You can read the NC Senate budget proposal at http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/Sessions/2013/Bills/Senate/PDF/S402v3.pdf. (The section on ADATCs begins on the bottom of page 148).
- North Carolina’s 3 ADATCs (Walter B. Jones in Greenville, RJ Blackley in Butner & Julian Keith in Black Mountain) provide services to about 4000 patients per year at a daily cost lower than community inpatient beds and state psychiatric hospital beds.
- ADATCs provide inpatient care, not outpatient or residential level of care.
- They serve individuals with complicated co-occurring diagnosis such as major depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Approximately three-fourths (75%) of individuals have some level of co-occurring diagnosis.
- The ADATCs provide specialized services for populations that exceed community capacity due to acuity and a need for higher level of specialized care such as pregnant women (all ADATCs), pregnant women with opiate addictions, women with babies who can deliver during their time at the facility (Walter B. Jones Center), individuals with traumatic brain injuries (Julian F. Keith Center) and Veterans (R. J. Blackley Center).
- On average 87% of individuals are indigent and have no type of insurance. Of the 13% with some insurance, only 8% have Medicare.
- By providing inpatient intensive care for low-income adults, ADATCs provide a unique service. Private providers are key, but many things they do provide such as short-term inpatient care and outpatient services, are secondary resources for this population, not replacements for extensive inpatient treatment. They certainly are ill equipped to handle this population starting next month, and hospitals and private providers are opposed to this measure.
- If ADATCs were eliminated, those they serve would instead go to the state psychiatric hospitals and increase waiting times in Emergency Departments (EDs) or be served in the criminal justice system.
- Eliminating ADATCs places North Carolina’s Substance Abuse Prevention & Treatment Block Grant (our main source of substance abuse treatment dollars) at risk since the state would not be meeting its maintenance of effort requirements.
- A decade ago NC moved people from mental hospitals to the community before the community supports were fully funded and in place. The results were disastrous. Let’s not repeat the same thing with substance abuse.
- Contact your NC House member and ask them to make sure the House budget restores funding for all three ADATCs. Use the talking points above, but be sure to incorporate personal stories and observations in the discussion. Calling or visiting is best, but emails can be effective as well.
(To find out who your NC House member is, click here to search by county, and then click on their name).
- Also contact the office of Rep. Nelson Dollar, a Wake County Republican, chair of the House Appropriations Committee and chief budget writer, at (919) 715-0795 and ask him to restore ADATC funding in the House budget.
Once you have contacted your legislator, please email me at email@example.com and let me know which legislator you contacted, and what feedback you received from that legislator.
We expect to have a House budget proposed by Thursday. If the NC House budget also includes this cut, it’ll be very difficult to save the ADATCs. If the House budget proposal restores the cut, on the other hand, we can then work with the conference committee, which will comprise key members of each body who will work to fashion a compromise.
I appreciate your patience as we work in a very fluid environment. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at (919) 606-7584.