Behavioral Health Integration Bills Receive First Senate Hearing

Posted on September 17, 2021

The Senate Government Operations Committee took testimony Sept. 14 on a pair of bills that would make several changes to Michigan’s behavioral health system. Introduced by Sens. Mike Shirkey (R-Clark Lake) and John Bizon (R-Battle Creek), the bills would require the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to phase-in integration of funding for physical and behavioral health services by 2026.

Senate Bills (SBs) 597 and 598 would create new specialty integrated plans that would replace the current system of using prepaid inpatient health plans to manage care for Medicaid beneficiaries with serious mental illness or behavioral health needs. The new system would use the managed healthcare plans to contract with each community mental health (CMH) services program and other providers to deliver physical and behavioral health services to Michigan’s Medicaid population. The bills would also eliminate language requiring CMH entities to coordinate the provision of substance use disorder and school-based behavioral health services and would establish a new Behavioral Health Ombudsman and Behavioral Health Accountability Council at the state level.

Further hearings on SBs 597 and 598 are expected to be held in the coming weeks, and the MHA will keep members apprised of progress on the bills. Questions or comments may be directed to Adam Carlson at the MHA.


  • Behavioral Health Integration Bills Receive First Senate Hearing

Tags: behavioral health, MDHHS, Adam Carlson, Senate Government Operations Committee

Posted in: Member News

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