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MDHHS seeks advice on Health Disparities in Medicaid’s Home and Community-Based Services

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The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is seeking advice on ways to improve health equity in home and community-based services.

The department is forming advisory committees with dollars from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund.

“MDHHS wants to hear from stakeholders as the department works to continue to improve healthy equity,” said Kate Massey. “Health equity means that everyone has a fair and just chance to be healthy. That happens when every person can attain their full health potential. This means that who you are or where you live will not stop you from being healthy. Health inequities can make it harder to find health care, shorten a life, lower quality of life, and contribute to higher rates of disease, disability and death.”

These committees will examine what causes health inequities for people who need services and will suggest changes so it is easier for everyone to get those needed services.

Advisory committees will provide a way for people to share ideas on health equity in the following MDHHS Medicaid programs – Home Help, MI Choice, Home Health, MI Health Link and Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly programs. People receiving services from these programs are invited to apply, along with family members, guardians, advocates and community partners who are familiar with the programs.

There will be a statewide advisory committee as well as separate county-specific committees for people who work or live in the counties of Chippewa, Grand Traverse, Kalamazoo and Wayne. The goal is to increase the use of home and community-based services by removing barriers to equitable access.

The Statewide Health Equity Advisory Committee will:

  • Review county data to learn how the findings affect statewide access.
  • Look for gaps in data.
  • Decide if the project should include more counties.
  • Propose a statewide plan to address health inequities.
  • Make suggestions to the county advisory teams.

Review MDHHS messages about home and community-based services.

County Health Equity Advisory Committees will:

  • Review county data to learn how the findings affect access.
  • Look for gaps in data.
  • Review messages and surveys to send to people to get more data.
  • Identify how MDHHS can get information about the public’s knowledge of services.
  • Identify how to get information about the public’s experiences with services.
  • Identify people who can help gather data on health equity.
  • Make suggestions on county-level ideas to improve heath equity.

MDHHS would like the advisory committees to include a diverse group with people who receive services and others who are familiar with the home and community-based services. Those who want to be considered for the Statewide or County Health Equity Advisory Committees can submit an application via email to MDHHS-HASA-HCBSHealthEquity@michigan.gov or by completing an online application.

Applications must be received by April 30.

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