Lisa Williams, executive director for West Michigan Community Mental Health (CMH), described to the Mason County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday her concerns about the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) switching public behavioral health payers.

Williams was delivering her annual report during the board’s regular July meeting at the Mason County Courthouse.

Williams said the state is changing the organization that local community mental health centers contract with to get Medicaid dollars to people who use CMH services in Mason, Lake and Oceana counties. The state has decided to end its agreement with the Lakeshore Regional Entity (LRE) and instead is going to contract with Beacon Health Options.

The MDHHS has cited years of financial deficits as the reason for terminating the agreement with the LRE and replacing it with a new pre-paid inpatient health plan by Beacon Health Options. Williams said the issue is not as much about management of money, but more about lack of funding.

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The Managing Editor for the Ludington Daily News since June 2018 and on the staff since Oct. 2011, taking over for legendary Lloyd Wallace. Previously with The Chippewa Herald in Chippewa Falls, Wis., and the Tuscola County Advertiser in Caro.