Federal reports highlight success of MI Health Link
Two new reports highlight the success of and satisfaction with the MI Health Link program, a comprehensive health care plan available to individuals enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid.
MI Health Link is administered by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services in partnership with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and seven integrated care organizations. The program offers a full range of health care benefits to dually eligible beneficiaries, including home and community-based services, care coordination, non-emergent medical transportation, dental, vision, physical and behavioral health care. Beneficiaries do not have copays for prescription drugs or covered services when delivered by network providers.
MI Health Link is available to Michigan adults age 21 or older who live in Barry, Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo, Macomb, St. Joseph, Van Buren or Wayne counties or any county in the Upper Peninsula. Eligible individuals can enroll in MI Health Link at any time and do not need to wait for open enrollment periods to join.
“By providing enrollees access to care through one plan, MI Health Link is helping Michiganders take better care of themselves,” Robert Gordon, MDHHS director, said in an Oct. 23 press release. “This in turn has led to a reduction in emergency room visits and inpatient admissions.”
CMS contracted with Alan Newman Research to conduct a series of focus groups in June to better understand the experience of beneficiaries enrolled MI Health Link. Overall, a summary of the focus group findings shows participants reported very high satisfaction with their MI Health Link plan experiences.
Focus group participants consistently reported receiving assistance during care transitions, follow up after doctors’ appointments, locating doctors who accept their plans and general emotional support from their health plan care coordinators. Many also noted an improved quality of life, that they took better care of themselves and were encouraged to do so by their plan care coordinator.
CMS also contracted with RTI International to monitor and evaluate the impact on beneficiary experience, quality of care, service utilization and cost of the MI Health Link program. The first evaluation report for Michigan’s MI Health Link demonstration shows reductions in both the probability of inpatient admissions as well as preventable emergency room visits.
More information on the program and the reports can be found at Michigan.gov/MIHealthLink.