Recent Rule Changes
The Wyoming Department of Health (Department) has repealed and adopted rules pertaining to Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Services.
The Department took public comment December 11, 2019 through January 27, 2020.
Statement of Reasons
The Wyoming Department of Health (“Department”) created a new program comprising of six chapters pursuant to 2012 Wyoming Session Laws 93-94 (ch. 26, § 48b, n.7) and Wyoming Statutes 7-13-1605, -1613; 9‑2‑102, -106, -2701; and 35-1-620(b).
The Department had determined that outdated rules addressing mental health and substance use disorder services needed to be updated to reflect new legislation and other changes. Previous rules include thirty chapters spread across three different programs, noted as follows:
1. Rules, Wyoming Department of Health, Behavioral Health – Personnel & Program Quality, chapters 1 to 12, which have been effective since 1992;
2. Rules, Wyoming Department of Health, Community Program – Mental Health & Substance Abuse Program, chapters 1 to 10, which have been effective since 1993; and
3. Rules, Wyoming Department of Health, Substance Abuse, chapters 1 to 8, which have been effective since 2009.
Because the Department sought to make extensive changes to format, organization, and substance to these rules addressing mental health and substance abuse disorder services, the Department decided to create a new program comprising of six chapters, effectively replacing previous rules.
Here, the Department has specifically created Rules, Wyoming Department of Health, Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Services, chapters 1-6. This creation of a new program comprising of six chapters is concurrent with the repeal of: (1) Rules, Wyoming Department of Health, Behavioral Health – Personnel & Program Quality, chapters 1-12 (1992); (2) Rules, Wyoming Department of Health, Community Program – Mental Health & Substance Abuse Program, chapters 1-10 (1993); and (3) Rules, Wyoming Department of Health, Substance Abuse, chapters 1-8 (2009). These three other acts of rulemaking are addressed by separate rules packets available online at https://rules.wyo
Although the Department has repealed the previous rules and created a new program comprising of six chapters, the substance of these new chapters is intended to largely match the previous rules. However, there are key modifications, noted as follows:
1. Outdated definitions were removed and new definitions were added to assist in interpreting the content.
2. The certification process of providers was rewritten to reflect a more current, predictable, and accountable certification process. Eligibility for certification was defined, to include a requirement of national accreditation for treatment providers funded under the Community Human Services Act and the Court Supervised Treatment Act. In addition, providers have the option of requesting an administrative hearing under the Wyoming Administrative Procedure Act if certification is denied or revoked.
3. The substance use disorder service standards were rewritten to reflect current practices, to reduce the prescriptive nature of existing standards, and to incorporate the requirement of national accreditation of funded providers. Accountability of non-funded, certified providers will occur through the certification process. Service requirements for special populations and recovery supports standards were removed, as these requirements are included in provider contracts, as applicable. Service standards also require documentation evidencing clients have been informed of and understand their treatment rights.
4. Client records requirements were updated to reflect current best practice.
5. Standards for mental health services were removed. National accreditation is contractually required of all providers of mental health services funded under the Community Human Services Act. National accreditation includes service standards, therefore only the requirement for national accreditation of mental health services was included.
6. Processes to apply for funding and the selection of providers for funding were rewritten to include eligibility criteria, and to define the application review process and how funding decisions are made. The role of the county commissioners in selecting a provider in cases of competing applications is optional. If county commissioners choose not to be involved, a review committee will be selected by the Behavioral Health Division Senior Administrator or her designee.
7. The listing of services purchased under the Community Human Services Act was removed. Services purchased are determined by budget requests submitted to the Governor and approved by the legislature.
8. The contents of a contract and processes governing contracting were removed. Contracting is governed by the Attorney General Office policies and Wyoming Department of Health’s preferences.
9. Accounting and audit requirements of providers were removed. Audit requirements are included in contracts with providers and are governed by Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.
10. The complaint process was rewritten to include the Division’s investigation procedures, processes related to quality improvement plans, and provisions to decertify providers if the complaint is not satisfied.
11. Expectations of court supervised treatment programs were clarified and include the national accreditation requirement of treatment providers, the funding formula, Division monitoring, and revised training requirements.
12. Prevention services were removed. Prevention rules fall under the authority of the Public Health Division.