New law takes major step in transforming behavioral health care

Story Body

As part of his effort to transform mental health and substance abuse treatment services in Washington state, Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill today that overhauls the oversight of behavioral health programs in Washington and integrates those programs with other health care services.

The move is part of a larger plan to transform the way Washington treats patients with behavioral health disorders. Instead of administering physical, mental and chemical-dependency health services as separate systems, Inslee has called for integrating behavioral and physical health care by 2020 to get more people treatment, including preventive services to help them avoid civil commitments at state psychiatric hospitals. The Legislature approved this effort in 2014.

The legislation requested by Inslee, HB 1388, moves oversight of behavioral health programs out of the Department of Social and Health Services to the Health Care Authority and Department of Health, the two agencies that oversee the state’s mental and physical health care programs.

Read the rest of the story on the governor's Medium page.

Media Contacts

Tara Lee
Governor Inslee’s Communications Office