The Jan. 8 Focus column “One mother’s ordeal to stave off tragedy” about the mother who could not find adequate care for her son, diagnosed with mental illness, was extremely painful to read.
As a mother to a young adult with special needs, I have much empathy for anyone trying to navigate this system.
One quote from this story packed a powerful punch: “I had not wanted him here because I knew we couldn’t get him the services he needed if something happened.”
The “here” that Donna Smith is talking about is North Carolina. The obvious question that everyone should be asking is, “Why?”
Managed care was supposed to be the answer to providing services for several populations including those diagnosed with mental illness, substance abuse or an intellectual/developmental disability. Yet after managed care has had four years to make due on its promises, North Carolina continues to slide backward.
Some MCOs are sitting on huge cash reserves. Others use public money to hire lobbyists and to pay for costly advertising. Another MCO, Eastpointe, was very lucrative for certain employees, until a recent audit. Yet nobody can find a bed for a young man in crisis. This is beyond shameful.