Alpena supports funding plan for mental health services

Alpena County is behind a proposal that would change the way it pays for mental health services.

Under the change, the county would be billed a set amount each year for community-based and state inpatient services provided through the Michigan Community Mental Health Authority.  In the past, the health authority would bill its member counties for services at the end of each year, making it difficult for those counties to set a budget.

A similar proposal failed a number of years ago because not all counties signed on to the billing practice.

In addition to Alpena, the local health authority provides services for Alcona, Montmorency and Presque Isle counties.  Alcona and Presque Isle commissioners have also approved the new proposal.  Montmorency County Commissioners must also approve it or the proposal will not be implemented.

Alpena County would pay roughly $54,000 a year for state inpatient services under the proposal; and another $95,000 for community-based services. 

The money spent by each county is only a local match required by the State of Michigan.