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    The rights of Guardians is often misunderstood by many in the behavioral health system. To prevent delays and confusion, I have an electronic version of my guardianship papers with me at all times. This has really come in handy during crisis situations. I have had to email my guardianship papers while on the phone with a provider, even when the agency has received the guardianship paperwork.


    Troubling changes to the AHCCCS medical policy could interfere with guardians. I have also experienced this with our son. Why is it so hard to get parity for people with mental health issues? They would not do this for someone with cognitive dementia, so why do it in the behavioral health field?

    AHCCCS is proposing changes to the AHCCCS Medical Policy Manual (“AMPM”) that would interfere with guardians’ authority in the decision-making process related to acute care facilities. This change would be unlawful as it is contrary to existing law including the Arizona Administrative Code and the Arizona Revised Statutes. AHCCCS continues to strip guardians’ rights per its AMPM. AHCCCS recently removed the guardian’s authority to alone consent to admission to a behavioral health residential facility (See AMPM 320-V). Thus, a person determined by the Superior Court of Arizona to be unable to make medical decisions, is allowed to make medical decisions. Would AHCCCS do this to a person with Alzheimer’s who needs to get into an assisted living facility? No (it does not, the policy is very clear). Would AHCCCS do this to a person with a developmental disability who needs admission to a hospital? No (it does not, the policy is very clear). No, when it comes to consent to medically necessary services, the guardian is cut out only when the member has an SMI. Guardians are appointed by the court based on incapacity, demonstrated need and least restrictive alternatives. Their legal authority, and their role in caring for SMI persons, should be respected.


    I keep it on a TurboScan program, which links to your phone camera and allows you to convert documents into PDFs into your phone and which can be emailed or printed, and I have my OneDrive on my phone. But I tried to take custody of my son’s phone from Aurora Tempe and the Aurora house manager reviewed the order and letters and told me it gave me no authority over my son’s property. So I have a relevant copy of the statute referenced in the letters that says I can. The team determined that my son can’t have a phone because he gets on social media and then gets triggered—once into running into the middle of 51st Avenue at night and lying down. We all agree it would be best for it to be taken from him (with an explanation) while he was in the hospital so that if he decompensated, it wouldn’t be in an unlocked facility. Fortunately, the BHRF house manager picked Noah up at discharge and took custody of his phone before discharge. I don’t know who at Aurora let the manager do that. Maybe I was just Using Authority While in Possession of Uterus, which troubles some people.

    I also keep certified stamped copies in my car and in a folder by my door, because you never know when you’re going to need to show up places, and many agencies and pharmacies require you to present the stamped copy.

    Has that AHCCCS provision ever been invoked?


    Those are all great suggestions on how to always ensure you have your guardianship papers on you.
    Director Snyder told Josh Mozell that the guardianship language was not going to be changed as proposed, it will stay as it currently is.
    Thank you,

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