Anyone who has been paying attention has seen the impact the lack of appropriate mental health treatments has negatively impacted individuals and communities.
In 2012, Michigan passed legislation requiring insurers and Medicaid provide treatments for autism spectrum disorders. However, there remains a great deal of work to provide effective and coordinated mental health and substance abuse treatment for those in need.
In February of 2013 – one year ago – Governor Snyder issued an executive order creating the Mental Health and Wellness Commission, tasking the group to develop a set of recommendations to improve mental health care in Michigan.
This report is full of several important recommendations including broad, systems-level changes and smaller technical reforms that will make improvements in mental health care delivery in Michigan.
The recommendations include the following:
Integration of Behavioral and Physical Care Services
One barrier to providing high-quality care to those with chronic conditions is the impact mental health care plays in negative health outcomes. The report recommended activating Current Procedural Terminology Codes, which gives providers enhanced Medicaid reimbursements for behavioral health in primary care settings.
Improved Coordination of Mental Health Care
The report contains several recommendations detailing how care needs to be better coordinated through more and better connections through the Michigan Health Information Network, standardizing screening criteria for youth with possible emotional disturbances, and reviewing technology guidelines for telemedicine to reduce barriers to care.
Ensuring Services are Comprehensive and Consistent
The commission recommended establishing a consisent minimum payment formulary across all fee-for-service Medicaid managed care plans to ensure that patients have the same access to a minimum standard of care under every Medicaid plan.