MI Health Link Ombudsman
The MI Health Link Ombudsman (MHLO) serves as an advocate and problem-solver for beneficiaries enrolled in MI Health Link. All of our services are free, and we keep all beneficiary information confidential. We can:
- Answer questions about MI Health Link
- Help solve problems with care, services, and benefits
- Connect beneficiaries to other resources
- Assist with grievances and appeals, and
- File complaints
We also work with health plans, Pre-Paid Inpatient Health Plans (that offer behavioral health services), the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and the federal government to spot issues, identify best practices, and offer solutions that will help make the MI Health Link program work better for beneficiaries.
MHLO is a project of the Michigan Elder Justice Initiative and our partners at the Counsel and Advocacy Law Line, two free legal services programs for low income Michiganians. We provide most of our assistance to beneficiaries through both a toll-free hotline and through email responses to questions and problems.
Read more about the MI Health Link Ombudsman here.
The MHLO is funded by a grant from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
The Advocates’ Guide to the MI Health Link Program
With funding from the Michigan Disability Rights Coalition, MEJI created the on-line Advocates’ Guide to the MI Health Link program. MI Health Link provides a full range of health care, long term care, and behavioral health services to individuals who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid in four regions of the state. The Advocates’ Guide will help advocates, consumers, and service providers navigate the new program and will continue to be updated as MI Health Link evolves.
The most up-to-date version of the guide can be viewed here.
Michigan Long Term Care Ombudsman Program (MLTCOP)
On October 1, 2016, the Michigan Elder Justice Initiative was pleased to assume responsibility for the Michigan Long Term Care Ombudsman Program, formerly housed in the Aging and Adult Services Agency within the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. MLTCOP advocates on behalf of more than 100,000 residents of nursing homes, homes for the aged, and adult foster care facilities. The program both oversees the work of 20 local long term care ombudsman who work directly with residents in need of assistance across the state and engages in systemic advocacy to promote the rights and dignity of long term care consumers. To request the assistance of a long term care ombudsman, call 1-866-485-9393 toll-free. For more information about the MLTCOP, please call 517-827-8010 or visit our website, mltcop.org.
Local Ombudsman Contracts
Under contracts with Tri-County Office on Aging and Region 2 Area Agency on Aging, MEJI houses the local long term care ombudsman program for Ingham, Eaton, Clinton, Jackson, Hillsdale, and Lenawee Counties. In Ingham, Eaton, and Clinton counties, the local ombudsman also has a contract to provide education on elder abuse prevention.
The Long Term Care Ombudsman Program was created to help address the quality of care and quality of life of residents of licensed long term care facilities (nursing facilities, homes for the aged, and adult foster care). It works to improve the long term care system, to represent residents, and to monitor the development of federal, state, and local laws, regulations and policies. The Ombudsman Program is authorized in the Older Americans Act and the Older Michiganians Act.
Elder Abuse Prevention Grant
In Spring 2016, MEJI wrote and distributed the first in a series of newsletters for direct care workers in nursing homes providing information on preventing elder abuse and promoting excellence in caring. The first newsletter focused on the Elder Justice Act in response to requests from nursing home administrators and their staff as well as how to report suspected elder abuse. Subsequent newsletters have focused on emotional abuse, less obvious forms of physical abuse, financial exploitation, and the uses and misuses of social media. Our most current newsletter talks about the devastating physical and emotional effects of social isolation and loneliness as well as their role in elder abuse and neglect. Read the most current newsletter here. For past editions of the newsletter, please go to this link.
In Spring of 2017, MEJI launched a training on the recognition, reporting, and prevention of elder abuse. There are 2 hour, 4 hour, and 7 hour training options available. Each training addresses the same core topics with the opportunity to expand on different sections in the 4 hour and 7 hour training options. The training is interactive and fun. To date, MEJI has trained 459 people in frontline caregiving positions. The trainings consistently received great reviews from participants who found them rewarding and informative. In addition to having lots of good information, the training is designed to promote team buildng and comradery. The training is free. If you are interested in having one or attending one, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Elder Abuse Prevention Grant is funded by the State of Michigan through the Aging and Adult Services Agency and the Tri-County Aging Consortium (Tri-County Office on Aging).
Crime Victims Legal Assistance Project - Elder Justice (CVLAP-EJ)
Under a grant from the federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA), MEJI is delighted to participate in a new program to provide free civil legal assistance to victims of elder abuse. The Crime Victims Legal Assistance Project -- Elder Justice will provide a broad array of legal services to promote older adults’ safety, security, and dignity including obtaining protection orders, connecting older adults to public benefits and services, seeking to recover funds and property lost as the result of fraud or exploitation, challenging negligent or abusive guardians, evicting abusers who live with their victims, and addressing abuse in institutions. The project will have ten staff attorneys housed in legal services offices across the state. Clients age 55 and older may receive help whether or not the abuse, neglect or exploitation they suffered was reported to the police or resulted in criminal prosecution. The project is now hiring staff attorneys; further information will be available as soon as the new attorneys are in place. For more information on the project, please contact Supervising Attorney Rebecca Ellis at 734-998-6100 x 122.
Michigan Voices for Better Health
MEJI partnered with the Michigan Disability Rights Coalition to promote consumer-focused policies and practices in the development and implementation of MI Health Link, Michigan’s Integrated Care for Dual Eligibles demonstration project. This project advocated for and with individuals who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid in the four demonstration regions of the state. MEJI is grateful for funding to support this work from Atlantic Philanthropies and for technical assistance and support from Community Catalyst.
On-line Elder Abuse Training for Legal Services Lawyers
Under a contract from the United States Department of Justice Office of Victims of Crime, MEJI partnered with the National Center for Abuse in Later Life to create on-line training for legal services lawyers on elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation. The first four (of six) modules are now available by registering at https://www.ovcttac.gov/views/dspLegalAssistance.cfm?tab+1#onlinetraining for the on-line elder abuse training for legal services providers.