Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Medical Assistance Services
Board of Medical Assistance Services
Amount, Duration, and Scope of Medical and Remedial Care and Services [12 VAC 30 ‑ 50]
Action Mental Health Skill-building Services
Stage Proposed
Comment Period Ended on 10/23/2015
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10/4/15  6:11 pm
Commenter: Abie Tremblay, Intern - True Kife Destinations, Student - Old Dominion Uni

Private Corporations Providing Mental Health Services

WRT billing units of 15 minutes: This is the model currently used in the medical community. This method has resulted in depersonalization of the patient/client. While it seems efficient, this is not a valuable system to accomplish mental health goals and treatments, especially the skill-building therapies conductd by private corporations. The client with mental health diagnoses already feels marginalized, and being seen on 15-minute increments does not afford the clinician the opportunity to form a working relationship with the client. If you want qualified people to treat those with mental health issues, the price must be paid. These clinicians frequently hold masters or doctoral degrees and work in smaller corporations because they want more face-to-face time with their clients. And this method works.

WRT changes in urban rates and rural rates, why? Because clinicians who live in rural areas deserve less pay than urban clinicians? Rural clinicians can see fewer clients daily because of the distance between homes/facilities. By reducing the pay, you are reducing the household income of a hard-working individual. Why? Who profits here?

WRT removal of the requirement for hospitalization prior to receipt of MHSS, I completely support this. Hospitalization for mental health issues can be restrictive and dehumanizing. Not every client in need of MHSS needs hospitalization first. This goes against the ADA of least-restrictive environment and denies services to those who have mental health disabilities.

WRT persons uner the age of 21 years who live with parents or guardians. With whom one lives and one's chronological age are NOT factors determining the need of MHSS. Additionally, most care givers of persons with chronic, life-long mental health disorders need the support of the MHSS teams to reinforce the skills they teach their dependent.

Lastly, the idea that these services can be provided by the local community service boards is laughable! The CSBs are overworked and understaffed already, having waiting times of up to a month in many locales. So, one might hypothesize that saving money from individual corporations and giving it to the CSBs would allow the CSBs to accomodate the increased need. HA! Anyone who has studied government understands that, when a government entity is given an increase in budget for a program, the first thing that happens is a new level of middle management is created, and few of the dollars fund the issues for which the program was created. In a private corporation, the buismess is in business - they have to make a profit to stay in business, so they manage their time and funds more effectively.

If there are problems with private companies failing to provide proper services or misusing funds, take them down! Don't throw out all of the companies because of a few bad ones. Seriously.

CommentID: 42201