Mississippi

 

MS ST 41-4-1Chapter 4. Department of Mental Health

 

Title 41. Public Health

Chapter 4. Department of Mental Health

41-4-1. Statement of purpose

 

 

The purpose of this chapter is to coordinate, develop, improve, plan for, and provide all services for the mentally ill, emotionally disturbed, alcoholic, drug dependent, and mentally retarded persons of this state; to promote, safeguard and protect human dignity, social well-being and general welfare of these persons under the cohesive control of one (1) coordinating and responsible agency so that mental health and mental retardation services and facilities may be uniformly provided more efficiently and economically to any resident of the state of Mississippi; and further to seek means for the prevention of these disabilities.

 

 

 

41-4-3. Composition of state board of mental health

 

 

(1) There is hereby created a state board of mental health, herein referred to as "board," consisting of nine (9) members, to be appointed by the governor, with the advise and consent of the senate, each of whom shall be a qualified elector. One (1) member shall be appointed from each congressional district as presently constituted; and four (4) members shall be appointed from the state- at-large, one (1) of whom shall be a licensed medical doctor who is a psychiatrist, one (1) of whom shall hold a Ph.D. degree and be a licensed clinical psychologist, one (1) of whom shall be a licensed medical doctor, and one (1) whom shall be a social worker with experience in the mental health field.

 

 

No more than two (2) members of the board shall be appointed from any one (1) congressional district as presently constituted.

 

 

 


Each member of the initial board shall serve for a term of years represented by the number of his congressional district; two (2) state-at-large members shall serve for a term of six (6) years; two (2) state-at-large members shall serve for a term of seven (7) years; subsequent appointments shall be for seven-year terms and the governor shall fill any vacancy for the unexpired term.

 

 

The board shall elect a chairman whose term of office shall be one (1) year and until his successor shall be elected.

 

 

(2) Each board member shall be entitled to a per diem as is authorized by law and all actual and necessary expenses, including mileage as provided by law, incurred in the discharge of official duties.

 

 

(3) The board shall hold regular meetings monthly and such special meetings deemed necessary, except that no action shall be taken unless there is present a quorum of at least five (5) members.

 

 

 

41-4-5. Department established; components

 

 

There is hereby created the state department of mental health, herein referred to as "department," which shall consist of four (4) or more divisions, among them the division of mental retardation, the division of alcohol and drug misuse, the division of mental health, and the division of administration, planning and coordination, and such other divisions as the board shall deem appropriate.

 

 

 

41-4-7. Powers and duties of state board

 

 

The State Board of Mental Health shall have the following powers and duties:

 

(a) To appoint a full-time executive director of the Department of Mental Health, who shall be employed by the board and shall serve as executive secretary to the board. The first director shall be a duly licensed physician with special interest and competence in psychiatry, and shall possess a minimum of three (3) years' experience in clinical and administrative psychiatry. Subsequent directors shall possess at least a master's degree or its equivalent, and shall possess at least ten (10) years' administrative experience in the field of mental health. The salary of the executive director shall be determined by the board;

(b) To set up state plans for the purpose of controlling and treating any and all forms of mental and emotional illness, alcoholism, drug misuse and developmental disabilities;

(c) To supervise, coordinate and establish standards for all operations and activities of the state related to mental health and providing mental health


services, including, but not limited to: the requirement that no person be approved for treatment which is paid for by funds made available through the department who has not had a treatment plan established as a result of having been seen by a licensed physician or licensed clinical psychologist and that physician or clinical psychologist signing these plans stating that he/she has personally evaluated the client and that the treatment plan is medically necessary. A physician or clinical psychologist shall recertify each client's record at least semiannually (except for persons with a diagnosis of mental retardation/developmental disability which shall be completed annually), and more often if medically indicated by physically visiting the client and certifying same in the record. The board shall have the authority to develop and implement all standards and plans and shall have the authority to establish appropriate actions, including financially punitive actions, to insure enforcement of these established standards, in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Law (Section 25-43-1 et seq.);

(d) To enter into contracts with any other state or federal agency, or with any private person, organization or group capable of contracting, if it finds such action to be in the public interest;

