(1) The authority, in consultation with the evidence-based practice institute established in RCW 71.24.061
, shall develop and implement policies to improve prescribing practices for treatment of emotional or behavioral disturbances in children, improve the quality of children's mental health therapy through increased use of evidence-based and research-based practices and reduced variation in practice, improve communication and care coordination between primary care and mental health providers, and prioritize care in the family home or care which integrates the family where out-of-home placement is required.
(2) The authority shall identify those children with emotional or behavioral disturbances who may be at high risk due to off-label use of prescription medication, use of multiple medications, high medication dosage, or lack of coordination among multiple prescribing providers, and establish one or more mechanisms to evaluate the appropriateness of the medication these children are using, including but not limited to obtaining second opinions from experts in child psychiatry.
(3) The authority shall review the psychotropic medications of all children under five and establish one or more mechanisms to evaluate the appropriateness of the medication these children are using, including but not limited to obtaining second opinions from experts in child psychiatry.
(4) Within existing funds, the authority shall require a second opinion review from an expert in psychiatry for all prescriptions of one or more antipsychotic medications of all children under eighteen years of age in the foster care system. Thirty days of a prescription medication may be dispensed pending the second opinion review. The second opinion feedback must include discussion of the psychosocial interventions that have been or will be offered to the child and caretaker if appropriate in order to address the behavioral issues brought to the attention of the prescribing physician.
(5) The authority shall track prescriptive practices with respect to psychotropic medications with the goal of reducing the use of medication.
(6) The authority shall promote the appropriate use of cognitive behavioral therapies and other treatments which are empirically supported or evidence-based, in addition to or in the place of prescription medication where appropriate and such interventions are available.