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Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade offers ideas for maintaining your mental health.

Disability Debacle-A Case of Govt. Health Mismanagement

Written by Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade, Community blogger | Jul 7, 2014 11:34 AM

For what seems like 100 years, I consulted with the Bureau of Disability Determination in PA, doing psych evaluations with true mind and heart applied to a multiplicity of problems. I have written elsewhere about the wealth of experience I gained from this work. I learned to appreciate the conditions under which people suffer in homelessness, poverty, ill physical heath, and mental illness often poorly-treated. I learned to distinguish between a malingerer who wants money for his barely-ADHD child, who functions fine in school with some help and in sports and social life without it, for whom the parent provides no extra therapy or treatment, anyway, and the person who worked hard, still wants to and can't anymore. Sure, I was paid, first not so well and eventually better, but I gave more than 100% back. And I'm in good company among hundreds of colleagues.

So, what does the government agency do, in all it's "wisdom"? It decides to cut expenses by outsourcing these evaluations to a company in NY State. The company first thinks of consolidating all the PA evaluations  by having people who have no money and are often physically and psychologically incapacitated travel to a few big cities. Most of PA is rural, except for these population centers where, incidentally, most of the disability fraud occurs. Take Philadelphia, for example. Drug addicts collecting money based on their "disability," so they can buy more drugs. Give me a break!

Well, then the company finds that their plan won't work because they don't have enough "doctors," which includes psychologists, like me. So, they call us and offer us jobs, either traveling or not, for more bureaucracy and way less pay. I and most of my cohorts decline, thank you very much. In fact, I even gave the company an opportunity to call me on the phone and discuss it, but they couldn't do more than email. Now, I hear that the system is a nightmare and the government isn't doing its job and isn't going to save money , anyway. Penny-wise and pound-foolish doesn't work. More administration and less healthcare won't either.

Like I said, give me a break!

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