(e) To collect reasonable fees for its services; provided, however, if it is determined that a person receiving services is unable to pay the total fee, the

department shall collect any amount such person is able to pay;

(f) To certify, coordinate and establish minimum standards and establish minimum required services for regional mental health and mental retardation commissions and other community service providers for community or regional programs and services in mental health, mental retardation, alcoholism, drug misuse, developmental disabilities, compulsive gambling, addictive disorders and related programs throughout the state. Such regional mental health and mental retardation commissions and other community service providers shall submit an annual operational plan to the State Department of Mental Health for approval or disapproval based on the minimum standards and minimum required services established by the department for certification. If the department finds deficiencies in the plan of any regional commission or community service provider based on the minimum standards and minimum required services established for certification, the department shall give the regional commission or community service provider a six-month probationary period to bring its standards and services up to the established minimum standards and minimum required services. After the six-month probationary period, if the department determines that the regional commission or community service provider still does not meet the minimum standards and minimum required services established for certification, the department may remove the

certification of the commission or provider. However, the department shall not mandate a standard or service, or decertify a regional commission or community service provider for not meeting a standard or service, if the standard or service does not have funding appropriated by the Legislature or have a funding source from the State Department of Mental Health or a local funding source. The State Board of Mental Health shall promulgate rules and regulations necessary to implement the provisions of this paragraph (f), in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Law (Section 25-43-1 et seq.);

(g) To establish and promulgate reasonable minimum standards for the construction and operation of state and all Department of Mental Health certified facilities, including reasonable minimum standards for the admission, diagnosis, care, treatment, transfer of patients and their records, and also including reasonable minimum standards for providing day care, outpatient care, emergency care, inpatient care and follow-up care, when such care is provided for persons with mental or emotional illness, mental retardation, alcoholism, drug misuse and developmental disabilities;

(h) To assist community or regional programs consistent with the purposes of this chapter by making grants and contracts from available funds;

(i) To establish and collect reasonable fees for necessary inspection services incidental to certification or compliance;

 

(j) To accept gifts, trusts, bequests, grants, endowments or transfers of property of any kind;

(k) To receive monies coming to it by way of fees for services or by appropriations;

(l) To serve as the single state agency in receiving and administering any and all funds available from any source for the purpose of service delivery, training, research and education in regard to all forms of mental illness, mental retardation, alcoholism, drug misuse and developmental disabilities, unless such funds are specifically designated to a particular agency or institution by the federal government, the Mississippi Legislature or any other grantor;


(m) To establish mental health holding centers for the purpose of providing short-term emergency mental health treatment, places for holding persons awaiting commitment proceedings or awaiting placement in a state mental health facility following commitment, and for diverting placement in a state mental health facility. These mental health holding facilities shall be readily accessible, available statewide, and be in compliance with emergency services' minimum standards. They shall be comprehensive and available to triage and make appropriate clinical disposition including the capability to access inpatient services or less restrictive alternatives, as needed, as determined

by medical staff. Such facility shall have medical, nursing and behavioral services available on a twenty-four-hour-a-day basis. The board may provide for all or part of the costs of establishing and operating the holding centers in each district from such funds as may be appropriated to the board for such use, and may participate in any plan or agreement with any public or private entity under which the entity will provide all or part of the costs of establishing and operating a holding center in any district;

(n) To certify/license case managers, mental health therapists, mental retardation therapists, mental health/retardation program administrators, addiction counselors and others as deemed appropriate by the board. Persons already professionally licensed by another state board or agency are not required to be certified/licensed under this section by the Department of Mental Health. The department shall not use professional titles in its certification/licensure process for which there is an independent licensing procedure. Such certification/licensure shall be valid only in the state mental health system, in programs funded and/or certified by the Department of Mental Health, and/or in programs certified/licensed by the State Department of Health that are operated by the state mental health system serving the mentally ill, mentally retarded, developmental disabled or persons with addictions, and shall not be transferable;

 

(o) To develop formal mental health worker qualifications for regional mental health and mental retardation commissions and other community service providers. The State Personnel Board shall develop and promulgate a recommended salary scale and career ladder for all regional mental health/retardation center therapists and case managers who work directly with clients. The State Personnel Board shall also develop and promulgate a career ladder for all direct care workers employed by the State Department of Mental Health;

