The logic of more powerful LMEs

If opponents of increased powers for the new Super LME/MCOs would just look at the issue logically, they’d be hard pressed to argue that it’s any less logical than most other decisions made in connection with the state’s mental health system over the past decade.

With New River Behavioral Healthcare losses of at least $6.5 million while under the oversight of the Smokey Mountain Center LME, it’s only logical to make LMEs more powerful with less oversight of themselves.

With Piedmont Behavioral Healthcare flaunting the state’s Public Records Law now for almost three months in ignoring a request for copies of its board minutes and requiring nondisclosure agreements, it’s only logical to make LMEs more powerful, including exempting them from provisions of the Public Records Law.

With the Super LME/MCOs and DHHS ignoring warnings of serious consequences from a lack of IT standardization and embracing a variety of information management systems, it’s only logical to give them more power to do what they want.

With the publicly funded Piedmont Behavioral Healthcare licensing software it developed to other LMEs and essentially giving taxpayers the opportunity to pay for its use time and time again, it’s only logical to give them complete control over intellectual property.  What do taxpayers know about software anyway?

With PBH apparently not only unable to control the intellectual propertyof software it claims as its own but fostering private sector development of that software through questionable business practices, it’s only logical to give them more authority to do the same.

With the creation of CABHAs and mountains of paperwork to do business with LMEs essentially killing off small providers, competition and choice, it’s only logical to make sure LMEs have more complete control.

With the power to make or break providers (see Elements of Success in a 501c-3 Spinoff under NC Reform), why not go a step further than the complete restructuring of boards and empower the executive committees of  Super LME/MCOs boards as hinted at by DHHS Deputy Secretary Mike Watson so that just a few individuals can be kingmakers?

With DHHS and legislators ignoring findings that the department was far from capable of managing oversight of a statewide waiver system and subsequent events bearing that out, it’s only logical to empower LME/MCOs to better oversee themselves.

With thousands of our state’s citizens warehoused in adult care homes over the past decade, with deaths in those homes and state hospitals, with the shame and disgrace every North Carolinian should feel over the consequences of our state’s neglect for the care and dignity of individuals with mental health diagnoses, it’s only logical that bureaucrats and lawmakers keep building on a failed foundation rather than even contemplate the blueprint for a new one.

With the Department of Justice findings that our state has failed miserably in providing quality care in community settings, it’s only logical that legislator’s stay the course that has led us here.

It’s only logical, isn’t it? But then, what has logic ever had to do with it?


David Cornwell

Executive Director

North Carolina Mental Hope


  1. Buzz Ellis says:

    How do you get bail out money from public funds after you have committed fraud????? A cool 910K went to NRBH. Its like a casino financing the gamblers that cheat. The various “emperors” have no clothes. Leadership, the CABHA requirements, the enhanced services and diminished rates, the spinning changes in direction have every “big box” provider on death row. The LME’s administer the beatings on a local level but the death sentences have come out of Raleigh.

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