Jon King, Michigan Advance
December 11, 2023
Beginning on Jan. 1, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) will expand Medicaid coverage to include community health worker services to help promote preventive care and address health disparities.
Defined as a “frontline public health worker who is a trusted member of and/or has an unusually close understanding of the community served,” community health workers (CHW) serve as an intermediary between health/social services and the community to facilitate access to services and address social determinants of health.
“This coverage is another step towards addressing health disparities, improving health outcomes and promoting preventive care within Michigan communities,” said Elizabeth Hertel, MDHHS director. “By integrating community health workers, MDHHS is working to enhance the overall well-being of Medicaid beneficiaries and promote a more holistic approach to health care.”
According to a release, CHW services focus on “preventing disease, disability and other chronic health conditions or their progression, and promoting physical and mental health,” including “health system navigation and resource coordination, health promotion and education and screening and assessment.”
MDHHS says that adding CHW services to Medicaid coverage is complementary to existing strategies, including targeted case management, health homes models and Medicaid Health Plan contract requirements.
To support the implementation of this policy, MDHHS selected Michigan Community Health Worker Alliance through a competitive bid process to facilitate a registry of certified providers that will ensure Medicaid beneficiaries have access to qualified CHWs to deliver covered services.
- For more information, about CHW coverage or other Medicaid policies, visit 2023 Medicaid Policy Bulletins (michigan.gov).
- To sign up for Medicaid or to check available benefits, visit Michigan.gov/MIBridges.
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