Friday Facts

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September 20, 2013


TO:      CMH Executive Directors

           Chairpersons and Delegates

           Provider Alliance

           Executive Board


FROM:  Michael Vizena, Executive Director

                   Alan Bolter, Associate Director


RE:     - 50th Anniversary Celebration Dinner at the Fall Conference

          - Health Insurance Marketplace Opens in Michigan

            - Don’t Forget to Sign Up for the MACMHB Fall Conference Annual Golf 


            - SWMBH Announces New Executive Officer

            - MI SIBS Statewide Conference Details

            - Delivering Disaster Behavioral Health Services Conference

            - Legislative Update

        Federal Government Shutdown Costs MI $18 Million a Day

        Board Appointed to Run BCBS Health Care Fund

        State Ending FY13 with Extra Cash

           - National Update

        Path To End Government Shutdown Remains Unclear

             - MACMHB Meetings for October


50th Anniversary Celebration Dinner at the Fall Conference


A special dinner has been scheduled for attendees at MACMHB’s annual fall conference, scheduled for October 21-22nd at the Soaring Eagle Convention Center in Mt. Pleasant.     MACMHB has invited state leadership from the past 50 years to join us as we recognize President John Kennedy’s Community Mental Health Act, and the progress our state has made during the past 50 years in helping persons with disabilities live full and meaningful lives in their communities.


MACMHB encourages local CMH boards to invite their own board and executive leadership to attend this celebration.   The dinner is scheduled for Monday, October 21st, at 6:00 p.m. at Soaring Eagle.


Health Insurance Marketplace Opens in Michigan


Starting October 1st, the Health Insurance Marketplace will give Michiganders who are uninsured, or who buy their own coverage, a new way to shop for coverage. Enrollment for health plans available in the health insurance marketplace will be open until March 31, 2014.  The Marketplace simplifies your search for health coverage by gathering the options available in your area in one place. You can compare plans based on price, benefits, and other features important to you before you make a choice. All insurance plans in the Marketplace will have to show the costs and what is covered in simple language with no fine print.


Don’t Forget to Sign Up for the MACMHB Fall Conference Golf Scramble


On Sunday, October 20, MACMHB will be holding its annual Fall Conference golf scramble at Bucks Run Golf Club in Mt. Pleasant – 1pm Shot gun start.  Bucks Run Golf Club is one of Mid-Michigan’s premier golfing locations.  The course earned 4.5 Stars from Golf Digest and is consistently rated one of the top public courses in the country.


Bucks Run Golf Club, 1559 South Chippewa Road, Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858


        $20 per person (9 holes and a cart)

        Call 989-773-6830 for tee times to reserve your spot.  Indicate you’re with the CMH Golf Scramble.

        48 hour notice to cancel is required or you will be charged.  No shows will be billed.


Southwest Michigan Behavioral Health Announces New Executive Officer

Bradley Casemore, MHSA, LMSW, FACHE, has been chosen as the new executive officer of Southwest Michigan Behavioral Health (SWMBH).  Casemore, who is currently CEO of Venture Behavioral Health, has decades of experience in healthcare and a proven record of leading successful agencies, especially start-ups.  
SWMBH is one of 10 new regions established by the Michigan Department of Community Health to manage multiple Medicaid and non-Medicaid state behavioral and integrated health care benefits management contracts which will begin January 1, 2014.  Counties participating in SWMBH include: Barry, Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph and Van Buren.  SWMBH will be a $205 million enterprise.

According to Randy Hyrns, SWMBH board chair, the board carefully considered 26 candidates for the position and unanimously concluded that Casemore was best suited to lead SWMBH.   “The board looks forward to working with Brad to achieve a successful start-up in January,” Hyrns said.  “We are confident his leadership and organizational skills will assure that SWMBH fully achieves its obligations for quality service provision, provider support and efficient operations.”

MI SIBS Statewide Conference Details


Michigan Supporting and Including Brothers and Sisters (MI SIBS) is proud to announce its upcoming 2013 Statewide Conference.  MI SIBS exists to provide adult siblings of individuals with disabilities with the information, resources and support to advocate with and/or for their brothers and sisters and to promote leadership roles of siblings within the disability community.  

The 2013 Statewide Conference is scheduled for October 25th (Welcome Reception, 7-8:30pm) and October 26th (Full-day Conference, 8am-4pm) at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Novi.  Registration is $40 per person.  A reduced registration of $20 per person is available for individuals with disabilities or students.  Please see the attached materials for details on the conference agenda and speakers.  Registration is accepted via mail using the paper form or online ( with payment via Paypal or mail.  Interested participants can also visit the MI SIBS website ( or Facebook page for conference information.


