Thursday, November 12, 2015

Six Years Later Family Care Residents US Mail is still diverted by management of family care homes : Plus ça Change, Plus C'est la Même Chose

Just as six year ago, when I bought a formal complaint against a different family care home, which has since changed its name, the very same thing happened November, 2015: this time, a (former) client's certified US Mail from myself, the same two page letter sent to the client's guardian and DSS Buncombe employees and the Director of Buncombe DSS, was diverted/ taken by the family care home manager.

There was no resolution of that matter six years ago.  Six years ago, I advised DSS Buncombe and Department of Health Service Regulation (DHSR) representatives which oversees  family care homes in NC as per the formal face to face meeting at DSS Buncombe that if the manager of that home badgered me during the meeting  on March 16, 2009,  I would walk out of the room.  I was badgered and hollered at by that manager of the family care home six years ago and so I got up and left.

 I imagine this will again occur even though this is a NC statute is state law:

10A NCAC 13G .0906 OTHER resident SERVICES

(1) Residents shall receive their mail promptly and it must be unopened unless there is a written, witnessed request authorizing management staff to open and read mail to the resident. This request must be recorded on Form DSS‑1865, the Resident Register or the equivalent;


Here was the letter I received from DSS Buncombe after that first investigation:

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

WNC (Family Care) Homes: DSS Buncombe finds rule violation as re: mental health client re: opening of private mail   

Letter from Buncombe County DSS, April 3, 2009:

"Dear Dr. Hammond:

This letter is being written in response to your complaint received on 3.24.09 regarding WNC FCH #7. All of the allegations were thoroughly reviewed at the time of the investigation. Rule violation(s) were found and DSS will be monitoring these areas. Should you have any questions about the investigation, please contact me at 775 2956, Sincerely, Marsha Cox, Adult Homes Specialist."

So, here we go again: I am filing yet another DHSR complaint about exactly the same matter: the lack of privacy associated with sending a US Mail letter (this time it was certified in order to see who would sign on the other end: the manager of the former client's family care home----not the client's guardian----signed the certified return receipt----with it returning to me 5 days later than the US Mail indicated it would). I know: I tracked the letter. 

My, how that family care home manager must have sat and wondered what to do.  But probably not. They pretty much do whatever they want to do.  Family care home residents have no rights. They do not receive appropriate medical care (a complaint I bought up to the client's guardians; they simply stated that the family care home was 'getting an appointment.'). I had already reported drug diversion of narcotics and Vistaril prescribed to the client to Cathy Beatty of DSS Buncombe who advised me that Chase Samaritan is investigated several times/ week. 

It is unethical as a psychologist to allow even a former client's rights to be completely obliterated. I say "former" as the manager of the home Chase Samaritan, in Asheville, NC, Annette Jones, the signer of the certified US Mail addressed specifically to the client and the client's room, advised me the last time I saw the client that I could not come back on the property.  I did not argue with her. For, client's have no rights as regards family care homes and their own health care. 

Ms. Jones  had apparently consulted with a Polk County DSS worker who organized the removal of this client's own guardianship. For, that Polk County DSS worker called me a day before I saw the client for the last time---at the request of the client-----angrily and demeaningly speaking to me as to whether I had absconded with the former client's Social Security checks as the former client had opted to have the SSDI checks sent to my residence as I already knew of instances of mail diversion by family care home administrators. I suggested to her that she was welcome to subpoena my banking accounts as the client was exclusively in charge of how the money was spent and where it was.

It was the client's money, a check issued in the client's name,  and I knew of a history of diversion of mail by family care home managers. The client indicated that: (1) personal belongings from the farm which was owned by the client in Polk County were at an undisclosed location, a troubling matter as the recently deceased father of the client had been reportedly paying the bill for the storage of antiques, clothes, and jewelry. 

The client stated many times to me: "What does the state of NC want from me? They have taken everything." The Polk county DSS worker wanted to know if the client had received any inheritance money, and I advised her that the client and I had attempted to contact the clerk of the court of the client's father without obtaining any information  Indeed: the client has no privacy and no rights. Any question can be asked and answers demanded by aggressive and rude people who use their authority to attempt to subjugate others.

