Governor signs Booher bill to help improve mental health services

LANSING?Legislation sponsored by Sen. Darwin Booher to help improve mental health services was signed on Tuesday by Gov. Rick Snyder.

Booher’s bill, now Public Act 266 of 2014, allows community mental health (CMH) service programs to partner with health care providers such as hospitals, health systems and physician groups to better provide services to mental health patients.

“This is about better access to important care – especially in our rural areas – by permitting community mental health programs to have an active participation in the total treatment of patients,” said Booher, R-Evart. “The coordination of all essential medical and behavioral care will be done more easily and at a benefit to health care consumers and taxpayers.”

Centra Wellness Network Executive Director Chip Johnston and Benzie County Commission Chair Don Tanner both testified before the House and Senate Health Policy committees about the need to enhance mental health care services.

Under PA 266, a CMH services program will be able to partner with entities that provide and/or manage health care and rehabilitative services for purposes directly related to fulfilling the general health, welfare and service obligations of the programs.

The new law is supported by the Mental Health Association of Michigan and will go into effect in 90 days.

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