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Creating better mental, physical health services in Michigan

Posted at 12:54 PM, Feb 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-17 12:54:53-05

The state of Michigan is wanting to provide better mental and physical health services to those who need it, and are now asking the public for feedback to help better coordinate these services.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has posted a survey on their website to give stakeholders a chance to have a voice in determining financing for the initiative, known as Section 298.

Section 298 started with Gov. Rick Snyder’s 2017 Executive Budget Proposal, and Bob Wheaton, with MDHHS, says it is the “beginning of the process to better integrate better mental and physical health services.”

MDHHS collaborated with the 298 Facilitation Workgroup to develop financing models based on 42 proposals the department received from a variety of stakeholders. Six categories of financing models were developed, with one non-financing model. They are:

• Statewide Behavioral Health Managed Care Organization
• Medicaid Health Plan or Prepaid Inpatient Health Plan Payer Integration
• Community Mental Health Service Programs (Provider) Capitation
• Modified Managed Care Approaches
• Current Financing Structure Enhancement
• Local/Regional Integration Arrangements
• Non-Financing Model

Now, the department and workgroup are wanting to hear from those stakeholders who utilize these services, the families of those individuals and people in the health care industry.

“There was a determination that we needed more discussions from the stakeholders,” Wheaton said. “We are looking at how to finance this new coordination and what policies need to be put into place.”

The goal of Section 298 is to have a coordinated system of supports and services for children, adults and their families; who are at risk or have intellectual and developmental disabilities, substance abuse disorders, mental health needs and physical health needs.

The goal is to have a coordinated system in place with the primary focus being that of the individual who is needing help, and promoting independence.

“The idea is that there was not enough coordination and looking into individual’s needs,” Wheaton said. “The idea is to create a more coordinated system, and determine what the financing is going to be for that system and the policies.

“The focus for our department is focusing on the individuals and taking a look at their unique needs and situations.”

Section 298 is hoping to have the array of services and supports provided to the community are consistent throughout the state. This includes policies and procedures.

Another section of the coordination is to focus on the whole person, not just the physical and behavioral health services, but looking at what is needed for that individual to succeed.

The MDHHS is having a public forum for comments on this issue on Feb. 24 at the East Lansing Hannah Community Center.

For more information into Section 298, it’s workgroup and the MDHHS, click here.