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Human Rights Regulations Move Forward

The State Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services Board took an important step this past week in updating and clarifying the departmentís human rights regulations. The Board unanimously approved the amended regulations at itsí meeting in Roanoke.

The Department established a large stakeholders group, the Human Rights Regulation Revision Advisory Committee, to provide guidance and advice on the amendments to the regulations. The H3R Advisory Committee worked for a full year and provided the Department with a report of its recommendations in June 2005. One of the goals of the revision process has been to make the regulations more consumer and family friendly, easier to read, easier to understand and follow. The H3R group also needed to update the language to conform to the Code of Virginia and to be in compliance with HIPAA. The final challenge was to fix unintended consequences of previous regulations.

The regulations move on now to the Governorís office, to be followed by a 60-day comment period.

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