The Vermont Statutes Online
§ 7401. Powers and duties
Except insofar as this part of this title specifically confers certain powers, duties, and functions upon others, the Commissioner shall be charged with its administration. The Commissioner may:
(1) With the approval of the Governor, organize the Agency, including the creation, rearrangement, and abolition of divisions and lesser units and control and coordinate services as to most efficiently carry out the purposes of this part.
(2) Adopt, amend, and repeal and enforce rules and regulations not inconsistent with this part as are reasonably necessary for its operation.
(3) Designate, control, and supervise the property, affairs, and operation of hospitals and institutions equipped and otherwise qualified to provide inpatient care and treatment for individuals who are mentally ill.
(4) Supervise the operation of community mental health units.
(5) Supervise the care and treatment of individuals within his or her custody.
(6) Provide for the hospitalization of mentally ill patients in designated hospitals or institutions of Vermont or negotiate and enter into contracts which shall incorporate safeguards consistent with this part of this title, with any hospital or institution for the care and treatment of patients in any other state.
(7) Prescribe the form of applications, records, reports, and medical certificates required by the statutes, and the information to be contained therein and supply them to physicians and the Probate Division of the Superior Courts.
(8) Require reports from the head of a hospital or other institution concerning the care of patients.
(9) Visit each hospital or institution and review methods of care for all patients.
(10) Investigate complaints made by a patient, his or her attorney, or an interested party on his or her behalf.
(11) Establish rates, charges, and fees for the care of patients in hospitals and determine ability to pay, liability for payments, and amounts to be paid and bill for and collect those amounts with the aid of the Attorney General.
(12) Receive gifts and bequests of real and personal estate made for the use and benefit of any State hospital and invest any monies so received in safe, interest-bearing securities in the corporate name of the hospital.
(13) Delegate to any officer or agency of Vermont any of the duties and powers imposed upon him or her by this part of this title. The delegation of authority and responsibility shall not relieve the Commissioner of accountability for the proper administration of this part of this title.
(14) Plan and coordinate the development of community services which are needed to assist children and adolescents with or at risk for a severe emotional disturbance and individuals with a mental condition or psychiatric disability to become as financially and socially independent as possible. These services shall consist of residential, vocational, rehabilitative, day treatment, inpatient, outpatient, and emergency services, as well as client assessment, prevention, family, and individual support services, and such other services as may be required by federal law or regulations.
(15) Contract with community mental health centers to assure that children and adolescents with or at risk for a severe emotional disturbance or individuals with a mental condition or psychiatric disability can receive information, referral, and assistance in obtaining those community services which they need and to which they are lawfully entitled.
(16) Contract with accredited educational or health care institutions for psychiatric services at the Vermont State Hospital or its successor in interest.
(17) Ensure the provision of services to children and adolescents with or at risk for a severe emotional disturbance in coordination with the Secretary of Education and the Commissioner for Children and Families in accordance with the provisions of 33 V.S.A. chapter 43.
(18) Ensure the development of community-based prevention and early intervention services for children and adults and ensure the coordination of these services throughout all parts of the public and private health care delivery systems.
(19) Ensure the development of chronic care services, addressing mental health and substance abuse, for children and adults and ensure the coordination of these services with other chronic care initiatives, including the Blueprint for Health, and the care coordination and case management programs of the Department of Vermont Health Access.
(20) Ensure the coordination of mental health, physical health, and substance abuse services provided by the public and private health care delivery systems.
(21) Ensure the coordination of public mental health and substance abuse services with mental health and substance abuse services offered through the private health care delivery system, including services offered by primary care physicians.
(22) Oversee and seek to have patients receive treatment in secure residential recovery facilities as defined in subsection 7620(e) of this title. (Added 1967, No. 305 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 1968; amended 1977, No. 257 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 3, 4; 1985, No. 225 (Adj. Sess.), § 15; 1987, No. 264 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 8, 9; 2005, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), § 39; 2007, No. 15, § 13a; 2009, No. 146 (Adj. Sess.), § C11; 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 238a, eff. Feb. 1, 2011; 2009, No. 156 (Adj. Sess.), § I.24; 2011, No. 79 (Adj. Sess.), § 23, eff. April 4, 2012; 2011, No. 160 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. May 17, 2012; 2013, No. 92 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 257, 302, eff. Feb. 14, 2014; 2013, No. 96 (Adj. Sess.), § 104.)
§ 7402. Records and reports
The Commissioner shall keep records of all commitments and admissions to a hospital and shall secure compliance with the laws relating thereto. The Commissioner shall report biennially to the Governor and the General Assembly on the condition of hospitals, on the physical and medical treatment of patients therein, on the need for community services to former patients and persons with a mental condition or psychiatric disability not hospitalized, and on any other matters the Commissioner deems advisable. (Added 1967, No. 305 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 1968; amended 1977, No. 257 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 2005, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), § 39; 2013, No. 92 (Adj. Sess.), § 302; 2013, No. 96 (Adj. Sess.), § 104.)
§ 7403. Repealed. 2005, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), § 140(4).
§ 7404. Accounts of receipts and expenditures
The Commissioner shall cause to be kept a true and just account of all receipts and expenditures. His or her report shall contain the account together with a tabulated statement of the work done by the State hospital during the preceding two years. (Added 1967, No. 305 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 1968.)
§ 7405. Property in trust
The Commissioner may take and hold in trust for the State any grant or devise of land or donation or bequest of money, or other personal property, to be applied to the maintenance of persons who are mentally ill. (Added 1967, No. 305 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 1968; amended 1977, No. 257 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; 2005, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), § 39.)
§ 7406. Contracts
The Commissioner, with the approval of the Governor, may enter into contracts with the federal government or its agencies for the care, treatment, or observation of those mentally ill entitled to support by the federal government or agency as the Commissioner may deem desirable. The receipts from those contracts shall be paid by the Superintendent to the State Treasurer to be applied to the General Fund. (Added 1967, No. 305 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 1968; amended 1977, No. 257 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; 2005, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), § 39.)
§ 7407. Mental health advisor
The Commissioner, upon the request of the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, shall designate an appropriate professional member of the Department to serve as advisor to the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles on the mental health aspects of the licensing of motor vehicle operators. (Added 1971, No. 147 (Adj. Sess.), eff. Feb. 14, 1972.)
§ 7408. Electroconvulsive therapy
The Commissioner shall oversee the use of electroconvulsive therapy in Vermont and may adopt rules to govern the practice of electroconvulsive therapy. The Commissioner's duties shall include:
(1) establishment of a uniform informed consent process, forms, and materials;
(2) oversight and monitoring of all facilities administering electroconvulsive therapy; and
(3) the collection of statistical data on the use of electroconvulsive therapy from all treating facilities. (Added 1999, No. 92 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)