(p) The employees of the department shall be governed by personnel merit system rules and regulations, the same as other employees in state services;

(q) To establish such rules and regulations as may be necessary in carrying out the provisions of this chapter, including the establishment of a formal grievance procedure to investigate and attempt to resolve consumer complaints;

(r) To grant easements for roads, utilities and any other purpose it finds to be in the public interest;

(s) To survey statutory designations, building markers and the names given to mental health/retardation facilities and proceedings in order to recommend deletion of obsolete and offensive terminology relative to the mental health/retardation system;

(t) To ensure an effective case management system directed at persons who have

been discharged from state and private psychiatric hospitals to ensure their continued well-being in the community;

(u) To develop formal service delivery standards designed to measure the quality of services delivered to community clients, as well as the timeliness of services to community clients provided by regional mental health/retardation commissions and other community services providers;

(v) To establish regional state offices to provide mental health crisis intervention centers and services available throughout the state to be utilized on a case-by-case emergency basis. The regional services director, other staff and delivery systems shall meet the minimum standards of the Department of Mental Health;


(w) To require performance contracts with community mental health/mental retardation service providers to contain performance indicators to measure successful outcomes, including diversion of persons from inpatient psychiatric hospitals, rapid/timely response to emergency cases, client satisfaction with services and other relevant performance measures;

(x) To enter into interagency agreements with other state agencies, school districts and other local entities as determined necessary by the department to ensure that local mental health service entities are fulfilling their responsibilities to the overall state plan for behavioral services;

 

(y) To establish and maintain a toll-free grievance reporting telephone system for the receipt and referral for investigation of all complaints by clients of state and community mental health/retardation facilities;

(z) To establish a peer review/quality assurance evaluation system that assures that appropriate assessment, diagnosis and treatment is provided according to established professional criteria and guidelines;

(aa) To develop and implement state plans for the purpose of assisting with the care and treatment of persons with Alzheimer's disease and other dementia. This plan shall include education and training of service providers, care- givers in the home setting and others who deal with persons with Alzheimer's disease and other dementia, and development of adult day care, family respite care and counseling programs to assist families who maintain persons with Alzheimer's disease and other dementia in the home setting. No agency shall be required to provide any services under this section until such time as sufficient funds have been appropriated or otherwise made available by the Legislature specifically for the purposes of the treatment of persons with Alzheimer's and other dementia;

(bb) Working with the advice and consent of the administration of Ellisville State School, to enter into negotiations with the Economic Development Authority of Jones County for the purpose of negotiating the possible exchange,

lease or sale of lands owned by Ellisville State School to the Economic Development Authority of Jones County. It is the intent of the Mississippi Legislature that such negotiations shall ensure that the financial interest of the persons with mental retardation served by Ellisville State School will be held paramount in the course of these negotiations. The Legislature also recognizes the importance of economic development to the citizens of the State of Mississippi and Jones County, and encourages fairness to the Economic Development Authority of Jones County. Any negotiations proposed which would result in the recommendation for exchange, lease or sale of lands owned by Ellisville State School must have the approval of the State Board of Mental Health. The State Board of Mental Health may and has the final authority as to whether or not these negotiations result in the exchange, lease or sale of the properties it currently holds in trust for citizens with mental retardation served at Ellisville State School.

 

If the State Board of Mental Health authorizes the sale of lands owned by Ellisville State School, as provided for under this paragraph (bb), the monies derived from the sale shall be placed into a special fund that is created in the State Treasury to be known as the "Ellisville State School Client's Trust Fund." The principal of the trust fund shall remain inviolate and shall never


