Disability Rights NC

New state leaders need to master the facts in the mental health debate

DRNC Director Vicki Smith's blog on Policy Watch site:

Irrespective of our political views, I and most everyone I know were relieved to see campaign season end. This campaign season was divisive. Differences between candidates and parties were not just highlighted, they were polarizing.

State comes up short on Adult Care Home issue: Progressive Pulse

As is stated in the press release issued by Disability Rights NC below, the Perdue administration has, sadly, opted for several more years of glacial-paced “progress” on the issue of warehousing mentally ill people in “rest homes” rather than biting the bullet and entering into a bona fide and enforceable agreement as has been done in other states. All in all, a sad day for the cause


I have been involved in a stakeholders group meeting with Bazelon attorneys. I am not at all surprised at an outcome in which NC DHHS places more value on adult care home operators than on the mentally ill (ware)housed in their homes.

Vicki Smith, Director of DRNC, is quoted as follows by Gary Robertson of the AP in his story online:

DRNC to intervene in legal action brought by adult care homes

Contact: Vicki Smith
Executive Director

Disability Rights NC Moves to Intervene

Tiffany Healthcare, Inc., et al., Petitioners v.

North Carolina Department of Health and

Human Services, Division of Medical Assistance

Raleigh - Disability Rights NC filed a motion today to intervene in the case Tiffany Healthcare, Inc., et al., Petitioners v. North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Medical Assistance.

This case was filed last Thursday on behalf of the owners of eighteen Adult Care Homes (ACHs) who were notified that as Institutions for Mental Disease (IMD), their residents were no longer eligible to receive services under Medicaid.

Federal judge issues injunction for DRNC in NC Medicaid dispute

See a very brief AP report at WRAL.com about a ruling on Thursday by a federal judge in NC on a Medicaid waiver dispute between PBH in Cabarrus County and three disability advocacy groups.

The lead in the WRAL story names five counties that would be directly affected, but in fact all counties in the state will eventually be impacted, if the judge rules on the case in favor of the advocacy groups. The three advocacy groups' attorneys are representing PBH clients in that Local Management Entity's(LME's)area.

I have been told by candidates for state and local office not to talk about DHHS and the needs of folks with disabilities. The prevailing attitude is that this is not a popular topic with voters, and certainly not nearly as popular as education issues.

However, the unholy mess that NC DHHS has created deserves our attention, particularly now in election season.

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