Friday, May 13, 2011

Secretary Canlser Responds to Medicaid Waiver Provider Request to Please Save Us From the Unnecessary 18+ Page Re-certification of Medicaid Provider

I'm already a Medicaid provider. Now the LME's vis a vis this Medicaid Waiver, are insisting that all the providers re-certify themselves LME-by-LME as re: this Medicaid Waiver.

They blame it on CMS. Sure. I mean, I know from sitting and listening at APA to Tony Puente's talks re: CMS and psychologists who work in public mental health that there is the necessary creation of 'avenues' regarding psychologists' reimbursement fees, and all that kind of thing. However, if NC DHHS wanted to prevent a further deterioration of public mental health, they would have gone and talked to CMS.

I'm soliciting help from the APA CMS liasons. I'll be back w/ info as I get it.

Marsha V. Hammond, PhD, Licensed Psychologist, NC
Member, American Psychological Association
Mailing address: Asheville, NC 28806
Cell: 828 772 5197 e mail:

May 15, 2011

RE: 18 page + application forms for already licensed & Medicaid certified psychologists as re: Medicaid Waiver process in NC/ public mental health

Dear American Psychological Association_____________________________

I am a licensed psychologist in NC; I am a member of APA. I am certified by NC Medicaid to provide services to Medicaid clients; I am certified by Medicare to provide Medicare Services; I have an NPI number which was reportedly to have taken the place the Medicare & Medicaid numbers.
The Medicaid Waiver program is being advanced by NC DHHS in a most unprepared manner, and even though I have been for years a Medicaid provider, I am being required to re-apply for certification vis a vis this Medicaid waiver process as associated with an 18 page+ application, assembling of items like a ‘sealed college transcript’, etc., in order to be certified to provide Medicaid services for an LME (mental health administration government entity) in NC which is under the administration of NC DHHS. Why, I ask? Why not just disband the licensing board, please, and save me and the taxpayers some money.
I enclose a letter from Dr. Beth Melcher, PhD, Asst Secretary for MH. DD./ SA Services of NC DHHS, dated 5.9.2011.
In that letter, she explains:
“….Secretary Cansler requested that I respond to your letter dated May 1, 2011. In this letter you raise concerns regarding the process for becoming a credentialed Medicaid provider within the Western Highlands Network LME provider network. The process you have outlined is approved by the federal Center for Medicaid/. Medicare Services (CMS). As additional LMEs become waiver sites the provider application process is one of the areas to be standardized across the Managed Care Organizations (MCOs). While licensure is a critical piece of the certification process additional information is required. There is discussion about whether information from licensure boards could be shared for verification information which would streamline this process. …”
As you probably know, any citizen can go onto the internet and discern as to whether I, or anyone else, is a licensed psychologist. It is public information. Why can’t NC DHHS utilize the licensing board information in order to curtail this unnecessary recreation of the wheel, LME by LME?
In order to render services to Medicaid eligible clients (and most of my clients are either Medicaid clients or dually eligible Medicare/ Medicaid clients), I am being required to create paperwork-----LME-by-LME-----in order to continue to work as a Medicaid provider. Why?
NC Mental Health Reform, as administrated by NC DHHS, has destroyed the provider network and this kind of paperwork, surely to be succeeded by reams of paperwork on each and every Medicaid client, session by session, is a very very serious matter which will contribute to more mental health crises, as was outlined today in a Raleigh newspaper regarding a woman who quite obviously was supposed to have received mental health services and was kept in the hospital two days (I assume she was a ‘state funded client’; this means that no private provider would render services for any period of time due to the paperwork involved with such a client; NC Mental Health Reform, started about 10 painful years ago now, was to have made mental health services available to ALL citizens), was released to a group home, which she left, and then she proceeded to jump off the local hospital’s parking deck (she was not a patient there!), killing herself.
Can someone from APA please address this issue? I am forwarding this to Division 42, Division of Independent Practice, of APA, of which I am a member, in the hopes that someone has an idea as to how to inform CMS that it is not necessary for Medicaid providers to be re-approved by each and every LME as the Medicaid Waiver is unjustifiably hoisted onto the LME’s in NC----by the NC State Legislature and as per NC DHHS.
Thanks for any assistance and attention you can give to this matter.


Marsha V. Hammond, PhD
Licensed Psychologist, NC; certified Medicaid & Medicare provider

Cc: Beth Melcher, PhD, Asst. Secretary for MH./ DD/SA Services
Secretary Lanier Cansler
Arthur Carder, CEO WHN LME
David Gantt, Chair Buncombe County Commissioners; members of the Buncombe
County Board of Commissioners
Representative Verla Insko, Co-Chair Joint Legislative Oversight Committee for MH
Reform, NC
Senator Martin Nesbitt, Co-Chair Joint Legislative Oversight Committee for MH
Reform, NC
NC Mental Health Reform blogspot maintained by Marsha Hammond, PhD:


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