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Sec. 572.0025: Intake, Assessment, and Admission

(a) The executive commissioner shall adopt rules governing the voluntary admission of a patient to an inpatient mental health facility, including rules governing the intake and assessment procedures of the admission process.

(b) The rules governing the intake process shall establish minimum standards for:

(1) reviewing a prospective patient's finances and insurance benefits;

(2) explaining to a prospective patient the patient's rights; and

(3) explaining to a prospective patient the facility's services and treatment process.

(c) The assessment provided for by the rules may be conducted only by a professional who meets the qualifications prescribed by department rules.

(d) The rules governing the assessment process shall prescribe:

(1) the types of professionals who may conduct an assessment;

(2) the minimum credentials each type of professional must have to conduct an assessment; and

(3) the type of assessment that professional may conduct.

(e) In accordance with department rule, a facility shall provide annually a minimum of eight hours of inservice training regarding intake and assessment for persons who will be conducting an intake or assessment for the facility. A person may not conduct intake or assessments without having completed the initial and applicable annual inservice training.

(f) A prospective voluntary patient may not be formally accepted for treatment in a facility unless:

(1) the facility has a physician's order admitting the prospective patient, which order may be issued orally, electronically, or in writing, signed by the physician, provided that, in the case of an oral order or an electronically transmitted unsigned order, a signed original is presented to the mental health facility within 24 hours of the initial order; the order must be from:

(A) an admitting physician who has, either in person or through the use of audiovisual or other telecommunications technology, conducted a physical and psychiatric examination within:

(i) 72 hours before admission; or

(ii) 24 hours after admission; or

(B) an admitting physician who has consulted with a physician who has, either in person or through the use of audiovisual or other telecommunications technology, conducted an examination within:

(i) 72 hours before admission; or

(ii) 24 hours after admission; and

(2) the facility administrator or a person designated by the administrator has agreed to accept the prospective patient and has signed a statement to that effect.

(f-1) A person who is admitted to a facility before the performance of the physical and psychiatric examination required by Subsection (f) must be discharged by the physician immediately if the physician conducting the physical and psychiatric examination determines the person does not meet the clinical standards to receive inpatient mental health services.

(f-2) A facility that discharges a patient under the circumstances described by Subsection (f-1) may not bill the patient or the patient's third-party payor for the temporary admission of the patient to the inpatient mental health facility.

(f-3) Section 572.001(c-2) applies to the admission of a minor in the managing conservatorship of the Department of Family and Protective Services to an inpatient mental health facility.

(g) An assessment conducted as required by rules adopted under this section does not satisfy a statutory or regulatory requirement for a personal evaluation of a patient or a prospective patient by a physician.

(h) In this section:

(1) "Admission" means the formal acceptance of a prospective patient to a facility.

(2) "Assessment" means the administrative process a facility uses to gather information from a prospective patient, including a medical history and the problem for which the patient is seeking treatment, to determine whether a prospective patient should be examined by a physician to determine if admission is clinically justified.

(3) "Intake" means the administrative process for gathering information about a prospective patient and giving a prospective patient information about the facility and the facility's treatment and services.


Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 705, Sec. 4.03, eff. Aug. 30, 1993. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 422, Sec. 1, eff. June 9, 1995; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 198, Sec. 2.83, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1364, eff. April 2, 2015.

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 988 (S.B. 1238), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2019.