Delivering Disaster Behavioral Health Services Conference


The state Office of Public Health Preparedness will be providing a daylong conference to assist community partners in preparing and delivery behavioral health services in disaster-related circumstances.   The conference will be November 7th at the Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center.


This conference will provide emergency preparedness planners and responders with tools and concepts that can be used to facilitate planning and delivery of disaster behavioral health services to disaster survivors and responders. Conference objectives will include strategies that foster community resilience in the aftermath of a disaster, the difference between traditional counseling and delivering culturally sensitive disaster behavioral Health services, understanding the unique challenges and approaches to providing effective disaster behavioral health services to children and youth, and identifying available resources to assist with developing comprehensive community-wide disaster behavioral services.


Details and registration are available at:




Federal Government Shutdown Costs MI $18 Million a Day

State Budget Director John Nixon said every day the federal government is shutdown it costs the state of Michigan $18 million.  40 percent of the state budget is funded with federal dollars, totaling about $20 billion each year. Of that amount, $55 million is "protected" money, funds that will not end.  Nixon said Social Security, Medicaid and federal highway dollars are protected. 


However, programs like the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, WIC, SNAP, and child nutritional programs are not protected. If the shutdown is temporary there is enough federal money in the pipeline to sustain them, but if it goes beyond that, Nixon said reductions would be needed since the state does not have enough cash to make up the difference. "I don't picture the legislature coming in and approving state money to run federal programs. It is bad precedent," he said.  The state isn't going to dip into the $580 million in the Rainy Day Fund, which Nixon said would cover the cost of about 10 days of federal spending.

"If this goes on long term, you're going to see a much bigger hit to the economy, which is going to impact state funding (and) our state taxes that we levy. Obviously, if we go into another recession or tailspin in the economy, it's going to have a big impact," he said.  But he quickly added state government is in "better shape" to deal with the shortfall in federal assistance. "We're not going to be whipped around because we have a solid fiscal situation."

Board Appointed to Run BCBS Health Care Fund


The first nine people who will oversee the $1.56 billion Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) will contribute over the next 18 years into a special health care fund were unveiled this week.  The nine, appointed by the Governor and legislative leaders on both sides of the aisle, are expected to manage the fund like the Natural Resources Fund, making it a stable pot of money the state can draw out of for special projects years into the future.

The money came out of a recent law that allowed BCBSM to transform from a charitable trust required to be the state's only insurer of "last resort" to a nonprofit mutual company. The change was made possible due to the federal Affordable Care Act, which requires all insurance companies to act as insurers of last resort. 

Under the law, board members receive no compensation, only reimbursement for expenses incurred in performing their duties. The law provides that the money should be used to contain health care costs and improve health care quality, subsidize the cost of individual Medigap coverage to seniors who otherwise cannot afford it and aid the health and wellness of children and seniors. Funds to aid health and wellness of children and seniors must be prioritized on: access to prenatal care and reduction of infant mortality, health services for foster and adopted children, access to healthy food, wellness programs and fitness programs, access to mental health services, technology enhancements, health-related transportation needs and foodborne illness prevention.

The following were appointed to the nine-person board:

- Lynn Alexander, of Bloomfield Hills, is vice president of public affairs for Presbyterian Villages of Michigan. She also serves as president of Your Aging Well Advisor, a consulting and education firm for consumers over 50. She represents the interests of senior citizens and will serve an initial three-year term.

- Michael Williams, of Westland, is the president and CEO of Orchards Children's Services, Michigan's largest foster care and adoption agency. He has served in this capacity since 2003. He represents the interests of minor children and will serve an initial three-year term.

- Tim Damschroder, of Ann Arbor, is a member of Bodman PLC, where he heads the Business Practice Group, advising clients in matters involving mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, general business, corporate governance, securities offerings, and tax. He represents the general public and will serve an initial four-year term.

- Keith Pretty, of Midland, is president and CEO of Northwood University, a position he has held since 2006. He previously served as president and CEO of Walsh College of Accountancy and Business Administration. He represents the general public and will serve an initial four-year term.

- Rob Fowler, of Haslett, is president and CEO of the Small Business Association of Michigan. He previously worked for the Greater Cleveland Growth Association, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce and the Indiana Department of Commerce. He represents the business community and will serve an initial four-year term.

