Jeff Foxworthy, Michigan-style

Remember the Jeff Foxworthy jokes that started with, “You might be a redneck if …”?

Claiming the percentage of my heritage that qualifies as redneck, I loved Foxworthy’s humor. But it wasn’t funny this week when MDHHS did its own variation of the redneck joke with special needs.

Your healthcare might be overregulated if …

MDHHS offers an entire online course on its website just to explainspecial needs Children’s Special Health Care Services (CSHCS), one of its many programs.

Yesterday, MDHHS announced a webinar to teach CSHCS users how to appeal insurance denials.

Although some of its users have private insurance, CSHCS makes a point of noting its expanded criteria for Medicaid, telling participants how to enroll in Medicaid, and explaining that Medicaid Health Plans take responsibility for care.

Unspoken is the open secret any doctor’s office will tell you: of all health insurance denials to fight, Medicaid is the worst.

And of course, Medicaid is also run by MDHHS.

See how we just came full circle there?

To summarize:

MDHHS is making rules, applying its rules, and helping people fight its rules.

Simultaneously, this MDHHS class is teaching people how to fight other state rules for private health insurance – those created by the Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS).

In addition, MDHHS is cross-promoting its Medicaid program to its CSHCS participants.

You really can’t make this stuff up.

It’s a one-stop shop, if you will. These state policies blur the lines between public and private, using state and federal resources to compete within the sphere it regulates.

The impact is real for special-needs children and families. Not only are their choices unclear, they certainly don’t face a level playing field. And to care for them, clinicians face a plethora of rules and murky billing procedures.

Now that Michigan legislators are out of session until 2024, perhaps they have time for some good constituent conversations. Excessive state healthcare regulation seems like a great place to begin.

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