Michigan announces progress on physical and behavioral health coordination initiative

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 9, 2017

CONTACT: Angela Minicuci, (517) 241-2112

LANSING, Mich. – Today the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is announcing the next steps for the Section 298 Initiative. MDHHS is also announcing the selection of the project evaluator and project facilitator for this initiative.

The Section 298 Initiative is a statewide effort to improve the coordination of physical health services and behavioral health services in Michigan. This initiative is based upon Section 298 in the Public Act 268 of 2016. The Michigan legislature approved a revised version of Section 298 as part of Public Act 107 of 2017. Under the revised Section 298, the Michigan legislature directed the department to develop and implement up to three pilots and one demonstration model to test the integration of physical health and behavioral health services.

Under the revised language, MDHHS was directed to recruit a project facilitator to assist with the development and implementation of the pilots and demonstration model. In August 2017, the department designated the Michigan Public Health Institute as the project facilitator for the Section 298 Initiative. The Michigan Public Health Institute will provide support to the department with facilitating pilot and demonstration stakeholder discussions and managing the development and implementation process.

Additionally, MDHHS was directed to contract with one of the state’s research universities to complete an evaluation of the pilot(s) and demonstration model. In September 2017, the department selected the Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation at the University of Michigan as the project evaluator for the Section 298 Initiative. The evaluation team will assist the department with developing performance metrics and an evaluation plan and conducting the evaluation of the pilot(s) and demonstration model.

MDHHS will be working with the project facilitator and project evaluator on initiating the next phase of the Section 298 discussion. This phase of the discussion will focus on following four key components:

  • Development of the Pilots

The department is currently working on defining the structure of the pilots. The department will be working with the project facilitator to convene representatives from the current system to gather specific input necessary to develop the structure of the pilots. These discussions will occur during October and November. The results of the discussion will lead to the development of a Request for Information, which will be used to guide the selection of the pilot sites.

  • Development of the Demonstration Model

The Michigan legislature instructed the department to work with the community mental health authority for Kent County and all willing Medicaid health plans in the county to pilot a full physical and behavioral health integrated service demonstration model. The department is currently working with stakeholders in Kent County to develop the structure of the demonstration model.

  • Development of the Evaluation Plan

The department will be working with the project evaluator to develop an evaluation plan for the pilot(s) and demonstration model. The department and project evaluator will also launch an advisory group process in order to gather input for the development of the evaluation plan.

  • Analysis of the Policy Recommendations

The department is currently reviewing the 70 policy recommendations from the final report of the 298 Facilitation Workgroup. The department will be comparing the recommendations with current state policies and programs and identifying opportunities for change. After the analysis is completed, the department will convene stakeholders to discuss the results of the analysis and identify the priorities for implementation.

The department will provide additional updates on the development of the demonstration model over the coming months.

MDHHS submitted a final report with recommendations for the Michigan Legislature on March 15, 2017. For more background on the 298 workgroup process, visit www.michigan.gov/stakeholder298.

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