- Jim Murray, of Okemos, is president of AT&T Michigan, where he is responsible for regulatory, legislative, and external affairs, as well as community and industry relations throughout the state of Michigan. He will serve as the nominee of the Senate Majority Leader for an initial three-year term.

- Susan Jandernoa, of West Olive, taught 4th-6th graders for 30 years at East Grand Rapids Public Schools before retiring in 2004. She is a member of the Children's Leadership Council of Michigan and the Helen DeVos Children's Hospital Foundation Board of Trustees among other local charities. She will serve as the House Speaker's nominee for an initial two-year term.

- Cindy Estrada, of Whitmore Lake, is the vice president of the UAW. She was elected vice president in 2010 and is the first Latina to serve in this position. She will serve as the nominee of the Senate Minority Leader for an initial two-year term.

- Margaret Robinson, of Southgate, is the president of SEIU Healthcare Michigan. She studied at West Shore Community College. Robinson will serve as the nominee of the House Minority Leader for an initial two-year term.


State Ending FY13 with Extra Cash

State government ended the fiscal year with a tentative $150 to $200 million more than expected, but don't expect the money to be spent any time soon.  Senate Fiscal Agency (SFA) revenue numbers show that money going into the General Fund and School Aid Fund (SAF) is favorable, but SFA Chief Economist David Zin said the state must wait until some outstanding business tax credits are claimed before any solid surplus figure can be nailed down.  It's possible the claims against the old Michigan Business Tax could bring the surplus below $100 million, Zin said, but it's hard to say until December, when the credit claims for FY 2013 are due.

In the meantime, Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Roger Kahn said he's urging that the money not be touched until the books are closed. It's possible the money may just remain in the General Fund or the School Aid Fund until February 2014, when work on the FY15 budget begins.  Kahn said he would urge any FY13 surplus be used for one-time individual priorities, however, and not simply carried forever.




Path to End Government Shutdown Remains Unclear


As the federal government shutdown stretches into its third day, it remained unclear how legislators would be able to end their stalemate over the 2014 budget and the Affordable Care Act. Amidst furloughs of over 800,000 federal workers, closures of national parks and monuments, and sharply reduced government services for all but the most essential functions and programs, lawmakers appeared to make little progress in resolving their substantial differences.

The shutdown occurred at midnight October 1, as Congress failed to enact a continuing resolution that would have temporarily continued funding the federal government into the new fiscal year. For days, the continuing resolution (or CR) had ping-ponged between the House and Senate in a flurry of competing votes. The Senate Democratic leadership pushed for a “clean” CR, while House Republicans sought to add various “policy riders” that would delay or undermine the Affordable Care Act. When the chambers could not agree on a resolution by midnight, all but the most essential government operations halted.

Since the start of the shutdown, little progress has been made in resolving the deep-seated differences between the House and Senate. The majority of the House Republican caucus remains entrenched in its opposition to any funding bill that does not take a direct hit at the healthcare law. Yet, at least 20 moderate Republicans have publicly stated their support for passing a clean CR. With House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi pledging the support of the Democratic caucus, this makes a majority of House members in favor of the clean CR. However, if Speaker John Boehner goes against the wishes of the majority of his caucus in bringing a clean CR to a vote, he could risk severe political consequences within his party. Boehner instead has taken a piecemeal approach, bringing forward a series of resolutions that temporarily fund individual functions of the government (such as the National Institutes of Health and the National Park Service). Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and President Obama have insisted that they will not accept a piecemeal approach to funding the government and have called on the House to approve a clean CR before embarking on negotiations over long-term spending issues.

Further complicating the issue is the imminent approach of the debt ceiling deadline. The U.S. Treasury has announced that without an increase in the statutory debt limit, the U.S. will no longer be able to meet its financial obligations beginning October 17. Should Congress fail to lift the debt ceiling, the Treasury warned, the ensuing default would be catastrophic: “credit markets could freeze, the value of the dollar could plummet, U.S. interest rates could skyrocket, the negative spillovers could reverberate around the world, and there might be a financial crisis and recession that could echo the events of 2008 or worse.”


 MACMHB Meetings for October, 2013

(all meetings are at the MACMHB offices unless otherwise indicated)


October 8, 10:00 a.m. -        Advocacy Workgroup

October 20, 6:00 p.m.–        Executive Board Meeting, Soaring Eagle Resort

October 21 - 22 –                MACMHB Fall Conference, Soaring Eagle Resort

October 21 – 7:15am -         Provider Alliance, Soaring Eagle Resort


Have a Great Weekend!