Wednesday, June 11, 2008

NCPA's Public Sector Committee Chairs never answer any inquiries re: Medicaid / Medicare / Mental Health Reform difficulties

Dr. Hammond, I am not connected with the legislative committee.

You may have me confused with someone else.

I have been the President of DIPP.

As you know, issues around Medicare and Medicaid are handled in NCPA through the public sector committee. I trust that they can answer your questions better than I.

Jim Hilke
Thank you for getting back to me, Dr. Hilke. I do like psychologists and enjoy their company; unfortunately I cannot make a living on the basis of that.

Unfortunately, the Public Sector committee of NCPA has never answered any of my e mails.

Dan Cogswell, the WNCPA liason w/ NCPA, gave me their e mail addresses at the Christmas dinner of WNCPA in December. The chairs of the Public Sector are, I believe, and according to Dr. Cogswell:
Elizabeth Huddleston, Psy.D. Office - 828-433-2282 &
James Phillips, Ph.D. Office - 919-575-1258

Prior to that I guess I was e mailing someone else that was identified at NCPA as being part of that Public Sector committee.

No one has ever e mailed me or better said, I think ...think...that Elizabeth Huddleston e mailed once before she went out of town saying she would get back to me but she did not.

This has been very frustrating and I have felt distinctly like it did not matter to them that NC psychologists were having a hard time w/ various issues re: Medicare.

what issues?

* no behavioral health codes (I've started an investigation of that on my own; see below); .these would mean 80/20 rather than 60/40.

* no wrap around to Medicaid for dually eligible clients*no attention paid to the massive paperwork associated w/ NC mental health reform.

* no statement of any kind like "we'll look into it" re: problems w/ the LME's in western NC?

what problems?

* Smoky Mountain Center LME requires that all therapy move thru Community Support Services.

Why is this a problem? Because anyone who utilizes that as an authorization code must undergo nonpaid, irrelevant training vis a vis NC DHHS.

SMC LME throws all of its state funded clients into Meridian Behavioral Health Services which has as the CEO a retired SMC LME employee, Joe Ferraro.

* Western Highlands Network LME (together the 2 make up 25% of all NC counties) will not authorize more than 8 therapy sessions and then only for PD's and then only if PD people are also accessed group therapy.

I'm pretty frustrated. I sense no support and not even a sense of 'gee, we should check into this.'

Oh yes, Dr. Weisnert, the NCPA president did jot down on his paperwork the matter of the 20 hours of CSS training which is supposedly associated with using highschool graduates to do CSS.

I've sent letters to Benton, Lancaster and Wainwright about this.

I undoubtedly will never get an answer.

marsha hammond, phd


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