The problem with secrets is most people can’t keep them.
Despite the New York State Department of Health’s refusal to confirm the directive for this writer, employees in several RRDCs (Regional Resource Development Centers) around New York State confirm the DOH has directed that waiver provider staff are not permitted to advocate or testify for their clients in a Medicaid Fair Hearing. In fact, if they attend the Fair hearing, they must support the DOH’s position and not their clients.
Several sources say this directive was shared with RRDCs during a conference call with DOH official Beth Gnozzio.
Sources say they have been given two reasons for this. One is based on the slippery-slope notion that since providers are approved by the state to provide services, they are under contract with the state and to disagree with the state would be a conflict of interest (I suddenly feel like I’m writing about the Soviet Union). The second reason would be funny were it not so sleazy: This reason says since providers are paid to provide services to their clients, supporting their clients request for continued services would be self-serving and again, a conflict of interest.
It seems to me that this is one of those occasions where facts and reason have little effect, at least not on the decision making of the DOH. The notion that being approved by the state precludes providers from supporting their clients would, I suppose, mean that doctors, psychologists and social workers, all licensed by the state, would be precluded from supporting their clients and patients.
Using the fact providers are paid for their work as a reason to stop them from supporting their clients would, I again suppose, mean that a doctor recommending treatment for his or her patient should not support the patient when an insurance company seeks to deny treatment because the doctor is getting paid for his or her work.
It seems to me we are witnessing institutional corruption.
You can be sure of one thing, more people will talk, more facts will come out into the light of day and, when they do, they will find their way to the pages of this blog.
The DOH and others would be well advised to pay close attention to Launcelot’s words in Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice when he said, “but at length the truth will out.”
And it will.