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News & Press: Legislation/Policy

Action Alert from CMHA

Wednesday, May 8, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Algeria Wilson
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As you may know, the FY20 budget process is moving along, last week the Senate Appropriations Committee reported out the Senate’s version of the FY20 DHHS budget, the full Senate is expected to vote on the budget next week. Included in the Senate budget for section 298 are two areas of concern.

First, there is language in Section 298(2) that is premature and effectively ends the pilot process by calling for full statewide implementation if certain measures are met by January 31, 2021.  This approach totally ignores the evaluation and measurements that subsection (5) outlines and simply moves to a craved in model with very little data or time for the pilots to play out. Below is the language from the bill, SB 139:

It is the intent of the legislature that by January 31, 2021, the department shall provide a document to the senate and house appropriations subcommittees on the department budget, the senate and house fiscal agencies, the senate and house policy offices, and the state budget office of the results of measures developed in conjunction with the Medicaid health plans and CMHSPs participating in the pilot program described in subsection (1) that, if met, would trigger a full statewide, all managed care populations' integration process beginning October 1, 2022.

Second, Section 298(1)(a) in effect calls for a readiness review (willingness and capacity) of CMHSPs that would be participating in the 298 pilots. However, the budget does not call for or require a departmental readiness review of pilot area Medicaid Health Plans (MHPs), given that Michigan’s MHPs have no experience managing severe mental disability or the home and community based services needed by children and youth with Serious Emotional Disturbances and have done an historically poor job of managing the “mild-to-moderate” mental health benefit. There should also be a statement that a pilot cannot begin if the involved MHPs cannot demonstrate willingness and capacity.


REQUEST FOR URGENT ACTION:  We are asking that you contact your Senator(s) and the Governor expressing your concerns related to this new language and ask that it NOT be included in the final version of the bill. Timing is critical, we believe Senators will be voting on SB 139 in the full Senate this week. Even though the budget process has several more steps before it becomes final, we believe it is important Senate members hear our concerns before they vote on this language. Please contact your Senator(s) and the Governor between now and May 10.

We also need you to ask that the members of your Board of Directors, your staff, and your community partners make those same contacts - SIMPLY FORWARD THEM THE ACTION ALERT. These contacts are critical, legislators must hear from us in order to counter the efforts by others opposed to the public management of the state's publicly sponsored behavioral health and intellectual/developmental disability services and supports system.

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