be expended. Any interest earned on the principal may be expended solely for the benefits of clients served at Ellisville State School. The State Treasurer shall invest the monies of the trust fund in any of the investments authorized for the Mississippi Prepaid Affordable College Tuition Program under Section 37-155-9, and those investments shall be subject to the limitations prescribed by Section 37-155-9. Unexpended amounts remaining in the trust fund at the end of a fiscal year shall not lapse into the State General Fund, and any interest earned on amounts in the trust fund shall be deposited to the credit of the trust fund. The administration of Ellisville State School may use any interest earned on the principal of the trust fund, upon appropriation by the Legislature, as needed for services or facilities by the clients of Ellisville State School. Ellisville State School shall make known to the Legislature, through the Legislative Budget Committee and the respective Appropriations Committees of the House and Senate, its proposed use of interest earned on the principal of the trust fund for any fiscal year in which it proposes to make expenditures thereof. The State Treasurer shall provide Ellisville State School with an annual report on the Ellisville State School Client's Trust Fund to indicate the total monies in the trust fund, interest earned during the year, expenses paid from the trust fund and such other related information.

 

 

 

Nothing in this section shall be construed as applying to or affecting mental health/retardation services provided by hospitals as defined in Section 41- 9-3(a), and/or their subsidiaries and divisions, which hospitals, subsidiaries and divisions are licensed and regulated by the Mississippi State Department of Health unless such hospitals, subsidiaries or divisions voluntarily request certification by the Mississippi State Department of Mental Health.

 

 

All new programs authorized under this section shall be subject to the availability of funds appropriated therefor by the Legislature;

 

(cc) Working with the advice and consent of the administration of Boswell Regional Center, to enter into negotiations with the Economic Development Authority of Simpson County for the purpose of negotiating the possible exchange, lease or sale of lands owned by Boswell Regional Center to the Economic Development Authority of Simpson County. It is the intent of the Mississippi Legislature that such negotiations shall ensure that the financial interest of the persons with mental retardation served by Boswell Regional Center will be held paramount in the course of these negotiations. The

Legislature also recognizes the importance of economic development to the citizens of the State of Mississippi and Simpson County, and encourages fairness to the Economic Development Authority of Simpson County. Any negotiations proposed which would result in the recommendation for exchange, lease or sale of lands owned by Boswell Regional Center must have the approval of the State Board of Mental Health. The State Board of Mental Health may and has the final authority as to whether or not these negotiations result in the exchange, lease or sale of the properties it currently holds in trust for citizens with mental retardation served at Boswell Regional Center. In any such exchange, lease or sale of such lands owned by Boswell Regional Center, title to all minerals, oil and gas on such lands shall be reserved, together with the right of ingress and egress to remove same, whether such provisions be included in the terms of any such exchange, lease or sale or not.

 

If the State Board of Mental Health authorizes the sale of lands owned by Boswell Regional Center, as provided for under this paragraph (cc), the monies derived from the sale shall be placed into a special fund that is created in the State Treasury to be known as the "Boswell Regional Center Client's Trust Fund." The principal of the trust fund shall remain inviolate and shall never be expended. Any earnings on the principal may be expended solely for the


benefits of clients served at Boswell Regional Center. The State Treasurer shall invest the monies of the trust fund in any of the investments authorized for the Mississippi Prepaid Affordable College Tuition Program under Section 37-155-9, and those investments shall be subject to the limitations prescribed by Section 37-155-9. Unexpended amounts remaining in the trust fund at the end of a fiscal year shall not lapse into the State General Fund, and any earnings on amounts in the trust fund shall be deposited to the credit of the trust fund. The administration of Boswell Regional Center may use any earnings on the principal of the trust fund, upon appropriation by the Legislature, as needed for services or facilities by the clients of Boswell Regional Center. Boswell Regional Center shall make known to the Legislature, through the Legislative Budget Committee and the respective Appropriations Committees of the House and Senate, its proposed use of the earnings on the principal of the trust fund for any fiscal year in which it proposes to make expenditures thereof. The State Treasurer shall provide Boswell Regional Center with an annual report on the Boswell Regional Center Client's Trust Fund to indicate the total monies in the trust fund, interest and other income earned during the year, expenses paid from the trust fund and such other related information.

 

 

 

Nothing in this section shall be construed as applying to or affecting mental health/retardation services provided by hospitals as defined in Section 41- 9-3(a), and/or their subsidiaries and divisions, which hospitals, subsidiaries and divisions are licensed and regulated by the Mississippi State Department of Health unless such hospitals, subsidiaries or divisions voluntarily request certification by the Mississippi State Department of Mental Health.

