Michigan Mental Health Integration Partnership

Michigan Mental Health Integration Partnership aims to improve physical + mental health services for state residents

Many people living with mental illness – and serious mental illness in particular – also live with multiple medical comorbidities (cardiovascular disease risk factors being #1) that require medical management. Yet there are many acute unmet needs for mental health services within primary care, and vice versa.

“The healthcare system is not really designed to offer one-stop shopping for these individuals,” IHPI member Amy Kilbourne, Ph.D., M.P.H., a professor of psychiatry in the U-M Medical School, explains.

Kilbourne has been widely recognized for her research on the implementation of integrated physical and mental health care strategies. As director of the Michigan Mental Health Integration Partnership (MIP), she is intent on advancing ideas to transform evidence-based treatments into community practice that can help fill some of these gaps in care among underserved populations.

A collaboration between the U-M Department of Psychiatry and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the goal of MIP is to implement and evaluate innovative programs to improve physical and mental health services for Michigan residents. MIP is a public-private partnership funded in part by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and administered through the state.

U-M investigators seeking to expand or initiate integrated care implementation or evaluation projects who can offer up university, foundation/gift, or other non-Federal funding support have the potential to receive dollar-for-dollar Medicaid matched funds through the program (federal funding sources are not eligible for matching).

Some examples of initiatives currently receiving matched funds: implementation of school-based cognitive-behavioral therapy for students across Michigan schools; evaluation of the Infant Mental Health-Home Visiting model; development and evaluation of a new support program to help new fathers enhance family engagement and parenting skills in Wayne County, MI; and scale-up and spread of peer support and self-management IT tools to enhance collaborative care for mood disorders.

The CMS match program is based on Section 1903 of the Social Security Act and was implemented between the State of Michigan and the University of Michigan in 2006 as a way to involve U-M researchers in the implementation and evaluation of potential high impact for Medicaid populations, and has also attracted the interest of foundations as a way to further their community work.

“The goal was to better integrate mental health and physical health services for individuals who might be served by Medicaid, and also to support and inform new Medicaid policies or innovative care models designed to improve mental and physical health outcomes for Michigan residents,” explains Kilbourne.

Kilbourne notes that it is not just individuals enrolled in Medicaid who potentially benefit from the work supported by the MIP program, but anyone who receives care in a treatment setting that serves Medicaid enrollees – which in the Affordable Care Act-era is a vastly expanded landscape.

Kilbourne sees the program as entrepreneurial. “We look for the best ideas that come to us through our department, through our investigators who bring to the table not only opportunities for matched funding because they received foundation grants, but also bring connections with front line providers,” she says. “The foundations like it because they can match what they’re doing one-to-one and they see it as a public/private partnership. The university likes it because it fosters more research, and the state likes it because they can get innovative models of care out to the communities.”

“I think that's where our strength in the match program is – it's really about implementing innovative models of care for these individuals through creative partnerships.”

Kilbourne encourages any health services researchers with an interest in integrated care to consider the program, which accepts applications three times a year. She notes the program is fairly broad in defining “integrated care,” and urges investigators with a focus on primary care to think about opportunities to conduct a secondary project of the same work in a mental health type population, for example, and vice versa.

“We're willing to match if there's an angle that has to do with integrated care to help expand mental health care access to underserved populations, or medical care access to persons with chronic mental disorders,” she says. “We want to get the investigators to help us think outside the box because oftentimes they have the best ideas.”

For more information on the MIP program, please contact the MIP team at: mipprogram@umich.edu


Call for Michigan Integration Partnership (MIP) Match Funding Submissions

Interested in receiving matched funding?

  • Do you have a project that focuses on physical or mental health services for individuals receiving mental health services, or integrated mental health services across traditionally underserved settings?
  • Does your project address or inform needs of Michigan’s Medicaid or Medicaid-eligible population beyond a single setting/practice?
  • Can your project objectives be accomplished within one year?
  • Does your project involve implementation and/or evaluation activities that are NOT considered research?
  • Does the source of matched funding come from a non-federal grant or fund?(e.g., Department, Foundation, gift money, other)

If you answered yes to these questions, then you may be eligible for matched funding through MIP. Please contact the MIP team at mipprogram@umich.edu for more information about the program, project eligibility, and submission process.