Starting Sept. 1, survivors of former doctor Larry Nassar seeking reimbursement from Michigan State University for counseling and mental health services will be supported by a new fund administrator. New Directions Behavioral Health is an independent behavioral health services company selected by the MSU Board of Trustees to administer the Counseling and Mental Health Services Fund.
“Having a dependable administrative oversight for reimbursement of counseling and mental health services has been a priority for the board since the beginning of the year. We appreciate the patience and time to get this done right,” said Dianne Byrum, chairperson of the MSU Board of Trustees. “New Directions Behavioral Health has extensive experience in this area so they will be able to provide excellent support to survivors and minimize any chance of fraud. We continue to encourage survivors to seek out the support and counseling services they need.”
The fund will be accessible to those who received treatment from Nassar at an MSU health clinic, or as an MSU student-athlete, as well as their parents. As part of this newly established fund, support is also available for those survivors’ spouses.
Due to the switch in fund administrators, there is also now a time requirement for submitting claims. Reimbursement requests for eligible services received between Jan. 1, 2018 and Aug. 31, 2019 must be submitted no later than Dec. 1, 2019. Reimbursement requests for eligible services received on or after Sept. 1, 2019 must be submitted within 365 days from the date of service.
This fund does not require survivors to make any changes in their providers as long as they are licensed mental health professionals. Approximately $8 million remains of the initial $10 million allocation.
Full details along with a link to the New Directions Behavioral Health webpage with instructions for submitting reimbursement will be available on the Our Commitment website on Sept. 1.
First established as the Healing Assistance Fund in January 2018 with Commonwealth Mediation & Conciliation, Inc. as the fund administrator, the $10 million fund was frozen in July 2018 during an investigation of possible fraudulent claims. The fund was later closed by then Interim President John Engler. In January 2019, the trustees instructed the university to establish an intermediate fund during the search for a new fund administrator. Charges related to the fraud were filed in May 2019.