Michigan community mental health centers turning away patients, blame ‘flaw’ in Medicaid expansion

The runners of the community mental health program across the Michigan State claim that they are trying to shun off thousands of mental health patients owing to funding –deficit. They say that the gap in funding has occurred due to a flaw in Michigan’s expanded Medicaid program. Basically, The State had launched “Healthy Michigan Program” on 1st April. The goal of this program was to enroll 320,000 low-income Michiganders apart from increasing income limit for Medicaid in the first year.

It goes without saying that the planned objective of Michigan State was to save thousands of dollars by utilizing federal Medicaid dollars for helping the community to pay for Mental Health (CMH) services but it was overestimated.  On the other hand, local mental health officials say that the administration of Rick Snyder has failed to properly estimate the savings however it has been resulted in funding shortfall for CMH boards across the state.

Apart from this, spokeswoman of Michigan Department of Community Health Angela Minicuci says that “the department has challenged those claims and there was a reduction of $225 million in general fund dollars”. She further said that the State is trying its best to estimate how the overall increase of $35 million in mental health could be perceived.

Though, the legislators have passed supplemental funding of $25 million yet Vizena said that the shortfall would be around $44 million in the next year.  Vizena further said that “I hope that legislators will approve more funding because it is matter of mental health service for the community”.

Lastly, Sara Wurfel spokeswoman of Snyder said that administration was committed to work with MACMH and it would monitor all Michigan enrollments aggressively for addressing the issues.

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