Michigan Announces Implementation Timeline Change for MI Health Link

Contact: Jennifer Smith (517) 241-2112

For Immediate Release: November 24, 2014

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) today announced a change to the implementation timeline for MI Health Link, Michigan’s demonstration project to integrate care for individuals eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid. MDCH has changed the start date from January 1 to March 1 to ensure that the program is prepared to deliver services and coordinate care. Enrollment will begin in February 2015.

MDCH and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have agreed to delay the program to ensure that the necessary care coordination models, training, provider networks and systems are adequately prepared and tested prior to the start of enrollment.

“As the population served through MI Health Link includes some of the most vulnerable in Michigan, it is imperative that we are confident that our program is ready to launch prior to beginning enrollment,” said Nick Lyon, Director of the MDCH. “By launching in March, we are continuing on a responsible course to ensure that our residents will receive the best care coordination possible.”

MI Health Link will be launched in four regions of the state in two phases. Phase 1 includes the entire Upper Peninsula and eight counties in southwest Michigan, including Barry, Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph, and Van Buren. Phase 2 includes Macomb and Wayne counties.

With the new timeline, individuals who are eligible for the program in Phase 1 will receive letters informing them of enrollment options for the program in late January 2015. These individuals will be able to enroll in the program beginning in February, with services beginning March 1, 2015. Passive enrollment will now be effective May 1, 2015. Through passive enrollment, eligible individuals will be enrolled if they did not elect to enroll or did not opt out of the program.

There are no changes to the implementation timeline for Phase 2. With the change in the program’s start date, the program will now operate through December 2018 instead of the previously announced date of December 2017.

MI Health Link seeks to improve quality and access to care for residents by aligning Medicare and Medicaid services, rules, and funding through better care coordination. The goals of the program are to provide seamless access to all Medicare and Medicaid services and supports; offer a person-centered care coordination model; streamline administrative processes; eliminate barriers to home and community based services; provide quality services focusing on enrollee satisfaction; and realign financial incentives.

More information about MI Health Link is available online at www.michigan.gov/mihealthlink.

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