Thursday, September 25, 2008

Western NC MENTAL HEALTH significant news: McDevitt Resigns as Executive Director of SMC LME

Tom McDevitt was trained as an accountant. He ran SMC LME like an accountant would. He well understood the bottom line and surely it is due to his ability to calculate 'how much will it costs' that SMC LME becamse the biggest LME in NC.

A physically imposing man, he speaks directly and in a well organized manner. Bill Hambrick answered the clinical questions, equally clearly, in SMC LME provider meetings I have attended over the past 5 years.

I am betting there are a lot of mixed feelings about this resignation at SMC LME. There's a lot of problems there re: provider complaints:

1. outpatient therapy is only available under Community Support Services which has multiple barriers associated w/ its usage and is constantly being downsided.

2. The Utilization Review Department, run by Charles Barry, was vindictive towards this provider, threatening the Endorsed Provider company which NC Mental Health reform, with a large audit if I tried to advance outpatient therapy for state funded client though I had not had the useless, completely unnecessary, unpaid 20+ hours of Community Support Services training. I have sense gotten her access to Medicaid.

So, is Hambrick going to take his place? He is less than 5 years from retirement, himself, I believe.


Embattled director of mental health agency resigns
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer


The board of Sylva-based Smoky Mountain Center for Mental Health accepted the resignation of agency director Tom McDevitt last week (Sept. 16) following a six-hour, closed-door interrogation into allegations that McDevitt had abused his power and taken advantage of his position for financial gain.

The Smoky Mountain Center provides mental health care to 15 western counties and is the state’s largest such agency geographically.

The 30-member Smoky Mountain board in July began questioning some of McDevitt’s actions, including the salary he earned as director of the agency’s non-profit Evergreen Foundation, the employment of his daughter, and profits his wife made from property transactions through the Foundation.


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