Sunday, May 01, 2011

Letter to Lanier Cansler re: Medicaid Waiver Program of Western Highlands Network LME

Marsha V. Hammond, PhD Licensed Psychologist, NC
Billing address:
Cell phone: 828 772 5197 e mail:

DATE: May 1, 2011

RE: Medicaid Waiver for WHN LME

Dear Lanier Cansler, Secretary of NC DHHS:

Thank you for reading this letter. I know you are an extremely busy man and I don’t mean to maintain that I have some special status re: my questions here. Nevertheless, I must say something about this ‘Medicaid Waiver’ program as prescribed by Western Highlands Network (WHN) LME. I must say something as the other LME’s are poised to utilize a similar strategy. I have no idea if the outline of this ‘application’ is being issued from NC DHHS but I would beg you to consider the time that providers are utilizing to do hours and hours of work which is unpaid and has absolutely nothing to do w/ patient care.
The NC Psychology Licensing Board has given me a license to practice as a fully-fledged psychologist in this state and so why is this LME asking all of these duplicitous questions? I wish I could say that the NC Psychological Association concerns themselves w/ these important issues but alas their behavior is indicative of a dysfunctional system that has no idea what is taking place re: the practice of public mental health services.
Sir, if you simply take a look at the WHN LME webpage outlining the ‘application’ for being a Medicaid provider under WHN LME, I think you might ascertain that all of that information is included under the rubric known as my license as a psychologist in the state of NC. Here is that website:
I am admittedly very perturbed at being asked to provide the following kinds of information if for no other reason that I have clients to attend to---and Medicaid clients are usually more ill and challenging that other insured clients (I stopped working w/ state funded clients years ago re: the paperwork log jam created by the LME’s):
1. a sealed transcript associated w/ my PhD (the NC Psychology Licensing Board did this years ago; that is why I have a license here)
2. references from my colleagues (the NC Psychology Licensing Board did this years ago; their recommendations allowed me, in part, to have a license here)
3. a demand to submit ‘2 evaluations’ (the NC Psychology Licensing Board, in addition to my doctoral program, internship, and post-doctoral year did this)
4. my ‘Physician Coverage’ (if I did not work w/ these helpful colleagues, I could not care for my clients)
5. what kind of ‘approach’ do I use in my work (the NC Psychology Licensing Board is associated w/ my training as was my doctoral program, internship and post-doc training)
6. ‘Exclusion Sanction Information’ (the NC Psychology Licensing Board has a record of any complaints or associated information or they would not grant me a license every two years & any judgement is public information at the Board’s website)
7. “Electronic Claims Submission” (I have been successfully utilizing NC Webclaims for my NC Medicaid clients for years w/o difficulty and so why are we creating all this paperwork other than to bury the few remaining providers?)
8. my NPI certification (this can be determined by going to the online NPI site)
9. my Medicare certification (the NPI number was to have supplanted the Medicare & Medicaid provider number)
10. my Medicaid provider certification (surely NC DHHS whom manages NC Medicaid has this information??)
11. my previous license as a psychologist in another state many years ago (the NC Licensing board has this information)
12. my malpractice insurance limits ( this is one matter I can understand that the LME might be interested in re: any 'deep pockets' that an insured might go after as associated w/ a malpractice suit)

Mr. Cansler: Can you please explain to me why I should use my time creating reams of paperwork in order to continue to service my Medicaid clients under this Medicaid Waiver program? If my license as a psychologist does not evidence my expertise, then why not ask the Secretary of State of NC to just disband the NC Psychology Licensing Board? That would save me over $200 every couple of years and would fully employ a host of people at the LME’s who utilize their time shuffling, needlessly, in my opinion, reams of paperwork.
I would like to call you and speak to you about this. I am very disturbed by this Medicaid Waiver plan and see no sense in it.
Thank you for your time, Mr. Cansler. I mean you no disrespect by this letter.

Marsha V. Hammond, PhD, Licensed Psychologist


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