Article VII Budget Proposals of Interest: Streamline Children’s RTF

January 21, 2020

From the Memorandum in Support / Health and Mental Hygiene Article VII Bill | NYS FY 2021 Executive Budget

Part V – Streamline the Pre-Admission Process for Residential Treatment Facilities (RTFs)


This bill would make statutory changes necessary to streamline the current pre- admission process for Residential Treatment Facilities (RTFs) for children and youth.

Summary of Provisions and Statement in Support:

Section 1 of the bill would amend Section 9.51 of the Mental Hygiene Law (MHL) by removing the use of a Pre-Admission Certification Committee (PACC) as the first step for placement into an RTF. The Commissioner of OMH would be required to consult with the Council for Children and Families to establish an advisory board.

Section 2 of this bill would amend Section 31.26 of MHL by providing the Commissioner of OMH authority to develop admission standards, in consultation with the Commissioner of Education, Commissioner of Social Services and Commissioner of the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS).

Section 3 of this bill would amend Section 9.27 of MHL by specifying the review process for involuntary admission be completed by OMH or its designee, who is qualified by their scope of practice, instead of a mandatory review by a PACC.

The transfer of admission authority from a PACC to OMH or its designee will promote a more timely, effective and appropriate placement of individuals into RTFs. Currently, the average application review period is thirty days. Without the PACC, it will be reduced to fifteen days. This amendment not only creates a shorter review timeframe, but also determines the appropriateness of admission based on standards created by OMH.

Budget Implications:

Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the FY 2021 Executive Budget, as it will enable more prompt and efficient review of applications for children to enter RTFs, resulting in shorter stays for patients and generating cost savings. Approximately $2 million in savings is expected as a result of RTF restructuring, through the PACC replacement and reimbursement reforms to reduce lengths of stay.

Effective Date:

This bill would take effect July 1, 2020.