  SSDI checks coming through the US Mail are clearly marked with the US Treasury return address and would be believed to be checks by any US citizen.  I assumed the family care home would take the client's money without the permission of the client and that they would do such was borne out by the taking of the certified return mail by the Chase Samaritan manager, Annette Jones.

The guardians had every right and justification to ask the client about monies received.  I, as the psychologist, was not the money manager in any way. There was a signed consent allowing me to speak to the local guardians. I did many times regarding concerns associated with the lack of health care of the client.  The guardians never asked me about financial matters. But I felt very strongly and justifiably  that family care home managers would readily and easily divert money.

Moreover, when the client offered, as per the client's testimony to me when the client called me on my cell phone upon realizing I had been dismissed from the property, to pay the balance of what was owed to the family care home, the client was advised that the family care home would not accept the money except if the client got into the car of a Buncombe DSS worker, something the client explained as not acceptable, assumably as the client did not trust DSS Buncombe workers. For, you see, the local guardian had already searched the client's belongings---with the client's 'permission', of course.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Wuthering Blights: Medicare & It's PECOS Adminstrative System

"Will no one rid me of this troublesome PECOS System associated with administrating Medicare" (sorry: mixing authors' voices to a maddening degree):


PECOS: Welcome to he Medicare Provider Enrollment, Chain-PECOS (welcome to hell)

For the past two months I have been attempting to simply LOG ON to PECOS in order to change some basic information associated with my Medicare Provider information.  For instance, they have the wrong fax number.  Think you can change that? NAH. They have a 12 yr old address listed (which is part of why I am stuck in this nightmare of revalidating my 12 year old Medicare provider application: they sent it to a 12 yr old address) Since July 21, 2015, I have not been paid.  Why? Because Medicare (CMS: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services ) utilizes an administrative system undoubtedly created by some private, blood-sucking entity sucking off the government tit, PECOS. Taking a deep breath in today, I said to myself: OK, self, you can do this.  You can spend however long it takes to try and log-on to PECOS and figure out WHEN THE HELL IS MY REVALIDATION AS A MEDICARE PROVIDER GOING TO BE IN SOME OTHER CATEGORY OTHER THAN "BEING PROCESSED" by Palmetto GBA in Columbia, SC, which processed NC Medicare claims. I pulled over to the Ingles Grocery Store in Waynesville, NC, drug up the
internet connection associated with the in-store Starbucks, and ran up
against yet another barrier: an endless loop of "I accept"

So, I went across the street to McDonald's to use their internet connection
whereupon I YET AGAIN called CMS's EUS (External User Services)
telephone number to happen upon some young sounding upstart who
suspected me of being an interloper because what "doctor" would be working
at a McDonald's? Ssssshhh, he said: don't tell me your password: someone may
be listening.

I found this terribly amusing given that no one has the ability or inclination
to flop around in the PECOS system.

And so I got my ID and password straight, as I figured he was only trouble,
plugged into my car charger, and tried to understand the non-drop down
PECOS boxes which would give no answers.

Later on this day, I went to a different computer to find that my password,
 "medicaresux3" no longer worked.

Sigh: I wrote to EUS asking them if they had an issue with my password and
maintaining that I wished to file a grievance against the young man who
demanded my NPI (online for everyone to see: 1194700591).  Erstwhile saver of
PECOS/ Medicare passwords had earlier run
away from the phone to consult with some freaking person as to why
would a "doctor" be at a McDonald's.

I'm following up on this.

Bernie Sanders: please give us a well managed one payer system. Rid us of this
troublesome beast.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Cannabis Did Not Kill Chris Kyle: "Wet" Did

