The House-Senate Conference Committee budget for MDHHS in FY-20 expands the infamous Section 298 concept, so that CMHSPs can be shut out of the picture in the three pilot programs (which keep getting delayed) that would give almost all Medicaid specialty behavioral health appropriations to private (often for-profit) Medicaid Health Plans (MHPs).
Governor Whitmer will have only till the end of the month to determine what she may veto in FY-20 state department budgets. It is imperative that you contact her office ASAP and ask for a veto of section 298 or, alternatively, a veto of subsections (1)(a), (1)(b), and (2).
Here is what we have said to the Governor’s office on these subsections:
(1)(a): This would allow MHPs to use entities other than CMHSPs to provide behavioral health services. In our opinion, this conflicts with existing state law.
(1)(b): MHPs may retain all functions related to their accreditation. The Senate has tried this before, and MDHHS has said this is unnecessary and can’t/shouldn’t be included. One of the byproducts of this language is helping to freeze CMHSPs out.
(2): This calls for measurement results 20 months before the pilots would be completed. (In convoluted language, this subsection suggests a statewide decision on 298 implementation could be made 20 months before pilot completion and final evaluation.) And the list of measures offered is totally redundant – exactly the same as what’s already in subsection (5).
Thank you for your assistance.
You can reach Governor Gretchen Whitmer in these ways:
Governor Gretchen Whitmer
P.O. Box 30013
Lansing, MI 48909
517-335-7858 (Constituent Services)