Last week on January 22nd, the Alabama Department of Mental Health Associate Commissioner for Developmental Disabilities Courtney Tarver visited Colin’s Castle. This was significant since the folks in Montgomery had been all but ignoring me for going on two years now. Mr. Tarver is new in the job, and I really appreciate the fact that early on in his tenure he decided to visit. It was significant because at least he had an open mind about the concept of Microboards, and how a Microboard operates. I appreciate his visit even though I don’t expect any sudden changes in the way we are funded. I do think, though, that something is likely to change within the next six to nine months in the way the ALDMH allows people to self-direct their services. This is essentially what we are doing now. What happens now is that all public funds which are allocated for the care of Colin are funneled through a third party provider of services which in turn pays our employees. Only problem is, they skim 37% off the top. That is a hefty profit for an organization that does no more than payroll management since we do everything else. We find our employees, we train our employees, we comply with the Nurse Delegation Program to include training, we maintain all records on site, and manage schedules. We do everything except cut the checks. What we need is to minimize the $$ that are skimmed off the top so that we can pay our employees better. All of these point I made with Mr. Tarver. I think that he listened and I am hopeful.
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