"It's DRUGS!", I whispered, to the Erath County D.A.  Alan Nash, the D.A. acted like he had a can of whup-ass in his back pocket as he gave me thirty seconds of his time. 
If guns don't kill people, then I feel pretty sure I can say that "wet" killed Chris Kyle.  "Wet" is cannabis laced with formaldehyde or another organic solvent. 
On day four of the mid-February, 2015 trial, of Eddie Ray Routh, a Marine corporal with an honorable discharge, whom two years ago murdered Chris Kyle of American Sniper  fame and his friend Chad Littlefield, Kyle drove his own killer to a shooting range which Kyle had designed at a local posh resort where rooms go for $1200/ night. 
After Routh's conviction, Nash maintained: "The guy is a doper...We are talking about hard-core cannabis abuse." 
Routh’s mother, an assistant teacher at the grammar school, where Kyle’s children attended school, begged him to help her son whose behavior had become more and more erratic since returning from the Service.  He promised her he would.  Thus, did he come to pick up Eddie Ray Routh during the middle of a Saturday afternoon in February, 2013. He had never met him before.  Assumeably, they shared a diagnosis of PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  However, as it came to be established, without a “T” there is no PTSD.  And Routh’s military records revealed no record of trauma that could have prompted such a mental illness. 
As per his history, Routh was a “doper” and a heavy drinker of alcohol, but what kind of cannabis? Routh admitted to the Texas Ranger who interviewed him after the high-speed chase February, 2, 2013, when Kyle’s stolen black Ford F-350 pick-up apparently ran out of gas, that he had been smoking “wet.” This is cannabis laced with formaldehyde, so named as it is difficult to light even after it has been dried.  It causes psychosis; its effects last for days at a time; it is highly carcinogenic; and, it was used to lace bathtub gin during the American Prohibition in order to give illegal spirits an extra kick.  It is stated that it catapults the smoker to a tremendous high. Smoking it provides a bigger high than drinking it and drinking it can kill you. 
Cannabis does not drive someone to threaten suicide and homicide, something Routh had done several times; sweat profusely, completely soaking your clothes though you are sitting quietly; hide in the laundry room for hours at a time; stare at a wall catatonically, walk aimlessly through the streets shirtless and shoeless; run rabidly out the door hollering at your girlfriend in the waiting car, “Go, go, go!”; hold swords in a rather threatening manner in your girlfriend’s apartment, blocking the exits; experience olfactory hallucinations of feces and men’s cologne just prior to murdering two men; avoid eating meat (Kyle ordered burgers on the way to the shooting range for everyone in the pick-up; Routh remarked: “Are you going to just keep eating this shit?”); think that co-workers at the cabinet shop are going to impale you on a spit and cook you; and, kill people in cold blood.  Adulterated cannabis, laced with formaldehyde or PCP or some other organic solvent compound, easily available substances, can induce such behaviors.  Assumeably, if you cannot get good weed, you spike it. 
During the two week trial, guns were everywhere.  The 100-seat courtroom had at least 15 pistol ready sheriff deputies and Texas Rangers with pressed jeans chewing smokeless tobacco, wearing cowboy boots. On the Friday of the second week of the trial, the judge wryly commented, upon not being able to view the activities of Nash as he plugged in his laptop, that the unusual behavior made him nervous.  

