In his FY-17 budget proposal, the Governor called for all Community Mental Health (CMH) Medicaid funding and clients to be transferred to the state’s 11 Medicaid Health Plans (MHPs) by September 2017. There was great opposition to this recommendation, and many people have spent the last year involved with the issue. That work culminated with a Final Report to the Legislature March 15, 2017. The report was issued by the MDHHS 298 Facilitation Workgroup.
This Commentary describes steps along the way since February ’16; key elements of the report to the Legislature (and its Part One predecessor transmitted January 13 of ’17); and some of the myths that have been perpetuated to legislators and the public in recent weeks. While we wish there had been more time to spend on certain elements of the Final Report, we commend it, along with the positive and helpful role MDHHS played in convening and facilitating the effort.
Steps Along the Way
After the initial uproar in early ’17, Lt. Governor Calley convened a related workgroup. Because of the great interest generated, he appointed approximately 120 members. The group met five times through June of ’16; after the first meeting, approximately 65 individuals were generally in attendance. It is important to note that the groups authoring this report – the leading behavioral health advocacy groups in the state – held less than 15 seats on this body. (For purposes of this Commentary, “behavioral health” is inclusive of mental illness, emotional disorder, intellectual and developmental disability, and substance use disorder.)
Click HERE to read the full report.