Michigan receives $500,000 to expand integrated care for Medicaid beneficiaries through Behavioral Health Home initiative

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Aug. 30, 2019

CONTACT: Lynn Sutfin, 517-241-2112

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) recently received $500,000 from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund to expand a program that integrates physical and behavioral health care services for Medicaid beneficiaries with serious mental illness or serious emotional disturbance.

Currently, Behavioral Health Home (BHH) is offered in Grand Traverse and Manistee counties. The additional funds will be used to modernize and expand BHH operations into several more counties to provide access to integrated services for an estimated 3,000 - 4,000 more Michiganders.

“Integrated and coordinated care is essential to improving outcomes for the most severely ill living in our state,” said Dr. George Mellos, senior deputy director of the MDHHS Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities Administration. “This funding will increase capacity for essential services, which will help mitigate the growing number of Michiganders with mental illness and the alarming trend in deaths by suicide.”

Reports about Michigan’s current program show that the BHH increases patient engagement of care, follow-up visits after hospitalization, preventative screenings and reduces inpatient hospital length of stay. Additionally, an independent evaluation demonstrated significant cost-efficiencies through reductions in avoidable costs. Specific benefits of the BHH include the following:

  • A single point of contact for navigating a patient’s health and social needs.
  • Access to an interdisciplinary team of physical and behavioral health providers.
  • Engagement in a person-centered health action plan.
  • Social and emotional support from peer support specialists/community health workers.
  • ​Personalized care and support to positively affect a patient’s life.

Providers of the BHH receive enhanced reimbursement and outcome-based performance incentives for delivering Health Home services. This program is one of many strategic initiatives focused on improving the continuum of public behavioral health services in Michigan.

MDHHS has three overarching goals for the BHH:

  • Improve care management of beneficiaries with serious mental illness or serious emotional disturbance.
  • Improve care coordination between physical and behavioral health care services.
  • Improve care transitions between primary, specialty and inpatient settings of care.

Expanded services are slated to begin in FY2021. More information will soon be available on the MDHHS website.

The Michigan Health Endowment Fund was created through Public Act 4 of 2013, which requires Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan to contribute up to $1.56 billion over 18 years to a health endowment fund that benefits Michigan residents. The fund focuses on children and seniors with funding in the following areas: behavioral health, healthy aging, access to healthy food, wellness and fitness, infant mortality, technology enhancements, health-related transportation and foodborne illness prevention.

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