Friday, February 20, 2009

NC Disability Rights blames the mental health workers for losses of Medicare/ Medicaid funding

"Vicki Smith (newly appointed Executive Director) with Disability Rights North Carolina said the problems keep popping up in North Carolina mental health hospitals because of the ongoing attitude of the workers.

'There is a culture within these state hospitals which is embedded and which will be near impossible to eliminate,' Smith said."


That's one of the most egregious statements I've ever heard, NC Disability Rights. I'm all for not mincing words, and sure there have been abuses within these psychiatric hospitals, and definitely there should be zero tolerance for that.

By the way, just who is Disability Rights NC?:

"DRNC has a total of 30 full-time equivalent employees, including 10 attorneys and 10 non-attorney advocates.

DRNC was founded 25 years ago as Carolina Legal Assistance. In July 2007, the organization was designated by Gov. Mike Easley to assume the responsibilities of the state's protection and advocacy agency. Carolina Legal Assistance subsequently changed its name to Disability Rights North Carolina to reflect its broader focus. ..."


There's a lot of people in powerful positions that would like nothing more than to lay into the undoubtedly more or less-----as in any profession----hard-working people of psychiatric hospitals.

They would just LOVE to take all of NC DHHS's bad management and stick it to the workers.

I am repulsed by your statement. If its a mistake the 'news team' quoted you out of context, it would be wise for you to make a correction.

As I have stated on this blog before, the psychiatric hospital workers NEED TO UNIONIZE in order to protect their own rights which include not being overworked by a system in chaos and churn re: tremendously increased rates of admissions associated with the failure of NC mental health reform.

So, let's have some statistics re: the churn and chaos as associated w/ mental health matters in NC:

1. Rural is affected more than City

2. NC is bleeding psychiatrists due to the chaos and churn and mis-management of

mental health by NC DHHS

3. Longer waits for medications or inability to get psychiatric care means sicker people

who get admitted to the psychiatric hospitals as they crash and burn.

NC Psychiatric Association Report Card on mental health in the early years (not even as it got worse and worse) of NC mental health reform:

The Report Card reveals that in the two years from 2003 to 2005:
• North Carolina lost 48 full-time equivalent community psychiatrists.
• Per capita community psychiatrists fell by 16.1%.
• NCPA estimates that as a result at least 31,070 LME-sector patients with mental illness are unable to access psychiatric care. The losses in community psychiatrists result in more difficulty getting appointments and longer waits to be seen.
• Losses of community psychiatrists affected rural MH agencies more than urban agencies.


How bad has the chaos gotten (this was several years ago and no improvements have taken place, indeed, it has only worsened):

North Carolina Mental Health Officials Cap Admissions At State Psychiatric Hospitals
Date: 20 Feb 2007 Find other articles on: "NC psychiatric hospital admission rates"North Carolina mental health officials have placed a cap on admissions at the four psychiatric hospitals administered by the state as the number of mentally ill patients continues to increase, the AP/Winston-Salem Journal reports. According to Mike Moseley -- director of the North Carolina Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services -- state psychiatric hospitals no longer will accept mentally ill patients from community hospitals after they reach 110% capacity in their short-term wards (AP/Winston-Salem Journal, 2/14). Community hospitals will have to continue to house mentally ill patients until state psychiatric hospitals can admit them, Moseley said. Community hospitals have raised concerns about the cap because emergency departments have become the "first stop" for many mentally ill patients, according to Mike Vicario, vice president of regulatory affairs for the North Carolina Hospital Association. Deby Dihoff, executive director of the North Carolina chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, said that the cap "very much scared" her. She said, "Crises are going to happen. There (have) to be beds to serve people with mental illness," adding, "I think the division is doing a good job planning for the future. It's the present we're all a little worried about" (Bonner, Raleigh News & Observer, 2/13).



Post a Comment

<< Home