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MPCA Policy Priorities
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2014 Policy Priorities



MPCA Legislative Forum

Each year, Michigan Primary Care Association (MPCA) hosts its Legislative Forum to provide an opportunity for Michigan Health Center staff and board members to learn more about the current policy and legislative environment as it pertains to health care, and to build and nurture relationships with state legislators and their staff. It is also when membership is presented with MPCA’s policy priorities for the year.

Below are MPCA's 2016 policy priorities. 


2016 MPCA Policy Priority

Support Health Information Exchange and Interoperability Initiatives for Meaningful Use of Health Information Technology


Michigan’s Health Centers are facing challenges in effectively connecting with Health Information Exchanges (HIE) in order to have meaningful and interoperable exchange of health care information statewide. Some of the challenges that restrict health care providers from Health Information Exchange (HIE) connectivity and interoperability include cost prohibitive policies of Electronic Health Record (EHR) vendors; the ever-changing HIE-Qualified Organization scenario in Michigan; strenuous technology infrastructure requirements; and security and privacy concerns of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Health care providers would be able to increase quality and improve patient satisfaction with HIE connectivity and interoperability through providing real-time data at the point-of-care. 

Recommended Action

Michigan Primary Care Association (MPCA) recommends policy be put in place, either through existing structures such as the Michigan Health Information Network or legislatively, that would reduce the financial, technological and reporting burdens associated with connecting to an HIE to achieve real, meaningful, seamless interoperability. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Mandate EHR vendors to facilitate HIE connectivity at no additional costs to the Health Centers;
  • Create a single access sign on to multiple platforms like Michigan Care Improvement Registry and Michigan Automated Prescription System through the HIE to reduce the burden on provider workflow;
  • Develop a statewide system to allow providers to receive more than basic admission, discharge and transfer information;
  • Align clinical quality measures and data reporting requirements for all Managed Care Organization Health Plans; and
  • Create access to longitudinal electronic health information, therefore providing access to health histories at any provider location.   

Read this policy priority in its entirety: 2016 Health Information Exchange Policy Priority


2016 MPCA Policy Priority

Expand Integration of Physical and Behavioral Health through Integration of Medicaid Managed Care Payment


Today, a vast majority of behavioral health conditions remain undiagnosed or untreated, leading to frequent and costly emergency department utilization as well as poor health for individuals suffering from mental health conditions and substance use disorders. Integration of behavioral health services with primary medical care is essential to ensuring accurate diagnosis and effective treatment for root causes of physical and behavioral health symptoms, mental illness, and substance use disorders. Currently, primary care and behavioral health integration in Michigan is hampered by a fragmented payment model that segregates Medicaid payments for mental health and substance use services from physical health care services. This bifurcation of payment creates a misalignment of incentives for payers to promote treatment of the whole person and is a major barrier to integration of critical services, particularly among safety net service providers including Health Centers.

Recommended Action

To achieve full integration of care, funding streams must be integrated so that payment for services aligns to incentivize whole-person care. Michigan Primary Care Association (MPCA) recommends Michigan Medicaid eliminate the behavioral health carve-out in favor of requiring all behavioral health services to be managed and paid through existing Medicaid Health Plans. Specifically,

  • MPCA recommends repealing MCL 400.109f which codified a Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS) policy of carving out behavioral health services from the basic Medicaid health care benefits package.
  • To incentivize coordination and integration of behavioral health services with primary medical care following the repeal of MCL 400.109f, MPCA recommends MDHHS revise its policy and practice by incorporating behavioral health benefits into its contracts with Medicaid Managed Care Organizations.
  • To ensure continued and uninterrupted access to a robust network of safety net behavioral health service providers following the carve-in,  MPCA recommends including clauses in the Medicaid Managed Care contracts that require maintenance of benefits, specialty services funding, coordination with providers to facilitate access to data, and strong provider network adequacy requirements, with an emphasis on preserving existing patient-provider relationships. In addition, MPCA recommends MDHHS requires Medicaid Health Plans to contract with existing Community Mental Health Services Programs (CMHSP) and other community-based providers where quality, access, and cost-effectiveness are maintained. 

  • MPCA strongly recommends the establishment of an integrated model of care in which the primary care providers are required to be a central component of the continuum of care.
  • MPCA recommends maintaining annual funding levels for CMHSP to ensure the integration of behavioral health and primary medical benefits does not negatively impact local CMHSP.

Read this policy priority in its entirety: Expand Integration of Physical and Behavioral Health through Integration of Medicaid Managed Care Payment


2016 MPCA Policy Priority

Implementation of Evidence-Based Models to Increase Dental Access: Dental Therapists


A shortage of dental providers in Michigan’s underserved communities continues to negatively impact access to dental care for the state’s most vulnerable populations. Lacking appropriate dental care leads to dental disease, costly and avoidable emergency room visits, and unnecessary suffering experienced by many Michigan residents. With evidence-based interventions that have the potential to increase the availability of dental services and improve the use of resources already available, it is in the best interest of all residents that Michigan pursue increasing the number and types of oral health service providers working in underserved communities.  

Recommended Action

Michigan Primary Care Association (MPCA) will work with dental health advocates to develop and pass legislation and practice acts modeling other states utilizing mid-level dental providers, most especially Dental Therapists.

    Read this policy priority in its entirety: Implementation of Evidence-Based Models to Increase Dental Access: Dental Therapists

    More Information

    Loretta V. Bush
    Chief Executive Officer

    Ryan Grinnell-Ackerman
    Government Affairs Manager

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