Public Health Laboratories and Health System Change . Actively Manage Activities of MCOs through Contracts

10/06/1997

One option for future PHL positioning is to use state procurement vehicles to delineate different roles and responsibilities for key laboratory stakeholders. Michigan is using the Medicaid contracting process to define a constructive relationship between PHLs and MCOs that contract with the state. The approach entails identifying policy priorities (e.g., disease surveillance and reporting); specifying core roles for each segment of the public health department; and stipulating areas of, and processes for, interaction between the MCOs and the various public health entities. This is an activist role for the state, but one that appears to be palatable to the private sector, provided that the state is clear and reasonable about requirements.