Sen. MacGregor’s bills improving payment for foster care services signed at ceremony

LANSING, Mich. — A formal bill signing ceremony was held on Tuesday for Senate Bills 529 and 530, sponsored by Sen. Peter MacGregor.

The laws improve the reimbursement process from the state’s Child Care Fund, fixing slow payments to counties and nonprofit organizations that serve foster children throughout Michigan.

The Child Care Fund pays for costs associated with foster care, child welfare and juvenile justice services. Previously, the payment system consisted of a 50-50 cost sharing model between the state and counties for reimbursement of services, in which the counties would pay providers and the state would pay the counties. This system led to delayed reimbursements, among other problems.

Senate Bills 529 and 530 establish a state-pays-first model to transition from and replace the local pay and reimbursement model, to ensure prompt payments to service providers. The laws also establish an expanded list of direct costs that can be reimbursed. Additionally, the laws establish an administrative appeals process for reimbursement disputes.

“These reforms have made the system more efficient and have clarified the reimbursement process,” said MacGregor, R-Rockford. “I am proud of the work that has been put into this legislation over the past two years to help remedy this reimbursement issue. It is helping to ensure that our foster children receive the care they deserve.”

The bills became Public Acts 21-22 of 2018 on Feb. 14.

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Photo caption: Sen. Peter MacGregor, R-Rockford, and Gov. Rick Snyder pose for a photo after the governor signed Senate Bills 529 and 530. The laws improve the payment process for services provided by organizations taking care of foster children in Michigan.