MDHHS to implement recommendations improving access to inpatient psychiatric services

LANSING — The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is taking action to improve access to inpatient psychiatric services for Michigan residents by implementing recommendations that address staffing, expanded treatment options, health information sharing and financing and reimbursement.

In July 2017, MDHHS launched the Michigan Inpatient Psychiatric Admissions Discussion (MIPAD) initiative to investigate ongoing barriers to accessing inpatient psychiatric services in the state. A workgroup composed primarily of providers and payers analyzed the issue and produced a report of its recommendations in October 2017.

MDHHS analyzed statutory, regulatory and fiscal impacts of implementing MIPAD’s recommendations. Based upon this analysis, MDHHS has identified 19 of these recommendations for short-term action in 2018.

“Over the last several decades, the number of inpatient psychiatric beds has decreased, and health care providers have increasingly struggled to secure inpatient services for individuals who are in psychiatric crisis,” said Lynda Zeller, MDHHS’s director of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities Administration. “Taking immediate action on these recommendations will help Michigan residents get the psychiatric services they need.”

In 1993, community hospitals in Michigan had 3,041 adult psychiatric beds and 729 child/adolescent psychiatric beds. In 2017, that number dropped to 2,197 adult beds and 276 child/adolescent beds.

The lack of psychiatric beds has escalated the pressure on hospital emergency departments, which are called to serve individuals on voluntary and involuntary psychiatric holds while awaiting transfers to psychiatric facilities. For example, Michigan emergency departments experienced 52,671 visits from 34,517 Medicaid beneficiaries, who had a principal mental health diagnosis in 2016.

MDHHS will continue to engage stakeholders throughout the implementation process. In addition, the department will explore opportunities to partner with the House CARES Task Force on improving access to inpatient psychiatric services.

Grant funding from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund will be used to jumpstart the implementation process. The workgroup’s full report is available online.


Posted by Ashlyn Korienek

Ashlyn is the cops & courts and city reporter for the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach her at (231) 398-3109 or

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