For Our State Press


The head of the Department of Health and Human Services launched a massive change in mental health services on the day before Easter weekend, making rate cuts retroactive over a month. The same person yesterday released an “effective immediately” memo with another massive change in mental health services. Mental health providers, by and large private/for-profit businesses, already destabilized by five years of rapid changes in the state’s mental health reform, all had to rewrite their business plans on April 5th in response to the surprise 33% rate cuts. Today they’re again figuring out how best to go out of business.

Over a hundred thousand mentally ill North Carolinians are affected by this. Without necesary services, mentally ill people will turn up in the Emergency Rooms, police stations, and morgues. Needless to say, health care costs less than incarceration and it’s a smidge more humane.

Further, the DHHS has taken to labeling mental health providers as “abusers” of the system. Remember that this is the system instituted by the DHHS. They authored the system and are now attacking those who use it as it was authored. The 167 out of over a thousand state providers that were “audited” by DHHS were outliers whose billing exceeded the norm by 100%, and since the Dept. has not released the results of that audit to the public or the press there is no way to test the veracity of the state’s claims.

Carmen Hooker Odom and her three supporters has a vendetta against the mentally ill in this state. She is not, as she claims, punishing “abusers”, she is systematically dismantling the only system we have, and she is replacing it with nothing.

Thanks for listening.

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