The Mental Health Association in Michigan

is the only statewide, non-governmental agency concerned with the broad spectrum of mental illness across all age groups.

April 13, 2017

Urgent Action Request RE: Section 298

REQUEST FOR URGENT ACTION: Please contact the Chair and Vice Chair of the House DHHS budget subcommittee this week. It is expected to vote on the FY18 budget recommendations on Wednesday, April 19 – some believe the House will include language that suggests an HMO pilot (in control of behavioral health) in the 298 language. 

Please contact Representatives Edward Canfield and Sue Allor, REGARDLESS if they are your representative. Below is their contact info including phone and email:

Edward Canfield (R – District 84)
DHHS Budget Chair

Sue Allor (R – District 106)
DHHS Budget Vice Chair

Please share this info with others. These contacts are critical to support the solid recommendations contained in the 298 Reports that have been produced and to counter the efforts by those opposed to the public management of the state’s publicly sponsored behavioral health and intellectual/developmental disability services and supports system.


As you deliberate section 298 language in the FY18 Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) budget bill, I strongly encourage you to support the 298 Facilitations Workgroup’s Final Report recommendations and the policy recommendations that were contained in both the Interim and Final 298 Reports. The 298 Workgroup process was transparent, fair, objective and reflected the voices of thousands of consumers and their families.

After a year’s worth of intense Workgroup activity, including input from thousands of families and consumers across the state, it was determined that a publicly managed behavioral health system would be in the best interest of Michigan’s most vulnerable citizens.  This was well captured in Policy Recommendation 1.1 of the 298 Report.

The original goal of the 298 process was to ask people served what they prefer and require — this was, appropriately, a process with the bulk of the voices being those of consumers, families and their advocates. Health care transformation must be driven by those voices.

While is essential to have the state’s behavioral health Medicaid program remain publicly managed, I support the 298 Report’s recommendation (Recommendation 3 of the Final Report of the 298 Facilitation Workgroup) for greater cooperation and coordination between Medicaid Health Plans and the PIHP/CMH system for coordinating services to shared enrollees at the point of service, where healthcare integration matters.

I respectfully request that FY18 boilerplate for section 298 continue the FY17 ban on transfer of CMH Medicaid money to Medicaid HMOs.

In addition, I strongly encourage you to request the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services conduct a feasibility study on any and all potential coordination pilots/models to be tested. At a minimum, I believe the 298 boilerplate language should include a study that lays out what laws, policies or potential federal waivers are needed, as well as the potential fiscal impact of any proposed changes before they go into effect.

Again, I encourage you to support the 298 Final Report recommendations when considering section 298 language in the DHHS FY18 budget and support the continuation of the 298 Workgroup, with strong consumer and advocate participation.