Tuesday, March 04, 2008

NC's Flailing Governor : Buck-Passer-Fingerpointer-Meister: WHERE IS THE EVIDENCE THAT BENTON KNOWS WHAT HE'S DOING?

Easley has bought hook, line, and sinker Hooker Odom's estimation that the problem is ALL with the providers and is now attempting to shift the blame to the state legislature:

March 4, 2008 posting from:

Raleigh, N.C. — Gov. Mike Easley outlined three areas of the state's mental health-care system on Tuesday that he thinks need immediate reform and said he would push for legislation in the General Assembly's short session, which begins in May."We need dramatic change, and we need it quickly," Easley said…..

"(Department of Health and Human Services) Secretary (Dempsey) Benton doesn't have the control under the current law. That is one of the things I'm going to ask the Legislature to give him," Easley said. "I'm hoping they will be more receptive this time, because if we can't control it, we cannot change it."

"....And then , somebody else will have to accept responsibility for it, and this time, it will have to be the Legislature....."

Easley said the secretary needs more control over local management entities to be able to evaluate, appoint, fire and replace local providers a timely manner, he said.

(in accord with Bill Franklin's consolitation hypothesis)..... Easley also wants to reduce the number – currently there are 25 – so they can be held accountable and so there is a consistent standard of service across the state.

The governor also wants more control given to DHHS to handle the abuses of community support programs.

"The harder problem, though, is getting providers off the program once they are on the program," Easley said. "That's where the secretary needs some real help."Under the Office of Administrative Hearings, Easley said, these providers can appeal and tie up the process for at least six months and still continue to provide services and get paid (godalmighty: you're talking about an appeals process: let's just do away with that)

....."That's OK if you're talking about somebody building a building," Easley said. "But when you're talking about somebody who's providing mental health services to the mentally ill, and they're not doing it right, you need to move immediately and have them removed."

Another proposed fix to combat abuse is to seek differential pay for mental-health care providers, who get paid the same, regardless of the care the type of care they provide. "Differential pay will correct a good number of these abuses as we move forward," Easley said.

(if the state's agenda is to upgrade the level of care vis a vis the qualifications of the provider, then this would be appropriate. However, you can bet your bottom non-reimbursed $$ that the pay will stay the same while the upgrade is demanded)

"The problem with privatization is you a lot of these agencies shut down on Friday afternoon and open back Monday morning, and people get sick and need help over the weekend, so they have no choice but to send them on to state hospitals."

WRONG, Govna: Clinical Coverage Policy No, : 8! Effective March 1, 2008 NC DHHS, Attachment D: Service Definitions : Community Support-Adults
http://www.ncdhhs.gov/dma/bh/8A.pdf : "This service includes providing "first responder" crisis response on a 24/7/3654 basis fo recipients experienceing a crisis." (I'll let my clients know, who call me at 10 pm on Sunday evening and over the weekends, that apparently they can call the local LME instead of me as this is what seems to be stated as the behaviors that are taking place)

If the providers are not doing what they have signed on to do, then call them on it and call up their associated state licensing facility.


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