1997 Regular Session
To: Public Health and Welfare
By: Senator(s) Thames
Senate Bill 2700
(As Sent to Governor)
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 37-33-251, 37-33-253, 37-33-255, 37-33-257, 37-33-259 AND 37-33-261, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CLARIFY CERTAIN DEFINITIONS UNDER THE DEPARTMENT OF REHABILITATION SERVICES' TREATMENT PROGRAM FOR SPINAL CORD AND TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURIES, TO PROVIDE FOR MEETINGS OF THE ADVISORY COUNCIL ON SPINAL CORD INJURIES AND TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURIES, AND TO PRESCRIBE AUTHORIZED EXPENDITURES FROM THE SPINAL CORD AND HEAD INJURY TRUST FUND; TO CREATE A NEW SECTION TO BE CODIFIED AS SECTION 37-33-263, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO ESTABLISH AND MAINTAIN A SPINAL CORD AND TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURIES REGISTRY IN THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, TO AUTHORIZE THE STATE BOARD OF HEALTH TO ADOPT RULES TO GOVERN THE OPERATION OF THE REGISTRY PROGRAM, TO AUTHORIZE THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH TO CONDUCT INVESTIGATIONS REGARDING SPINAL CORD INJURIES AND TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURIES; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 37-33-251, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
37-33-251. It is the intent of the Legislature to provide for the development of a coordinated rehabilitation program for those persons severely disabled by spinal cord injuries or traumatic brain injuries. Further, it is intended that permanent paralysis and brain damage be prevented whenever possible through early identification of spinal cord/brain injuries, skilled emergency evaluation procedures, and proper medical and rehabilitative treatment. The goal of this program shall be to enable individuals severely disabled by spinal cord injury or traumatic brain injury to resume the activities of daily living and reintegrate with the community with as much dignity and independence as possible. For those persons who cannot achieve complete independence, supportive services are needed in order for them to live as normally as possible.
SECTION 2. Section 37-33-253, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
37-33-253. As used in this act:
(a) "Department" means the State Department of Rehabilitation Services.
(b) "Rehabilitation center" means a facility which provides intermediate care and stresses rehabilitation for persons with spinal cord injuries or traumatic brain injuries.
(c) "Transitional living facility" means a facility which provides a temporary, structured residential environment for those individuals with spinal cord injuries or traumatic brain injuries in a training or educational program, in order to prepare such individuals to live independently.
(d) "Traumatic brain injury" means an insult to the skull, brain, or its covering, resulting from external trauma which produces an altered state of consciousness or anatomic, motor, sensory or cognitive/behavioral deficits.
(e) "Spinal cord injury" means an acute traumatic insult to the spinal cord, not of a degenerative or congenital nature, but caused by an external trauma resulting in any degree of motor or sensory deficit.
SECTION 3. Section 37-33-255, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
37-33-255. The department may, if indicated, establish an appropriate number of transitional living facilities for individuals who need attendant care, who are in adjustment periods, who require a structured environment, or who are in retraining or educational programs. All residents shall use the transitional living facility as a temporary measure, and not as a permanent home or domicile, and shall pay a monthly fee based on ability to pay.
SECTION 4. Section 37-33-257, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
37-33-257. The department shall conduct an annual survey of nursing homes in the state to determine the number of individuals fifty-five (55) years of age and under who reside in such homes due to a spinal cord injury or traumatic brain injury. All individuals identified in such a survey shall be evaluated by the department as to their rehabilitation potential, and any individual who may benefit from rehabilitation services shall be given an opportunity to participate in an appropriate rehabilitation program for which he may be eligible.
SECTION 5. Section 37-33-259, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
37-33-259. (1) There is created within the department an Advisory Council on Spinal Cord Injuries and Traumatic Brain Injuries composed of a physician with expertise in areas related to the care and rehabilitation of individuals with spinal cord injuries or traumatic brain injuries or the prevention of spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries, a professional in a clinical rehabilitation setting, a representative designated by the Mississippi Head Injury Association, a representative designated by the Mississippi Paralysis Association, three (3) individuals with spinal cord injuries or traumatic brain injuries, and three (3) family members of individuals with spinal cord or traumatic brain injuries.
(2) Members of the council shall be appointed by the Executive Director of the State Department of Rehabilitation Services and shall serve for terms of four (4) years, except that five (5) members of the first appointed council shall serve for two (2) years.
(3) The council shall meet a minimum of twice per year, and members shall be entitled to uniform per diem and travel expenses in accordance with the provisions of Sections 25-3-69 and 25-3-41, Mississippi Code of 1972.
