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OMHSAS Update on RTF Regulations
September 3, 2010

The Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) presented a briefing on the status and general content of the proposed Residential Treatment Facility (RTF) regulations now under development. The current plan is to publish the proposed regulation by mid-October with a 60 day comment period. The briefing provided the following information:

The stated purpose of the regulations are to provide clinical guidelines, program standards, payments, and health and safety standards. “These (proposed) regulations are intended to reduce the reliance on RTF services by improving the quality of the treatment, thereby shortening the length of stay so that the children can be returned to less restrictive community based settings.”

Major components of the proposed regulations provided by OMHSAS include:

  • Enhanced staff-to-resident ratios and higher staff qualifications in order to enhance the quality of care;
  • Accreditation by an accrediting body approved by the department;
  • Paid family advocate on staff at the RTF;
  • Family participation requirements;
  • More stringent rules for storage, use, and administration of medications;
  • More explicit standards to limit the use of restrictive procedures;
  • A maximum capacity of four units of 12 beds each, for a total of 48 beds; and
  • Eight-bed non-accredited facilities not located on a larger campus can become licensed as Community Residential Rehabilitation group homes.

The OMHSAS Bureau of Children’s Services reports that the proposed regulations are over 200 pages in length and include operational and fiscal standards and requirements. They are currently in the later stages of internal state review that includes the Governor’s Policy Office. PCPA will provide information as it becomes available and convene a meeting of RTF members to discuss the proposed regulations when they are released.

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