Michigan Inching Toward Privatizing Long-Term Care

February 21, 2018, Kimberly Marselas, McKnight's Long-Term Care News - Michigan is laying the groundwork to privatize its $2.8 billion Medicaid nursing home and long-term care services.  A brief proposal included in the state's 2017-2018 budget calls on the Department of Health and Human Services to “explore the implementation of a managed care long-term support service" by July 1.

The approach is similar to controversial 2016 budget language that will shift a $2.7 billion quasi-public behavioral health system to health-plan control over the next several years, according to Crain's.  Pilot projects for that plan are being developed to test integration of mental and physical health and measure cost savings and service increases.

Dom Pallone, director of the Michigan Association of Health Plans, told Crain's his membership wanted the change for long-term care too.

"We asked for much more detail,” he said.  “Legislators compromised in the process, and the House and Senate agreed with the generalized approach, to evaluate using managed care in the long-term care system."

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