Michigan Association of Health Plans

Medicaid Reform

MAHP Supports Full Behavioral Integration to Fix Michigan’s Broken Mental Health System



The bifurcation of care for enrollees between the behavioral and physical health systems creates a barrier in providing enrollee-centered care for this population. Sharing information between the two care coordination teams at different entities leads to difficulty in effectively assisting the enrollee and their needs. 

The ability to manage both areas and treat the enrollee holistically ultimately provides better health outcomes for the enrollees who fall into this population. 



We aren’t just failing consumers. We are failing taxpayers. Nine out of Michigan’s 10 Prepaid Inpatient Health Plans (PIHPs) that oversee mental health treatment finances had structural deficits of nearly $93 million in 2018. Taxpayers deserve more accountability for the money spent. 

Michigan needs a fully integrated physical and behavioral health system which will provide access to person-centered care, consumer choice, better transparency, ensure quality outcomes while continuing to be accountable stewards of Michigan taxpayers’ dollars. It will provide access to a contract-driven state system of managed whole person care, integrating behavioral health into the state’s successful physical health system that for more than 20 years has meant better care while controlling costs for the state’s Medicaid beneficiaries.

Michigan’s Medicaid health plans have a long history of streamlining the physical health needs of consumers in a cost-effective way, educating them about underlying physical conditions that may impact mental health and helping them address mental health needs in ways that will reduce physical health impacts. 



Integration of behavioral health into primary care are intertwined because it:

  • It treats the “whole person,” and recognizes mental and physical health conditions are often intertwined.  For instance, chronic knee or back pain can lead to opioid addiction or as children age their social and emotional developmental issue can lead to physical ailments.
  • Provides a comprehensive approach to care coordination across medical and behavioral services.
  • Improves member and provider experiences.
  • Reduces utilization and subsequent costs of costly services such as acute and emergency room admissions.
  • Eases administrative complexity and reduces administrative costs.
  • Increases capacity to deliver innovations within behavioral health.


Download resources here for more information.

  • Integrating Behavioral Health into Medicaid Managed Care:
    Design and Implementation Lessons from State Innovators


  • Exploring the Impact of Integrated Medicaid Managed Care on Practice-Level Integration of Physical and Behavioral Health


  • New Mexico Mental Health Epidemiology Fact Sheet Mental Health