Magazine article The Alcoholism Report

NAPPH Proposes Model Legislation for Alcohol and Drug Treatment

Magazine article The Alcoholism Report

NAPPH Proposes Model Legislation for Alcohol and Drug Treatment

Article excerpt

The National Association of Private Psychiatric Hospitals (NAPPH) has released model state legislation to help states review or enhance several aspects of current laws that govern inpatient psychiatric and substance abuse services. Because states have traditionally played a very important role in licensing and regulating healthcare practice NAPPH developed a model bill to provide states with practical concepts and specific language that could help ensure that all inpatient chemical dependency treatment centers, and inpatient psychiatric facilities, provide high-quality care and treatment. The bill is based on existing NAPPH standards and guidelines for its own member hospitals, which cover such issues as intake/admission, advertising and marketing, patient rights, business ethics, and other clinical issues affecting inpatient care.

"Public accountability and oversight of inpatient care are important foundations for building the trust necessary for an effective healthcare delivery system," says NAPPH president Jack W. Bonner, III, M.D. Dr. Bonner is also medical director of The Oaks Treatment Center in Austin, Texas. "States hold the legislative and regulatory power to enact--and enforce--uniform standards."

Titled a Uniform Act for Improving Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment Services Provided by Licensed Inpatient Facilities, the NAPPH model state bill will be distributed to state legislatures, state hospital associations, and others.

The bill addresses apparent gaps in state regulations, which are summarized in a major new report prepared for NAPPH by the Intergovernmental Health Policy Project (IHPP) at George Washington University. The 35-page analysis examines the ways in which states currently regulate free-standing, non-governmental facilities. Twenty-three states responded, and four specific issues were examined in each: advertising and marketing; admissions procedures and criteria for voluntary commitment; licensure; and patient rights. …

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