Summary: The Costs and Benefits of Investing in Mental Health Services In Michigan

Community Mental Health Service Programs provide mental health services for Michigan residents across the state. Many persons with mental illness use the public system since many private insurance plans do not adequately cover mental health services and many residents cannot afford these services on their own. In recent years, a reduction in funding from the state government’s General Fund has resulted in fewer Michigan residents receiving mental health care services. There are people who would benefit from services but are currently not receiving them. Specifically, those on waiting lists for services, those who have a long-standing un-met need, and residents who have historically received mental health care services but are no longer receiving them due to budget cuts. The Michigan Association of Community Health Boards retained Anderson Economic Group (AEG) to conduct an independent analysis of the costs and benefits of providing mental health services to all Michigan residents who need them.

Healthcare and Life Science Industry Assessment: Oakland County, Michigan


Oakland County, Michigan, was experiencing significant new developments by healthcare and life science companies, and retained Anderson Economic Group to assess the strength of its healthcare and life science industry, and to help determine if promoting the industry through an economic development strategy would be a worthwhile effort.

To complete this assessment, we started by defining the healthcare and life science industry. The definition was composed of NAICS codes, which were assembled into eight unique industry subsectors focusing manufacturing, research, and provision of care sectors. We then analyzed employment, establishments, and payroll data for each sector, and benchmarked Oakland County with other leading counties in Michigan. We also assessed workforce and education information, including occupational patterns, educational attainment, and university programs and degrees in healthcare and life science disciplines.

After assessing the current state of the industry and workforce, we next identified current investments and projects by healthcare and life science industry stakeholders. We then conducted a more detailed analysis of selected projects, including new training programs at a regional hospital, the economic impact of building and operating a proton beam cancer-treatment facility, and the economic impact of a new medical school at Oakland University.

We concluded our analysis by projecting industry employment levels from 2006 to 2018. Our employment projection model included a trend scenario, which assumed no initiative to expand the industry beyond natural demand levels, and a potential scenario, which assumed a county-directed initiative to promote the county and leverage its healthcare and life science assets.

The findings of our analysis were included in a 75-page report, complete with detailed data tables, employment projections, and methodological notes. The findings were also presented at a September 24, 2008 press conference in Oakland County, during which our CEO Patrick L. Anderson and Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson presented the findings to the media and industry stakeholders. These findings have also been used by the county to create an industry recruitment taskforce and strategy.

Role of Blue Cross in Michigan's Health Insurance Market

The Coalition for Access and Affordability in Michigan (CAAM) commissioned Anderson Economic Group to complete an independent analysis of the special role played by Blue Cross in the Michigan health insurance market. In particular, we were commissioned to: review the Michigan health insurance market, identify the specific statutory mission of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) within that market, and to estimate, where data are available, the benefits and the burdens that result from the company’s activities under the current statutory mission.

As recently introduced legislation would change the relative burdens of Blue Cross and commercial insurers, it is informative to look at BCBSM’s historic role in the Michigan health in surance market, the original rationale for its unique tax benefit, and the costs and benefits of fulfilling its mission today. This paper looks at all of these areas to assess the impact of pending legislation.