GNYHA Works to Streamline Mental Hygiene Court Cases

April 2, 2018

To address burdens on limited hospital resources and a tremendous backlog, GNYHA is working with stakeholders to streamline and increase the efficiency of mental hygiene legal cases. In New York State, certain mental health patients are afforded a legal hearing in response to hospital actions related to giving medication over objection, retention, and treatment while living in the community. Significant hospital staff resources are necessary to make patients available for these hearings. Also, inefficiencies in the court system and outdated practices have created a lengthy backlog of cases waiting to be heard.” GNYHA has convened stakeholders from the Office of Mental Health, Office of Court Administration, Mental Health Legal Services, and hospital representatives to explore ways to pilot using video technology for certain types of hearings with consenting patients, extend court hours to reduce adjournments, add an extra day to the court’s calendar, and expedite the process of certain uncontested orders.