State official announce new initiative that will fund mental health and addiction care through Medicaid

Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 6:48 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - A major change is coming to how mental health and addiction treatment is funded in Michigan.

Senator Debbie Stabenow announced on Wednesday an initiative that would fund the two as healthcare-reimbursed through Medicaid for the full cost of services.

Starting this month, the nearly three dozen Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics in Michigan will begin to be reimbursed through Medicaid for the cost of services. This is something that has never been done.

“I use the example all of the time you have a heart attack, you go into the emergency room, actually you need surgery. They would never say I’m so sorry that grant ran out six months, ago, but that’s what happens to somebody with a mental illness or with a substance abuse issue everyday that kind of thing is said to folks and that’s what we want to stop,” said Stabenow.

According to the CDC, one in five Americans will experience Mental illness in their lifetime. The Agency also reporting that in 2020, during the pandemic, drug overdose deaths rose by 30%.

Wednesday’s announcement by Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow would give people in these crisis access to help through Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics.

Clinics that are held to the same standards as health centers and are funded to meet those standards. Stabenow explains why it’s a game changer for the mentally ill and drug addicted among us.

“It includes 24 hour psychiatric crisis services so people aren’t sitting in the emergency room, people aren’t sitting in jail just because there is no help available to them. And it places where this has been robustly funded now in other states we are seeing really meaningful changes in peoples lives and frankly with how we are using public services,” said Stabenow.

She said that this is one step to achieving the vision laid out by President John Kennedy in the 1963 Community Mental Health Act.

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