(4) The council shall provide advice and expertise to the department in the preparation, implementation and periodic review of the coordinated rehabilitation program as set forth in this act.
SECTION 6. Section 37-33-261, Mississippi Code of 1972, is
amended as follows:
37-33-261. (1) Such assessments as are collected under subsections (1) and (2) of Section 99-19-73, Mississippi Code of 1972, shall be deposited in a special fund that is created in the State Treasury and designated the Spinal Cord and Head Injury Trust Fund. Monies deposited in the fund shall be expended beginning in Fiscal Year 1997 by the Department of Rehabilitation Services as authorized and appropriated by the Legislature for the following purposes:
Providing the cost of care for spinal cord and traumatic brain injury as a payer of last resort to residents of the State of Mississippi for a multilevel program of rehabilitation as prescribed in Sections 37-33-251 through 37-33-259. Authorization of expenditures for spinal cord injury care and traumatic brain injury care from this trust fund shall be made only by the Department of Rehabilitation Services. Authorized expenditures shall include three (3) or more of the following forms of assistance: acute care; rehabilitation; transitional living; assistive technology services, devices and equipment; respite care; transportation; housing; home modifications; and other services and/or assistance as deemed appropriate by the advisory council for individuals with spinal cord injuries or traumatic brain injuries * * * to accomplish a successful re-entry into the community. Such activities * * * may also include expanding the public's awareness of how spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries occur and how they can be prevented and identifying advanced treatment and prevention techniques. Other authorized expenditures may include costs associated with salary and other support costs for personnel sufficient to carry out the program or to subcontract all or part of the authorized services, and to pay the travel and meeting expenses of the advisory council.
(2) The department shall issue a report to the Legislature and the Governor by January 1 of each year, summarizing the activities supported by the trust fund.
SECTION 7. The following shall be codified as Section 37-33-263, Mississippi Code of 1972:
37-33-263. (1) The State Board of Health shall establish in the State Department of Health a program to:
(a) Identify and investigate spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries; and
(b) Maintain a central registry for cases of spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries.
(2) The State Department of Health shall design the registry program so that it will:
(a) Provide information in a central data bank of accurate, precise and current information on spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries;
(b) Provide for the collection of such data to identify risk factors and causes of spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries;
(c) Provide information for early identification of spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries:
(d) Provide for the dissemination of such data for the purposes of care and support for persons with spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries;
(e) Provide for the analysis of such data for the purpose of prevention.
(3) The State Board of Health shall adopt rules, regulations and procedures to govern the operation of the registry program and to carry out the intent of this section.
(4) The State Board of Health in its rules and regulations shall specify the types of information to be provided to the spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries registry and the persons and entities who are required to provide such information to the registry.
(5) The State Board of Health by rule shall prescribe the manner in which records and other information are made available to the State Department of Health.
(6) Information collected and analyzed by the State Department of Health under this section shall be placed in a central registry to facilitate research and to maintain security.
(a) Data obtained under this section directly from the medical records of a patient is for the confidential use of the State Department of Health and the persons or public or private entities that the State Department of Health determines are necessary to carry out the intent of this section. The data is privileged and may not be divulged or made public in a manner that discloses the identity of an individual whose medical records have been used for obtaining data under this section.
(b) Information that may identify an individual whose medical records have been used for obtaining data under this section is not available for public inspection under the Mississippi Public Records Act of 1983.
(c) Statistical information collected under this section is public information.
(7) The State Department of Health may use the registry to:
(a) Investigate the causes of spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries and other health conditions as authorized by statute;
(b) Design and evaluate measures to prevent the occurrence of spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries, and other conditions;
(c) Conduct other investigations and activities necessary for the State Board of Health and the State Department of Health to fulfill their obligation to protect the public health; and
(d) Identify those persons who cannot achieve complete independence after suffering spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries.
(8) Any person or entity who misuses the information provided to the registry shall be subject to a civil penalty of Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) for each such failure or misuse. Such penalty shall be assessed and levied by the State Board of Health after a hearing, and all such penalties collected shall be deposited into the State General Fund.
(9) The State Health Officer may appoint or delegate his authority to establish and appoint an advisory council, for the purposes of this section, to the State Department of Rehabilitation Services Advisory Council on Spinal Cord Injuries and Traumatic Brain Injuries. The advisory council may designate a subcommittee to act as the registry's advisor. The State Board of Health shall consult and be advised by the committee on the promulgation of rules, regulations and procedures for the purposes of this section.
SECTION 8. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1997.