Thursday, February 25, 2010

Michigan Gives

The Michigan Department of Community Health (DCH) has initiated Medicaid policy proposal that will impact the way the state deals with the need for services.

What makes this policy proposal so progressive is that it will expand the role of Medicaid funding to provide proactive services to new mothers.

The focus is on home visits by physicians prior to the birth and immediately after to "prescribe" needed services to new mothers. This will include transportation to medical appointments and housing assistance.

In the event further assistance is necessary, the physicians will work with Child Protective Services to provide further services.

Instead of relying upon the current state policies of taking children into the child welfare system in order to create eligibility of services, this policy will eliminate that criterion.

My only concerns would be in the area of Receipient Rights. DCH has in place, a formal grievance policy, but I would like to see this new policy proposal to reflect the mandatory informing of each client.

This would also demand further policy changes within the Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Department of Attorney General for uniform implementation to address potential fraud, waste and abuse. An example would be the mandatory reporting of all violations of law to the Attorney General Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.

The policy will even empower the people to provide the transparency and accountability by encouraging program oversight and report fraud, waste and abuse.

What excites me the most is that these new policies expand the potential usage of Targeted Case Management and may be viewed as job creation. By this I mean Michigan, being a service-orientated state, will evolve a new future industry by investing in its people. Jobs in the areas of education, health care, home repair and transportation would not be through the traditional corporate structure, but may be the beginning of an entrepreneurial trend of allowing home businesses to contract with the state. This will be the new privatization.

Since Ingenix has the contract with DHS to maintain a database for services, it must cooperate with DCH, the Auditor General and the Attorney General for the DCH policy to have maximum effect.

Who knows, if Michigan can execute this and establish health information technology, the state may just be able to adjust its Federal Funding Participation rate.

Now, dismantle Michigan Children's Institute (MCI) as it is contradictory to this policy initiative. 

MCI Superintendent Bill Johnson bases his decisions to grant or withhold grant to adoption, including the power to make or change the placement of a child, based on the needs this policy addresses.  Even though this only affects a small portion of the state population, it is still an antiquated belief that poverty is considered as abuse and neglect. 

This policy allows, the state to give to the child, not to take the child.

Michigan Medicaid Policy Proposal 2010

Public comments are encouraged. Comments on this proposed policy are due March 26, 2010.

Comments may be forwarded to Judith Tubbs at tubbsj@michigan.gov or to the address noted on the attached transmittal sheet.
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