Thursday, April 7, 2011
The NAMI-TC Conflicts of Interest In Its Relationship With MHMR & BRAVO Health Aspect of the Paradise Center Scandal
One aspect is MHMR-TC (Mental Health Mental Retardation agency of Tarrant County) and its relationship with Bravo Health and the local branch of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Health).
MHMR got itself into conspiratorial cahoots with Bravo, promoting Bravo as the preferred HMO for mental health services over another provider known as AMERIGROUP Community Care.
MHMR had come up with a scheme to use its relationship with Bravo to monetize the Paradise Center operation. MHMR misrepresented to Bravo that the Paradise Center was a MHMR operation when Paradise Center was actually a non-profit independent operation.
The chart above, if you click to enlarge it, will show you what services the AMERIGROUP and Bravo plans provide. It would appear AMERIGROUP is the better deal.
It is telling to learn where does the local chapter of NAMI get its money.
NAMI's only fundraiser is the NAMI Walks for the Minds of America each fall.
NAMI raised almost $100,000 last October. Not from walkers, as everyone who puts on a "walk" knows, but from the sponsors.
Who were their biggest monetary sponsors??
BRAVO and MHMR.
And MHMR employees, who were strongly encouraged to form teams and raise money for NAMI.
So, later on last fall, when it's time to enroll mental health clients in BRAVO, who are their mouthpieces to the community?
NAMI and MHMR.
There's a real conflict of interest here. NAMI is supposed to advocate on behalf of clients, not profit from making recommendations about ANYTHING, such as medications from a pharmaceutical company, housing from a particular provider, OR FROM A MEDICAID HMO WHO NEEDS NEW CLIENTS.
WHO JUST HAPPENED TO GIVE A PURPORTED $30,000 TO THE NAMI NON-PROFIT.
(I am attempting to get the exact figure from NAMI-TC president, Melissa Gibbons)
See, it's a big deal, because NAMI is a non-profit that is supposed to educate, support, and advocate. Not get into bed with mental health providers.
Now you can better understand why the local branch of NAMI has been silent about the Paradise Center Scandal, while at the state, and I think national level, concern has been expressed over what is serious wrong doing by various Tarrant county agencies, both governmental and private.
An interesting comment about NAMI-TC and the two Medicaid HMOs came to the Paradise Center Scandal blog this morning...
nami-tc family has left a new comment on your post "Righting Wrongs, Fighting Injustice & Ferreting Out Corruption Aren't the Fort Worth Way":
I just got my monthly nami-tc newsletter and very likely due to your expose of this scandal the leadership has scheduled reps from the two Medicaid HMOs to give presentations at this month's meeting, which quite a remarkable contrast from previous months when the board and other leaders were pushing Bravo Health as if it were the sole provider in our service area.
Keep up the good work because some good things are already coming out of it. The works not finished yet as long as the evil doers are not held accountable for the pain and suffering they've inflicted on Ms. Davis, her family, and her Paradise Center Family.