One of the defense’s expert witnesses, Jack Randall Price, PhD, admonished the court that the levels of THC have increased from the 1980’s levels of 5% in marijuana to present day----should you choose such a potency---of 15%.  It’s still marijuana or cannabis.  Smoke a lot and you just go to sleep.  Yes, you can sometimes experience some paranoia but it is the kind that makes you lock your doors and pull the covers over your head.  I speculated that the District Attorney and the expert witness had perhaps never smoked any significant amount of weed.  
As a psychologist, whenever I am not able to discern why someone is not improving in terms of their mental health, inclusive of psychiatric medication follow-up, and if I have been working myself to the point of despair, I have learned to start looking for substance abuse.  It could be alcohol which is determinedly contributing to depression, as it is a depressogenic.  It could be crack that is causing my client to try and bite his girlfriend’s nose off her face.  Maybe its heroin that has become someone’s lover, rather than a spouse.  Heroin is now cheaper than any of the narcotics prescribed by physicians, drugs about which the Drug Enforcement Agency has badgered physicians.  You meet your pusher on your lunch hour, heat up the spoon, draw up the narc, spring back to work, and the only clue to usage is that your pupils don’t dilate when you are in a dark room.  Or maybe your husband spots the blood running down your arm as you exit the shower.  
Routh received no blood test when he was arrested.  He had no psychiatric evaluation though only one week earlier he had been dismissed from the Dallas Veteran’s Administration (VA) psychiatric unit----against the wishes of his mother with whom he lived.  There were no VA psychologists or psychiatrists on the stand during Routh’s trial.  
Astoundingly, Routh was awarded the coveted VA Service Connection after the murder of the two men.  He had attempted to obtain it several times, even checking the symptom of “Erectile Dysfunction” which quite assuredly created the presentation of an exaggerator.  Even the VA could not argue with the lack of mental soundness of a man who would murder two people.  Routh was awarded $30,000 in back-pay related to his appeals as well as approximately $3600/ month which quite probably was picked up by the Erath County Jail.  When the judge, Jason Cashon, heard this fact, he quickly dismissed the jury, and in a quietly withering manner, advised Routh’s mother than the money which she had assumeably used as a down payment on a house was to be paid to her son’s defense team, court appointed.  She indicated that she had protected the money.  Cashon looked exasperated. 
Quite obviously, when the local celebrity, Kyle, who reportedly fought Jessie Ventura, another Navy vet, during a Navy SEAL reunion during which they may have come to blows (Ventura sued Kyle’s estate successfully for $1.8 million; Kyle was dead when the judgment was declared) and told reporter Michael J. Mooney of D Magazine that he had murdered two guys trying to carjack his truck in 2010, he was admired as a patriot, self-less and self-made son of Texas.  His fame was such that for two hundred miles from Stephenville to Austin, where he was buried, people stood by the freeway and fire trucks hung American flags over the interstate as the white hearse passed. 
Quite possibly, Kyle saw himself as invincible.  
Kyle was murdered just after he had emptied his gun of ammo and after Littlefield was shot, a man with no gun, standing vigilant, watching Kyle’s “six”---a matter which they discussed via text as Routh became more and more nervous in the back seat of the pick-up sitting next to five long guns, pistols,and ammo.  Routh had contemplated shooting them as they drove the ninety miles to the shooting range but figured there would be a terrible accident which would have resulted in death or injury to him also. 
The night before, Routh had proposed to his girlfriend, Jen Weed, on bended knee and then the next morning after a night of poor to no sleep and fixing breakfast at 2 am, he told her to get lost, “go eat a peanut” (she was deathly allergic to peanuts).  After he had  murdered the two men, Routh drove Kyle’s pick-up to his sister’s house where he dazedly told her he had traded his soul for a pick-up…that it had been a matter of killing them or he was going to be killed.  
No one in law enforcement in Erath County, Texas, wanted to get anywhere near a psychiatric diagnosis. There is no temporary insanity provision in Texas.  However, there was a famous murder trial of Paretti, a raving mad schizophrenic whom in the early 1990’s, was allowed to represent himself dressed in a cowboy suit.  He has been sitting on death row for two decades associated with appeal after appeal; he was very obviously mentally ill and quite assuredly schizophrenic.  Less than 1% of capital murder trials result in guilty by reason of insanity. There was no way that the Erath County D.A.’s Office was going to let this trial slip through their hands by over-reaching for a possible lunatic to get off by reason of insanity; they went for the most assuredly obtainable verdict: life without parole. 
In the police cruiser on his way to jail after the heinous events, Routh spoke of feeling “paranoid” and “schizophrenic.” Paranoid schizophrenics do not speak of feeling paranoid; they are too paranoid to do this.  Moreover, schizophrenia does not wax and wane, something the defense's expert witness, Mitchell Dunn, MD, tried to argue without success.  Just after killing Kyle and Littlefield, Routh bought something to drink, wolfed down a couple of burritos, and returned to his home to retrieve his dog, Girlie.
A blood sample taken on Routh during an earlier VA psychiatric admission (psychiatric admissions always are screened for substance abuse prior to admission) revealed cannabis and “possible” formaldehyde.  The VA mental health staff had twice rendered the diagnosis Psychotic Disorder NOS (Not Otherwise Specified), a diagnosis which the defense’s expert witness, Dunn maintained was a default diagnosis which is utilized when one does not have the time, inclination, or records to make a more specific psychiatric diagnosis.  Dunn was peppered for an hour and a half by Nash’s compatriot, an Assistant Attorney General, Jane Starnes, who had been bought to Erath County obviously to “get some payback”, a theme 
which is reiterated in Kyle’s book, American Sniper.  
Starnes drove Dunn from his tentative diagnosis of schizophrenia towards the personality disorders and Paranoid Personality Disorder was the diagnosis given by Randall Price, PhD, one of the prosecution's expert witnesses.  The other surmised that Routh had a mood disorder.  Price argued convincingly that Routh’s behaviors, testing results, and review of his history and records, merited two diagnoses: Paranoid Personality Disorder (he suggested it also included Narcissistic Features) and Cannabis Induced Psychosis.  These are diagnoses from the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM V). 
Again, cannabis is not associated with behaviors displayed by Routh…not even if you have been drinking alcohol and smoking cannabis. 
Thus, there is a perfidious irony about the tale of a man documented to be the most superior, deadly sniper in American history whom, on that February day, taxied his own assassin, as well as his friend, to a shooting range where they would be gunned down by his own weapons.  Kyle’s self-stated task in Iraq, as a sniper, was to protect other marines. The clarity of his mission allowed him to mete out justice one bullet at a time. The trial of his murderer was something out of Greek tragedy; everyone and everything was shrouded in tragedy.  
One thing seemed certain: Kyle’s F-350 black pick-up sure did carry some kind of special significance as two men were purportedly killed trying to steal it and another man then killed the owner of the same truck.  Some truck.   