 

 

All new programs authorized under this section shall be subject to the availability of funds appropriated therefor by the Legislature;

 

(dd) Notwithstanding any other section of the code, the Board of Mental Health shall be authorized to fingerprint and perform a criminal history record check on every employee or volunteer. Every employee and volunteer shall provide a valid current social security number and/or driver's license number which shall be furnished to conduct the criminal history record check. If no disqualifying record is identified at the state level, fingerprints shall be forwarded to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a national criminal history record check;

(ee) The Department of Mental Health shall have the authority for the development of a consumer friendly single point of intake and referral system

within its service areas for persons with mental illness, mental retardation, developmental disabilities or alcohol or substance abuse who need assistance identifying or accessing appropriate services. The department will develop and implement a comprehensive evaluation procedure ensuring that, where appropriate, the affected person or their parent or legal guardian will be involved in the assessment and planning process. The department, as the point of intake and as service provider, shall have the authority to determine the appropriate institutional, hospital or community care setting for persons who have been diagnosed with mental illness, mental retardation, developmental disabilities and/or alcohol or substance abuse, and may provide for the least restrictive placement if the treating professional believes such a setting is appropriate, if the person affected or their parent or legal guardian wants such services, and if the department can do so with a reasonable modification of the program without creating a fundamental alteration of the program. The least restrictive setting could be an institution, hospital or community setting, based upon the needs of the affected person or their parent or legal guardian;

(ff) To have the sole power and discretion to enter into, sign, execute and deliver long-term or multi-year leases of real and personal property to and from other state and federal agencies.

 

 

41-4-8. Medicaid mental health benefits; falsification of diagnosis and claim

 

 

(1) A person shall not make, present or cause to be made or presented a material falsification of diagnosis of a Medicaid-eligible client for a claim for Medicaid mental health services benefits, knowing the diagnosis and claim to be false, fictitious or fraudulent.

 


(2) A person who violates this section shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than five (5) years, or by a fine of not more than One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000.00), or both.

 

 

(3) For purposes of subsection (1), if a regional mental health/retardation center submits claims for Medicaid reimbursement or other funds from the Department of Mental Health, the lack of a certified physician or psychologist

evaluation of the client for such claim as required under Section 41-4-7(c), Mississippi Code of 1972, shall be deemed a material falsification of diagnosis by the person responsible for making or presenting such claim.

 

 

 

41-4-9. Advisory councils authorized and mandated

 

 

The state board of mental health is hereby authorized and directed to create advisory councils to assist the board and department in the performance and discharge of their duties.

 

 

 

41-4-11. Transfers to department from predecessors

 

 

(1) On July 1, 1974, the Board of Trustees of Mental Institutions of the State of Mississippi and the Mississippi Interagency Commission on Mental Illness and Mental Retardation shall be abolished. The authority now vested in the State Board of Health relating to mental health, drug misuse and alcoholism is hereby rescinded as of July 1, 1974.

 

 

(2) As of July 1, 1974, the Mississippi State Hospital at Whitfield, the East Mississippi State Hospital at Meridian, the Ellisville State School at Ellisville, the North Mississippi Regional Center at Oxford, and any other mental or retardation facility that may be established, shall become subject to the jurisdiction and control of the State Department of Mental Health.

 

 

(3) All duties, responsibilities, authority, power, assets, liabilities, contractual rights and obligations, and property rights, whether accruing or

vesting in the abolished agencies before or after the effective date of this chapter, are hereby vested in the State Board of Mental Health.

 

 

(4) The board upon recommendation of the executive director shall select the heads of divisions and institutions necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter who shall have qualifications appropriate to the duties they must discharge.

 

 

(5) Employees of the abolished agencies or divisions of agencies holding positions on June 30, 1974, shall be employees of the State Department of Mental Health on July 1, 1974. The board may combine or abolish positions as necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter.

