Friday, May 06, 2011

I Think I Need To Be In a Witness Protection Program After that Western Highlands Network LME Board Meeting Today

I understand that Burnsville, NC (sssssshhhhhh) is the area to be if you're in the Witness Protection Program. Its a nice city; they even got liquor there now.

There is a saintly citizen, Jerry, whom records w/ a videocam every single Buncombe County public meeting and has created a giant library since 1999. He taped the WHN LME Board meeting today and I'm gonna see if I can get it you-tubed (digitalized) which is why I think I need to be in the Witness Protection Program.

The CFAC representatives stood up while the sharks swam around them; I stood up and was stupidly ignorant about the sharks; Jerry, the recorder guy, stood up for the little guy and has seen lots and lots of sharks. The head of DSS Buncombe, a board member, sighed and pushed for a letter to the governor; a board member commented that pbh seems to be acting like a private enterprise instead of a government entity; others commented that it seemed like a really really bad idea to sign it as completely obliterated any transparency as re: impacted citizens (and citizens in general).

So, you might say that in a hostile take-over attempt, Piedmont Behavioral Health (PBH, though on their letterhead----this was public information----it's little 'pbh'---how modest; this reminds me of the French vs the British at Agincourt: you guess who's playing the French) sent a 'Non-Disclosure Agreement' to be signed by the WHN LME Board.

That's right about when I figured out that the dark shadow of the shark the size of the Titanic on the other side of that rock was pbh aka NC DHHS Medicaid and I tried to swim for shore without flailing too obviously.

(Its pretty weird? crazy? to be writing about a 'Non-Disclosure Agreement' and therefore disclosing it but I always did love that White House Correspondent's dinner talk by Stephen Colbert; no Laura Bush did not shake his hand after that even though he smelled nice and was wearing a tuxedo).

The pbh Non-Disclosure Agreement states, in part:

".....effective as of May 2, 2011.....Relationship of the Parties. WHN desires to operate North Carolina's 1915 b and 1915c Medicaid waivers and to contract with the North Carolina division of Medical Assistance to manage behavioral health benefits for Medicaid consumers. PBH has operated the 1915b and 1915c waivers since 2005. PBH has agreed to share with WHN Proprietary Information which PBH has developed during its five years of operating the waivers. WHN will contract with various contractors who may have access to and utilize PBH's Proprietary Information as part of thet business relationship between wHN and its contractors. This agreement addresses the desire that Proprietary Information shared with WHN will be used exclusively to prepare WHN to o[erate the waivers and for no other purpose......continues for 5 years......"

And then there's 3 more legal pages with the last one being a blank line (the WHN LME board swam with the sharks and tried not to bleed which is to say they voted 8 to 6 NOT to accept this; they needed 9 votes to pass it) with the signature awaiting the pen of CEO of pbh, Daniel R. Coughlin. The WHN LME attorney took a very careful count of the people who voted.

Oh, by the way: all the LME's will be MCO's by 2013 and Magellan was discussed as a fall back position if the LME's put up too much of a fight re: these Medicaid waivers and hostile take-over maneuvers.

And so I pulled someone aside afterwards and asked, 'why is everyone so afraid of pbh?' to which s/he replied: 'Cabarrus county has two Republicans that are in cahoots w/ pbh and also they're pushing against (Martin) Nesbitt (Buncombe; head of NC Senate)., I think I'll take a little drive over to Burnsville......


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