Michigan to host forums on state behavioral health system

LANSING, Mich. (AP) —

The state of Michigan is holding public forums on ways to strengthen its Medicaid-funded behavioral health and developmental disabilities system.

Forums start Wednesday in Detroit, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Others are scheduled Thursday in Grand Rapids, Jan. 22 in Marquette and Jan. 30 in Saginaw. An online forum is planned for Feb. 6.

The department will provide an overview of its proposal and answer questions. Information gathered during the forums will help the state design a system that best meets the needs of residents who rely on the services.

In December, HHS director Robert Gordon said the department wants to strengthen the behavioral health system by preserving a strong safety net and integrating physical and behavioral health payments.

“Our department does not have all the answers. We learn by listening,” Gordon said in a statement. “These public forums offer an important opportunity to hear from residents across the state about how we can best design a system that improves health outcomes, supports quality of life and increases access to care for all Michiganders.”