Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Will NC DHHS Sec Cansler get his $180K raise as Perdue cuts $49 million out from NC citizens w/ mental health needs?

You can sign the petition here which would be an attempt to ask Perdue to do something different:

I guess its a good idea that Rep Verla Insko asked that NC DHHS Secretary Cansler get his $180K raise BEFORE Perdue told NC citizens that she felt she had to cut $49 MILLION from under NC citizens with mental health challenges.

Does anyone know if he got his raise?

He had to keep up w/ Dr. Lancaster at the Department of Mental Health, a child psychiatrist, who weighs in with a salary of $280K.

Didn't Cansler make enough money to tide him over when he was the lobbyist for Value Options? Of course, there's no conflict of interest. What a silly question.

Raleigh News Observer:

"Cansler was the registered lobbyist for Computer Sciences Corporation, a Virginia company that won a $265.2 million contract a few weeks ago to build and run a Medicaid bill-paying system for the state."

These are the cuts that will affect---in particular----western NC:

**Eliminate psychiatric loan repayment which allows rural areas in particular to recruit psychiatrists $248,000.

(my comment: This is a small mount of money compared to the benefit of this. This being said, however, the psychiatric nurse practitioners seem like a better deal to me, frankly; you can have more for less money; additionally the physicians seem to be fleeing into private practice & are dumping their Medicaid clients).

This is an eye-opener and it has to do, I believe, with the legacy of the Bush administration which refused to allow Medicaid/ Medicare to bargain and obtain lower cost medications. The meds that people w/ mental health challenges take can be extremely expensive.

**Implement preferred drug list atypical psychotropic drugs> $12.672 M

Here is another important item and it has to do w/ housing:

**Reduce state county special assistance $5.38 M

(my comment : Special Assistance, as admnistered by the county Departments of Social Service is the other funding stream, besides their disability checks, which allows the warehousing of people with mental health challenges in the Family Care Homes. This being said, many of them would be homeless without the Family Care Homes. Currently, in NC, Family Care Homes get paid approximately $1300 / month/ resident which includes room and board and some transportation to medical appointments. For SSI clients, or those who did not vest into social security with about a year of full-time work----the Special Assistance makes up about half that money. For SSDI clients, who get larger checks, Special Assistance, commonly, only makes up $200-300/ month of the total amount. Why not get the SSDI clients out of the Family Care Homes and into Section 8 Housing which is more federally mandated and thus save the state money and create more satisfaction for the Family Home residents who receive SSDI?)


These are the cuts that Perdue is considering (and really a done deal unless she gets a lot of heat, I suppose):

Some of the proposed cuts which add up to ~ $50 Million> include:>

Reduce community services $25.9 M>

Consolidate LME system mgmt $8.9 M>

Reduce Operating expenses - Central admin $250,000>

Close two 25 adult bed units at Broughton, Cherry > $6.02 M>

ATB ADATC (Alcohol and Drug Abuse Treatment Center) cuts > $l.86 M>

ATB Central and Western Regional > $l M>

Close Wright and Whitaker Schools $5.77 M>

Total: $49,774,659 million, 200 positions> > These cuts alone are dreadful, but the Summary of Reduction> Options for FY 2009-10 indicates that the $50 M is not the> only thing that will affect our families and people living> with mental illness. It cuts across the services also> offered in rural health, aging, child development, public> health, social services, Medical Assistance, Vocational> Rehab, and Corrections, in addition to reduction in payment> rates and elimination of cost of living increases for> providers.> > Examples of the cuts that will affect us that are not> included in the above $49.7 Million: (meaning the impact is> more than just $50 M)> Eliminate psychiatric loan repayment which allows rural> areas in particular to recruit psychiatrists $248,000> Reduce state county special assistance $5.38 M> Implement preferred drug list atypical psychotropic drugs> $12.672 M> Reduce funds to NC housing finance agency $485,000> Eliminate contract with drug and substance abuse facility> for male inmates $2.52 M> Eliminate criminal Justice Partnership Program $9.76 M


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