When is ‘minimum’ the same as ‘high’? When NYS OMH says so. Part 3


Yesterday we talked about how both the Department of Mental Health (DOMH) and OMH go to courts to argue against consumers in need of protection that there is no right to sue under NYS’ mental health laws and that they are not mandated to provide ANY levels of quality of services. (Every time I write that I have to laugh; it’s a laughter of irony.)

Today I want you to see, side by side, these two agencies license rules and the NYS MH law giving the mandate to them, and compare them and come to your own conclusion, which I hope is mine too.

law blog

omh side

Again, the state speaks of

  • mentally ill persons
  •  high quality of services
  • Protection of rights
  • OMH must regulate and control the services

And how do these two agencies interpret that? They say, in Part 70.01 that the certificate “is intended”, as in ‘meant’ but doesn’t have to necessarily be the case, that a provider has met, not ‘complied’, with MINIMUM standards of care. MINIMUM.

Question: Since when is ‘minimum’ the equivalent of ‘high’?

I’m thinking, thinking….

The NYS law says “high quality of services”. These agencies downgraded to “minimum”. Thus, according to their “intention”, EVERY single program ought to be ‘certified’ because they ALL provide  the bare “minimum” quality of services, the LEAST quantity or amount possible, which is the definition of “minimum”.scrooge

Not only that: the certification is for the benefit of the provider, meant to hold him accountable ONLY to those minimum standards.  It’s a protection measure for the provider. Don’t hold him up to ‘higher’ standards of care, don’t be cruel, baby.

You think it doesn’t matter? From where do you think they got the court arguments we saw yesterday? “MHL does not impose a duty on OMH to provide any particular level of care for specific individuals”. That was their interpretation.

But this is nothing compared with what I’ll show you tomorrow.Then, after that, we’ll see the privatization of our public mental health system in action. Let me give you a teaser of why OMH told our legislators that  it’s ok to privatize our system”:

“…15% of case managers were performing psychotherapy”

“[licensure]…would not provide any meaningful measure of increased safety or quality to our citizens as reflected by the survey results.”

Whaaat!? My psychotherapist is a case manager!? That’s psycho!

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