New program will test merging mental and physical health services

Mar 12, 2018

The state health department has announced three locations for a new pilot program to merge state mental and physical health services.

Officials with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services say funding and services are currently separate for physical and mental health.

“The impact of having two separate systems is it’s very difficult to coordinate services for individuals who have both physical health and behavioral health needs,” said Phil Kurdunowicz with the state health department.

Kurdunowicz said if the state can combine physical and mental health services it could cut down on administrative costs.

“Part of the hope is that if we could break down those barriers between the two sides we could re-prioritize money from the administrative level to the service delivery level and hopefully expand access as well,” Kurdunowicz said.

It's unknown if the re-prioritization of funds will lead to administrative cuts. 

The pilot programs will be located in Genesee, Muskegon, and Saginaw Counties. They’re set to launch in October.