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

'American Sniper' killer: 'there was the smell of shit in the air...or sweet cologne'

How hard this trial must be for Chris Kyle's wife...or friends and/ or spouses of Chad Littlefield.  How hard this must be on Eddie Routh's family.  His mother testified on Feb 17, 2015 for over an hour in the Erard County courthouse 30 or so minutes from Ft. WorthTX.  Ms. Routh spoke of how she simply was trying to get help for her son who had morphed from 'happy go lucky' to 'very serious',hyper vigilant, and 'very cautious

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Chris Kyle of 'American Sniper' fame killed to crank a VA Service Connection

There is no other way to outline this matter other than to say its a tragedy with Shakespearean dimensions. The killer of Chris Kyle ("American Sniper") and Chad Littlefield obtained VA Service Connection benefits ONLY after he gunned down the two men February 2, 2013.   Since 2011 Eddie Routh, whom, after the killings drove to his uncle's house near Stephenville TX, stating he was "driving a dead man' struck" had filed for Service Connection VA disability benefits multiple times after attacks of rage, arrests,homicidal and suicidal threats on his family and girlfriend, and multiple psychiatric admissions to the Dallas VA.  He was granted a VA Service Connection of approximately $3000/ month tax free with a lump sum payment of approximately $30,000 which his mother reportedly used as a down payment for a house. There were no winners in this tragedy of epic proportions though the judge in Erard County TX admonished the killer's mother to be prepared to return all monies associated with the Service Connection the afternoon of February 17,2015 after he dismissed the jury in order to speak to all others in the court room.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Blue Cross Blue Shield NC Purges Their Provider Rosters Without Informing ANYONE

I had not had a BCBSNC client in several years when I picked up one a few months ago.  I have a BCBSNC Provider Number given to me by that insurer after filling out a truckload of paperwork 5+ years ago.  I gave my biller the insured person's information and what got spit back out was that I was an 'out of network provider' (death curse).

So, I called them up.  The  client called them up.  The some employee advised me that I had to fill out the reams of paperwork again.  I started crying.  Did she understand how much paperwork she was talking about? Why didn't the company utilize online data base WHOSE SOLE PURPOSE is to keep tabs on providers so that insurance companies can access information like current malpractice insurance/ current licensing information (DUH: you can go to the NC Psychology Board to see if I am 'active' or not). 

As is usual with United HealthCare/ Humana---both Medicare Advantage companies so unregulated that CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) HUNG UP on me when I asked if I could obtain a copy of the new contract these 2 'Advantage' companies had signed with CMS in July, 2014----BCBSNC----which is the 'State Plan' for NC (teachers; state employees)----is very difficult to interface with. 

