Sunday, May 31, 2009

Citizen w/ Mental Health Issues waits for EIGHT DAYS in the local ER before a bed in NC opens up

Man: it looks like a contest: which part of NC will go beyond EIGHT DAYS of a citizen waiting in the ER in order to get a mental health bed SOMEWHERE in NC?

Better yet, this is like re-working Dickens story about Tiny Tim : welcome to the Tale of the Future of mental health care as it drops yet another level ----yet to take place.

But I digress: back to the present: the poor schmuck, our very own Tiny Tim, I'm betting a state funded MH citizen: no insurance of any kind: Let's see: cost to the taxpayers, assuming that sheriff deputies get paid---let's be modest----$80/ shift x 3---that's $240/ day x 8 days = $1920.


Cost to the sanity of the citizen aka Tiny Tim? : PRICELESS. (yes, oh yes, I see how easy it is, Mr. Eudy of Capstrat---former NC Dem Party chairman---& maker of BCBSNC infomercials about why we don't need government sponsored health insurance like Medicare with its single digit administrative costs, to create those sound-byte commercials that just reach out and grab ya?)

Oh, you say, but right around the corner is universal health care? Naw: not if the insurance companies who just finished another round of padding the pockets of Congress-people have anything to say about that. There will NOT be any choice of Medicare vs the other crapola.

Hmm: looking at those 158 items that the NC House just put forward as necessary in order to cut items re: public mental health care in NC---are there any cuts in there pertaining to sheriff's?

I know the Gov'na lobbed off the Waynesville Detention Center in WNC----to bad----a nice new building too----where two of my clients indicate they keep the deep freeze on even in the winter so as you won't get too comfortable---and give you a thin blanket.

Sheriff's cuts, sheriff's cuts, let's see: what might be the profile of a poor schmuck who sat in the ER for 8 days awaiting a mental health public bed: I can speculate on a profile:

1. basically homeless or w/o a family to take care of him or capable of taking care of him/ her

2. didn't or couldn't get access to medication re: no Medicaid (bet the person was a state funded client or I'll eat my hat)

3. couldn't get access to therapy or f/u as there is a limit of 8 sessions / year/ person for state funded clients (if you even get that; as per Smoky Mountain Center LME, there is no individual therapy for state funded clients since Tom McDevitt, former CEO for SMC LME, so conveniently drove all the business to his bud, second in command at SMC LME, to Meridian Behavioral Health Services who scooped up the lion's share of ALL the state client funding in most of WNC)

So, how about those funding cuts as re: this poor Tiny Tim of the future, in the world associated w/ these proposed cuts for 2009-2011?:

Oh, there's Item 17: close 50 beds at Broughton & Cherry Hospital----where assumably the ER person could have gone....but not if they did not have Medicaid......

And there's Item 74: reduction of rental subsidy (that's rent for people who have mental health issues---we're talking Section 8 housing & having access to Medicaid & Medicare via disability checks)...s/he could have been someone who had to choose between a place to live and medications....

Or Item 92: reducing aid to the county DSS's that can be points of contact for things like Food Stamps and heating oil (very small amount of money available for that and its first come/ first serve every fall).....s/he might be, in the future, someone who has to wait forever to get to services via the local county DSS....longer yet because of reductions in funding...

Or Item 111: reduction of case management support which might be instrumental for Tiny Tim in attempting to understand how to get any services at all, as a state funded client...

Read here, Mr. Bob Cratchitt, and peer into the future:


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