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Tag Archive | "Pilot program"

Kent County to pilot mental and physical health treatment integration


 

Network180, Mercy Health’s Affinia Health Network and Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services have been authorized to implement a pilot program integrating physical health care and behavioral health services in the State Budget signed by Governor Rick Snyder Friday. The pilot in Kent County is specifically designated in Section 298 of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services budget, a fairly rare occurrence in State budgets. The Kent pilot is considered a “public” pilot because mental health funding will continue to flow through the public mental health system. In addition to Kent’s pilot, the budget also calls for up to three additional private health plan pilots in other parts of the State.

This pilot, entitled, “The Kent Total Health Collaborative,” is designed to offer comprehensive and integrated services for all levels of physical health, mental health, substance use disorder, and developmental disability. Budget language provides $3.1 million to support the State’s implementation costs relate to four pilot projects and demonstration models in Michigan. The funds will support an independent project facilitator, evaluation costs, modifications to state contracts, and three additional full-time State employees.

“This is an incredible honor and responsibility. We have the opportunity to implement our integrated care service model that we believe will significantly improve the physical and mental health outcomes for those involved,” said Scott Gilman, Executive Director of Network180. The Kent pilot is based on a risk-bearing provider-led integration model that requires savings to be reinvested into services and supports in the County. What that really means is the mental health and primary care providers work together to address all the social determinants of health.

“For example a patient can have the best hospital and surgeon in the world, but if they happen to have a mental illness and are discharged back to the street, the outcome and recovery from surgery isn’t going to be that great,” said Gilman.

“The partners involved in this pilot understand to have successful health outcomes, behavioral health providers must work together with primary care physicians and health systems,” said Mary Boyd, Executive Vice President of Regional Operations at Mercy Health. “Patients will have access to a full range of mental health and substance abuse treatment and recovery options which will be fully integrated into physical care.”

The Facilitator will report back to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services regarding:

  • Improvement of the coordination between behavioral health and physical health.
  • Improvement of services available to individuals with mental illness, intellectual or developmental disabilities, or substance use disorders.
  • Benefits associated with full access to community-based services and supports.
  • Customer health status.
  • Customer satisfaction.
  • Provider network stability.
  • Treatment and service efficacies before and after the pilot projects and demonstration models.
  • Use of best practices.
  • Financial efficiencies.

“Our goal is to design the system of care around the patient to achieve the best quality of life possible,” said Dr. Mark Eastbrook, CEO of Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services.

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Pilot program could save court time, reduce jail overcrowding


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The Kent County Board of Commissioners accepted $33,730 from the State of Michigan last week to fund a pilot program to determine if earlier involvement by court-appointed attorneys will help speed cases through the system, and enhance their services.

Funded by the Michigan Supreme Court State Court Administrative Office (SCAO), the grant funding will be used by the 63rd District Court to increase the use of court appointed attorneys for “indigent” (low income) misdemeanor defendants at their first court appearance or bond hearing. The Court hopes the program will reduce the number of court appearances necessary in misdemeanor cases.

“Currently, the Court provides court appointed counsel to indigent misdemeanor defendants only after the first pre-trial conference,” said Kevin McKay, 63rd District Court Administrator. “The opportunity to meet with a Public Defender before arraignments or bond hearings could help eliminate additional hearings, which would save staff time and taxpayer money.”

Currently, the Court is working with the Kent County Office of the Defender, the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office and the Kent County Office of the Sheriff, with a goal of starting the program by March 1, 2014. Some of the grant funds will be used to have an attorney available for an additional one-half day per week for weekly misdemeanor arraignments at the Court, as well as providing counsel for eligible indigent defendants being arraigned by video on any day of the week.

The pilot funding expires on September 30, 2014, at which time the Court will evaluate the program.

Evaluation will include tracking the time these misdemeanor cases take to move through the system before and after the pilot, and the number of pleas that are completed at first arraignment, as well as the point when defendants first meet with court-appointed counsel.

“We’re appreciative that the SCAO selected 63rd District Court to pilot this program,” McKay added.

“As one of the busiest two-judge district courts in the state, we are always looking for ways to be more efficient.”

If the pilot is successful, the Court will evaluate if the program can be continued within its operating budget and/or identify and apply for additional grant funding.

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