MARQUETTE - The NorthCare Network has established itself as its own independent regional entity, separate from Pathways Community Mental Health, of which it was a part since NorthCare began operating in the U.P. in 2002.
The NorthCare Network is a Prepaid Inpatient Health Plan contracted by the state of Michigan to provide and disburse Medicaid dollars to community providers of health services such as Pathways for severe mental illness, emotional disturbances, developmental disabilities and substance abuse problems.
The change has been made to reflect new requirements from the Michigan Department of Community Health regarding the separation of "the managing entity from a provider entity," according to a NorthCare press release dated Jan. 2.
At left is Pathways Community Mental Health building in Marquette. The NorthCare Network, formerly a part of Pathways, has now been established as an independent regional entity to facilitate the disbursal of Medicaid dollars for mental illness, developmental disabilities and substance abuse problems. (Journal photo by Christie Bleck)
The MDCH and the NorthCare Network "believe that creating a separate entity will allow NorthCare Network greater flexibility to focus on the mission of 'ensuring every Medicaid and Adults Benefits Waiver recipient receives quality specialty mental health and substance use disorder services and supports through responsible management of regional resources,'" the press release went on to state.
NorthCare officials said local community mental health authorities "will continue to provide behavior health services and there are no changes to the current service array."
As an independent entity, NorthCare will be run by a governance board comprised of 15 members, three from each of the five community mental health authorities in the U.P. The board has newly elected Karen Raether, of Northpointe Behavioral Healthcare Systems, as board chair; James Moore, of Hiawatha Behavioral Health, as vice chair; and William Davie, of Pathways, as board secretary. NorthCare Network's chief executive officer is William Slavin.
Zach Jay can be reached at 906-486-4401.