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Politics & Government

Health and Human Services disputes $97 million shortfall in mental health funding

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The Department of Health and Human Services disputes the $97 million shortfall in mental health funding .

Mental health agencies around the state say the Department of Health and Human Services refuses to acknowledge a funding shortage that’s leaving some of those agencies in serious deficit.

Tens of thousands of people eligible for Disabled, Aged, and Blind (DAB) Medicaid assistance have been transferred to the Healthy Michigan Plan. According to the Community Mental Health Association of Michigan, the problem with that is this: The base rate paid to agencies to serve those people through Medicaid is $267. Under Healthy Michigan, it’s $29 plus another $15 under Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).

That’s $267 versus $44. The local agencies are expected to offer the same services to the Disabled, Aged, and Blind and dip into their own reserves to make up the difference.

Statewide, the association says that is a net loss of revenue of more than $97 million.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) says this is just part of the ebb and flow of funding and is expected.

“What our actuaries have told us is that this issue they’ve raised – this DAB to Healthy Michigan or DAB to TANF – is still within normal fluctuation and does not require additional revenue,” said Lynda Zeller, deputy director for the Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities at the MDHHS.

The state does not acknowledge that it failed to foresee that this shift of clients from Medicaid to Healthy Michigan would cause this revenue shortage for mental health agencies in this state.

To learn more, Rep. Ed Canfield, a physician and chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services, joined Stateside today.

Listen above.

Minding Michigan is Stateside’s ongoing series that examines mental health issues in our state.

(Subscribe to the Stateside podcast on iTunes, Google Play, or with this RSS link)

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