Senator Laura Fine SPRINGFIELD – One family’s tragic loss will help others in the future. Last fall, an Evanston family lost their son, Jordan while he was seeking treatment in a substance abuse treatment facility. Working with the family, the state and mental health care providers, State Senator Laura Fine is leading a measure to require substance abuse programs and mental health facilities to better communicate and give a patient’s family or caretaker timely notice of the patient’s passing. 

“No parent or caretaker should have to wait days to be notified that their loved one has died while under the care of a treatment facility,” said Fine (D-Glenview). “It is essential that these facilities and programs have clear standards in place for sharing information with a patient’s loved ones.  No one should ever have to go through what Jordan’s family experienced.”

Under current law, a facility must provide verbal notice regarding a significant incident to the Department of Human Services within 24 hours. However, there is no mandate that requires a family member to be notified of a patient’s death within a specific timeframe.

Jordan’s Law is named in honor of an Evanston family who shared their story about their son, Jordan, who passed away while in a rehab facility. The family was not notified of their son’s death until at least a week later and wanted to ensure other families never experience this kind of tragedy. This bill requires substance abuse disorder programs and mental health and developmental disability facilities to notify a patient’s personal representative of their death within 24 hours and provide a written notice within five days.

“This measure establishes a streamlined communication process to alleviate confusion among providers who are concerned about complying with privacy and confidentiality requirements,” said Fine. “It is my aim to ensure both parties have clarity to communicate significant, time-sensitive information to families.”

Senate Bill 3137 passed the Senate Behavioral and Mental Health Committee on Wednesday and heads to the full Senate for consideration.