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Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio

The Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority is under fire for wasting millions of its $730 million Medicaid budget on overpayments to subcontractors, which its board frequently chooses not to recoup.  

That means fewer dollars are getting to people in need.

But there's no question the authority still helps a lot of people with essential services that improve the quality of their lives. Eighty-thousand of them, in fact.

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The state Office of the Inspector General is recommending new language be included in the next contract between the state and its 46 mental health authorities and community mental health agencies.

That's after a botched CEO search brought attention to the Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority board's pattern of not recouping millions of dollars in over billing and waste from its subcontractors.

Tracy Samilton

The Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority can't seem to seal the deal with a new CEO.

The state's largest such authority is responsible for a more than $700 million Medicaid budget to care for 80,000 people with mental illness, developmental disorders, and substance abuse disorders.  

The decision by two consecutive CEO choices to pull out of contract negotiations with the authority is bringing long-overdue attention to the way the authority spends its money and manages contracts.