 


(6) Subject to the provisions and limitations of this chapter as expressly set forth in section 41-4-13, all offices, services, programs and other activities of the abolished agencies or divisions of agencies are hereby made offices, services, programs or other activities of the State Department of

Mental Health, and the board is hereby authorized to reorganize such offices, services, programs or other activities so as to achieve economy and efficiency; and the said board may establish bureaus, divisions, hospitals, clinics, mental health centers, homes for the mentally retarded, or other facilities for providing mental health services if it finds such action to be in the public interest.

 

 

 

41-4-13. Purchases and supply contracts

 

 

All commodities, equipment and furniture purchased and supply contracts entered into by the board shall be in accord with the provisions of Title 31, Chapter 7, Mississippi Code of 1972. No purchases shall be made from, nor shall any sales be made to, any member of the board.

 

 

 

41-4-15. Repealed by Laws 1997, Ch. 587, 7, eff. July 1, 1997

 

 

 

41-4-17. Mississippi Children's Rehabilitation Center

 

 

Nothing herein contained shall operate to vest the State Board of Mental Health with any authority or jurisdiction over the Mississippi Children's Rehabilitation Center.

 

 

 

41-4-19. Transfer of funds

 

 

The board, may with the approval of the commission of budget and accounting, require the transfer of funds appropriated for the use of agencies consolidated under the provisions of this chapter. Said funds shall be transferred by the state auditor of public accounts to a separate account in the state treasury. The auditor shall issue his warrants upon requisitions signed by the proper person, officer or officers designated by the board.

 

 

 

41-4-21. Fiscal management

 

 

For the operations of all facilities placed under the control of the department and for all of its operations, the board shall adopt a uniform system of reporting and accounting approved by the state department of audit, and shall prepare an annual report to the legislature setting forth the disbursements of all moneys appropriated and specifying the facilities and activities upon which funds were expended. It shall prepare annually, or cause to be prepared, a budget for its total operation for the ensuing fiscal period in the manner and form as required by the legislative budget office.

 


 

41-4-23. Security guards and campus police

 

 

(a) It will be the duty of the director of any mental health or mental retardation facility under the direction or control of the State Department of Mental Health to designate certain employees as security guards and campus police. The names, qualifications, and training of such campus police will be reported to the Executive Director of the State Department of Mental Health and spread upon the official minutes of the State Board of Mental Health.

 

 

All campus police, subsequent to employment but prior to performing duties as campus police, will attend and satisfactorily complete the training course required for law enforcement officers at the Law Enforcement Officer's Training Academy or an equivalent facility. Campus police training may be at the expense of the Department of Mental Health and conditioned upon work repayment by the employee in accordance with educational leave regulations promulgated by the State Board of Mental Health. Failure to meet repayment obligations may result in revocation of law enforcement certification in the same manner

provided in Section 37-101-291, Mississippi Code of 1972. A complete record of all law enforcement training of each employee will be maintained in each employee's record of employment. A master file of all such employees' training will be kept in the central office of the State Department of Mental Health.

 

 

(b) All campus police will be duly constituted peace officers with powers and duties of a constable but such authority may be exercised only on the premises of institutions under the control of the State Department of Mental Health and public property immediately adjacent to such premises. Each person designated as a security guard or campus police will enter into bond in the penalty amount of not less than Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00), the premium for which shall be paid by the facility employing such security guard or campus police.

 

 

(c) All security guards and campus police will exercise their authority while in performance of their duty on any of the facilities under the direction or control of the State Department of Mental Health and public property immediately adjacent to such facilities; will be required to dress in uniforms prescribed by the State Board of Mental Health; and will be authorized to

carry weapons. Employees designated as campus police shall be duly sworn and vested with authority to bear arms and make arrests, and shall exercise primarily the responsibilities of the prevention and detection of crime, the apprehension of criminals, and the enforcement of the ordinances and policies of the Department of Mental Health, a political subdivision of the State of Mississippi. Employees designated as campus police shall be considered law enforcement officers within the meaning of Section 45-6-3.

 

 

 

41-4-25. Transfer of patients

 

 

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the director of a Department of Mental Health facility has the authority to transfer any patient/resident to another Department of Mental Health facility as necessary for the welfare of that or any other patients/residents.