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Mental Health concerns in Bladen County

The Bladen County Board of Commissioners “Addressed Mental Health” earlier this month with Eastpointe and Cardinal Innovations.

The two CEO’s of the two regional Local Management Entity/Managed Care Organizations, or LME/MCOs responsible for managing the mental health services in North Carolina spoke about a possible consolidation.

The local board of commissioners heard from Charlotte Smith about concerns with the proposed consolidation and the lack of Mental Health (MH) and Behavioral Health (BH) services offered in Bladen County.

Smith presented a presentation explaining, the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health and Human Services explained in 2016 local LME-MCOs manage: All funding streams: • Federal Medicaid • Federal Block Grant funding • State Funds • Other Grants and Pilot Initiatives funding available.

The NC LME-MCOs consolidated from nine into four agencies in 2016, according to Smith. The consolidations have caused confusion and lack of services in Bladen County and North Carolina.

After investigating Mental Health (MH) and Behavioral Health (BH) services advertised in Bladen County, Smith said, LifeBridge Healthcare, New Journey Counseling, and NC 4 Hope advertising services in Bladen County have all advertised services they do not offer locally and some of the services they advertise the companies do not offer at all. Smith also said there is confusion about where to report the concerns to.

Smith noted other concerns for Bladen County MH and BH managed services such as wait time for services, surveys on Eastpointe consumer experience has decreased in double digits, no educational opportunities offered in the county, the CEO and top executives do not attend important quality management meetings, and reporting outcomes of LME-MCOs are not provided as they once were.

Smith stated the last real numbers she could find in an Eastpointe report was from 2014-2015 showing Eastpointe spent $124.67 per Medicaid member. The rate for state funding for members was not provided.

Headlines Smith sited also causing concerns were:

Former Eastpointe CFO indicted by feds: accused of embezzling money from Eastpointe

Legislators question Cardinal exec’s salary; Richard Topping’s potential compensation tops $1 million

Navigating the cyclone: 21st century NC mental health policy

In conclusion Smith asked the commissioners, “Please will you write the Secretary of the Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) asking for the consolidation between Eastpointe and Cardinal not to be approved?” She also asked the commissioners to ask Eastpointe for their outcomes and surveys, and ask the state and federal elected officals to assist in making Mental and Behavioral Health Services better.

Commissioner Cogdell explained the representatives from the local LME-MCO explained their business model to him as a complex business much like insurance companies.

Commissioner Dr. Munn-Goins said she would investigate the issues too, but did acknowledge there were issues.

Commissioner Ray Britt said he had been investigating the issues as well. Chairman Charles Ray Peterson said he would get some answers for Smith.

To view the full presentation with links click the presentation below. To view the meeting click the video below.

Presentation on Issues with MH BH in Bladen County April 2017

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