 2-9     concerning the committee's activities and the results of its work
2-10     in a manner specified by the board.
2-11           SECTION 2.  (a)  This Act takes effect September 1, 1999.
2-12           (b)  As soon as practicable after the effective date of this
2-13     Act, the Texas Board of Mental Health and Mental Retardation shall
2-14     appoint the initial members of the advisory committee created by
2-15     this Act.
2-16           SECTION 3.  The importance of this legislation and the
2-17     crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an
2-18     emergency and an imperative public necessity that the
2-19     constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several
2-20     days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended.