2016 Senate Bill 12 Enacted Changes to Florida Marchman Act

2016 Senate Bill 12 Enacted Changes to Florida Marchman Act

2016 Senate Bill 12 addresses Florida’s system for the delivery of behavioral health services.  It promotes a coordinated, comprehensive system of care for coexisting mental and substance abuse disorders.

Changes to the Marchman Act (Florida’s Substance Abuse Services Statute) include:

  • The expansion of qualified professionals who can issue a certificate to petition the court to order involuntary assessment has been changed from only allowing physicians to sign/issue a certificate  to now include LCSW, LMFT, LMHC & others.
  •  SB 12 is a ‘NO WRONG DOOR’ model meaning there is a tiered receiving system with multiple entry points that can accept both voluntary & involuntary under both the Baker Act (Florida’s Mental Health Act) & Marchman Act.
  • The goal is to divert from acute care and avoid involuntary examination and services.
  • This Bill expands criteria for initiating the Marchman Act to include co-occurring mental health issues and self neglect.
  • The number of adults required to file a petition with the clerk of the court seeking an ex parte order to compel examination for person age 18 years and older changed from 3 adults to 1.
  • Petitions for ex parte orders can be filed with both county and circuit courts.
  • Transportation for involuntary services may be provided by the person, a spouse, guardian, or a law enforcement officer for emergency assessment and stabilization to a hospital, detox center, or addictions receiving facility.

Prior to the enactment of SB12, only physicians could sign/issue a certificate for emergency admissions regarding substance impairment for 18 years or older; now all of the following professionals can sign (issue) the certificate :

  • Physicians
  • Advanced registered nurse practitioners (ARNP)
  • Psychiatric nurses
  • Clinical psychologists
  • Clinical social workers
  • Marriage & family therapists
  • Mental health counselors
  • Physician assistants who work under supervision of a physician
  • Master’s level certified addictions professionals

The professionals listed above must have seen person within past 5 days. The certificate is valid for 7 days.  After that, the professional must see the person and issue a new certificate.

Requirements for emergency admissions are different for minors than for persons age 18 years or older.  A minor’s emergency admission can be requested by a parent, legal guardian or legal custodian.

This bill establishes a ‘coordinated system of care’ resulting in the development of a designated behavioral health receiving system leading to a network of service providers; formal referral agreements; care coordination; case management; and a shared data system that includes Marchman Act data.

This tiered receiving system can accept people for voluntary or involuntary services through both the Baker Act and the Marchman Act.  A central receiving system can provide assessment, evaluation, triage/treatment, and stabilization.  Acute care settings include hospitals; secure receiving facilities; non-secure detox facilities; and crisis stabilization units.

The coordinated care system includes:

  • Community interventions
  • Designated receiving system with 1 or more facilities serving a defined geographic area
  • Transportation rules for both the Marchman Act and Baker Act
  • Crisis services
  • Case management

The ‘No Wrong Door’ model allows multiple entry points for services.  For example, a person seeking detoxification for a substance abuse disorder can enter the system through their primary physician; the emergency room; or a local service provider.  The person is then routed to the appropriate level of care that best fits the individual’s needs. Changing terminology from Involuntary Treatment to Involuntary Services reflects that an effective plan includes a broad range of social supports as well as client treatment.

Sign up for the Marchman Act Course  

For additional information, please go to the Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage & Family Therapy, & Mental Health Counseling website: www.floridasmentalhealthprofessions.gov