McCall Hamilton Advocacy and Public Affairs

Updates About Public Health

MDHHS Increases Dental Benefits for Medicaid Beneficiaries

Update: Mar 27-Apr 7, 2023

On April 1, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced the start of dental benefit enhancements for adult Medicaid beneficiaries. These enhancements serve to improve access to dental services and improve health outcomes as many additional services will now be covered for adults 21 and over. The services covered include:

  • X-rays
  • Teeth cleanings
  • Fillings
  • Extractions
  • Dentures
  • Deep teeth cleanings
  • Sealants
  • Root canals
  • Crowns
  • Care to keep your gums healthy

Not only is MDHHS expanding access to services for Medicaid beneficiaries, but MDHHS is also increasing reimbursement rates for dental providers. The new rates allow providers to be paid at 100% of the Average Commercial Rate, which aims to increase the number of treated Medicaid beneficiaries.

FDA approved over the counter status for overdose drug

Update: Mar 27-Apr 7, 2023

On Wednesday March 29, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a drug used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose to be sold over the counter. Narcan, generically called naloxone, is a life-saving nasal spray that can be administered to individuals showing signs of an opioid overdose.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) shared that its OTC approval has been a priority of the department for years as it will tremendously combat the opioid crisis.

The FDA first approved Narcan in 2015 as a drug that can be sold with a prescription. Now that it can be sold over the counter, priorities for the FDA and MDHHS include making it available as soon as possible at an affordable price.

Michigan Prisons See Increase in Mental, Physical Health Caseloads

Update: Mar 27-Apr 7, 2023

Following testimony in the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Corrections, it was revealed that Michigan’s prisoner population has been steadily declining, but the mental and physical health caseload is on the rise.

About a third of Michigan’s prisoner population is currently on active mental health caseload. Approximately 446 patients are awaiting Hepatitis C treatment, while 69 patients are currently receiving treatment. The Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) adds about 11 new patients each month, spending an average of $15,122 per patient on Hepatitis C treatment. These costs are a significant portion of the MDOC budget, totaling over $300 million per year.

MDOC is also facing challenges regarding staffing, especially with corrections officers and healthcare staff. There are about 866 total corrections officer vacancies which is equivalent to about 15.3% of total corrections officers. MDOC is prioritizing staffing recruitment and retention efforts as well as combatting the increase in mental and physical health caseload.