Wednesday, April 08, 2009

WNC (Family Care) Homes: DSS Buncombe finds rule violation as re: mental health client re: opening of private mail

Well, now, we can proceed w/ that HIPAA violation with all of its hefty fines.

Letter from Buncombe County DSS, April 3, 2009:

"Dear Dr. Hammond:

This letter is being written in response to your complaint received on 3.24.09 regarding WNC FCH #7. All of the allegations were thoroughly reviewed at the time of the investigation. Rule violation(s) were found and DSS will be monitoring these areas. Should you have any questions about the investigation, please contact me at 775 2956, Sincerely, Marsha Cox, Adult Homes Specialist."

This complaint involved the opening of private mail sent directly to a resident associated with his intentions to persue becoming his own legal guardian so that he could receive his own disability check. Not only was the private mail opened, but the Family Care Home administrator flaunted the letter at a DSS Buncombe meeting a few weeks ago as he tried to prove that this clinician had no good sense trying to ask Pisgah Legal Services to assist the client w/ re-attaining his own legal guardianship.

Amazing, you say: he cannot receive his own disability check. Astounding: he has no privacy as re: his mail.

This happens dozens of times a day as related to competent adults living in Family Care Homes as their civil rights are essentially shredded: from the lack of privacy of their mail; no privacy re: their relationships, be it therapists or visitors; demanding that they take 'their pills'; and essentially, simply be warehoused.

Out of sight! Out of mind!

98% or more of the disability checks are sent directly to the Family Care Home administrators and the by-law change they get back is $46-66/ month---regardless of the amount of their disability check. Be it $900 or $670 (the amount associated w/ SSDI checks for people who have not vested enough in the SSA system in order to receive the larger SSDI checks)----that's what they all get back minus their co-pays for medications which can be sizeable but are mostly $3/ medication.

The only good news on the horizon is that the Special Assistance funds of these Family Care Homes has been slashed by Governor Perdue as associated w/ saving money. This means several things:

1. things will get even worse at the Family Care Homes

2. people will move out (but where will they go?) ; the Family Care Homes are essentially the only thing standing between these adult residents and homelessness----unless you count the shelters----which is where the above mentioned client just went because he was so tired of having his civil rights repeatedly violated and he wanted something of an independent life.

Now, many of them just need to find Section 8 housing and the Community Support Services should be able to assist them as they are all Medicaid clients.

So, let's take a look at that DHSR SCOREBOARD as pertaining to Family Care Homes. Is this home losing its 3 star/ maximum points that the public is dying to see prior to sticking their unwanted 'loved one' in?

WHOOPS: Its not even listed. But this IS listed (one wonders if DHSR is having a problem w/ getting the numbers of the houses straight: Family Care Homes are assigned numbers as associated w/ the administration of the home/ company):

Its one of only five Family Care Homes so far rated in NC that get the 'no stars' rating. Now if they could get all the homes on their grid.

WNC Family Care Homes, LLC dba WNC Family Care Home #10
230 Country Time Circle


Blogger Kaleidoscope Christian said...

I have a friend in a family care home where this exact thing is going on, and I did not know how to help her. I guess they did not learn their lesson. The opening of mail, and stealing of money continues. Before becoming residents each person signs a paper on whether or not they want to be responsable for their own mail, but regardless of what they choose, their mail is opened by the staff. Residents are yelled at if they attempt to go near the mailbox. Staff is directed to intercept. The house is rundown, with a rent of $1200.00/month. I am quite sure it is impossable for anyone to imagine the stress of the discusting surroundings and typically untrained, verbally abusive staff.

2:05 PM  

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