So, after the crying episode and a period of recovery I resolved to start at the top end of things...that being the NC State Legislature which oversees BCBSNC in terms of the 'State Plan'----figuring it would lead me to info about the company in general.  It did. 

I called the general number for the NC State Legislature.  That lead me to the 'librarian' for them.  That lead me to a manager of the 'State Plan', Thomas Friedman at 919 420 1355.  He indicated that the 'State Plan' had bee assigned 2-3 years ago the Department of the Treasury for the state of NC as things went amuck (gee: wasn't that when the Republicans took over the State Legislature).  Actually, it seemed like a good idea that the 'State Plan' was not being managed in a partisan fashion and the feeling I have gotten from talking to people is that BCBSNC is so powerful that they sit in committee meetings and give the thumbs up or down to things being discussed by the state legislature. 

In any case, Mr. Friedman gave me the telephone number for the overall liason who is the go-between BCBSNC and the state legislature/ Treasure Department.  She is an employee of BCBSNC.  Her number is: Ms. Evans: 919 608 3148. 

This is what I told her: "Hi Ms. Evans. thanks for yr assistance.  As I mentioned I am Marsha V. Hammond PhD, Licensed Psychologist NC # 2748.  NPI is 1194700591.  I am assigned a BCBSNC provider # which was given to me years ago. I can get that if you need it.  As I stated, in February, 2014 I was apparently purged from the BCBSNC provider panel for no apparent reason.  I have a BCBSNC client who works at the canton NC papermill with depression whom I have seen several times over the past several months.  My biller submitted billing which went nowhere and after several very unhelpful conversations with BCBSNC employees they informed me that 'we thought you were out of practice' for no good reason.  My address has not changed.  My license and its status has always been viewable at the NC Psychology Board site.  My CAQH  credentialing information is current.  CAQH is an online management tool that insurance companies use.  BCBSNC is listed there as having access to all my professional information.  I do not believe it is fair or just to require me to go thru months of waiting and dozens of pages of paperwork when I already did that years ago and I have a BCBSNC client requesting outpatient mental health services.  They did NOT inform me of anything for I have reviewed my e mails back to the beginning of 2014.  Besides this there is NO insurance company with whom I am familiar with that purges providers from its roster FOR ANY REASON unless the provider sends to them in writing a request to do so. Thus BCBSNC has violated an industry wide standard and I can only assume the purpose is to create a barrier to care by a well qualified practitioner.  thanks for your help.  Marsha V. Hammond, PhD"

Yeah: we will see where this goes.  I think it will go like this: when the insured calls her number and states something like "M.......f.......... I need for my mental health services to be paid for"...upon which she will say, "What did you say?" (please see previous post for relevance)....and then she will say, "You understood me right, M.......f.........  I want my outpatient mental health services to be paid for..."

Egads: these people just don't seem to respond to anything but point blank rudeness.  Who has all day to dance around their faux nice statements?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

This is how you get United HealthCare to pay for outpatient Mental Health Services

Can't get United HealthCare, a Medicare 'Advantage' company----completely unregulated at any level in the US----to pay you for outpatient mental health services?  This is how you settle the matter.

1. You file appeal after appeal indicating that that since they lured clients away from Medicare using some guy at Eblen Charities at the back of Earth Fare Grocery store in Asheville, NC who indicated to your client: "We will pay for all mental health services."  So, go get your picket-gear on and hold up your sign which says: "United HealthCare = No Mental Health Care Services.

2. Your client calls up United HealthCare and has the following conversation after numerous attempts at trying to get his outpatient psychiatric and mental health care paid for: "Listen M.......f........"; "What did you say?"; "You heard me right M.......f.........   I am right now in the process of going back to Medicare.  I expect you to pay for my mental health services." 

You can't believe how fast this provider got a letter in the mail indicating that she would be paid back to the beginning of the year. This being said, I don't got no check in my mail box and so I sent yet another appeal to United HealthCare and Maximus Federal who is supposed to monitor them---indicating I had no check tho I had received a letter indicating I would be paid. 

I'll believe it when the check is in my hand.  I advised the very excellent psychiatrist to re-file his billing with United HealthCare. 

Meantime, the client has returned back to Medicare for what they will do once....they will do again.