Posted inColoradans, Health

Whistleblowers say they falsified patient records at Western Slope community mental health center

A troubled Western Slope mental health care center falsified assessments of its patients’ conditions for at least nine years in an effort to make its treatment programs seem more effective and secure funding from the state, whistleblowers say. The state overlooked what former workers describe as a long practice by the Grand Junction-based Mind Springs […]

Posted inHealth, Politics and Government

Rare three-agency audit of western Colorado mental health center finds dangerous prescription practices

State officials blasted one of Colorado’s 17 community mental health centers for prescription practices they called “scary” and “appalling” as they released a rare, three-agency audit Thursday.  The audit of Mind Springs Health, the safety-net mental health center for 10 counties on the Western Slope, followed dozens of complaints about the quality of care from […]

Posted inHealth, News, Politics and Government

A mental health hold can help Coloradans in crisis. But for many who are seriously ill, that’s where the help stops.

It was the most hopeful Sandy Sharp had felt in a long time.  Her 29-year-old son, Drew, had landed a bed at Grant House, a residential treatment facility in Denver. He was on track to stay there for a year. It seemed to be a huge breakthrough for Drew, whose schizophrenia and substance use had […]

Posted inHealth, News

Colorado has half a billion dollars to fix its mental health system. But it won’t work without workers.

In the spring of 2020, the community mental health center that serves Jefferson, Gilpin and Clear Creek counties had a completely manageable number of job openings — 11 therapists, counselors and other clinicians.  But as the coronavirus pandemic gripped Colorado, the vacancies started to climb, first into the teens and then the 30s and then […]

Posted inHealth, News

Colorado Medicaid contractor reverses course, will no longer try to recoup payments from mental health providers

Colorado mental health therapists will no longer have to pay back money they received for seeing Medicaid patients after a state contractor that had threatened to “recoup” the payments reversed course Wednesday.  Mental health counselors at practices in eight Front Range counties received emails from Colorado Community Health Alliance — the contractor that processes their […]

Posted inHealth, News

Colorado mental health therapists are quitting Medicaid over latest payment debacle

As a single parent going back to college, Carla D’Agostino-Vigil signed up for Medicaid and used the government-run health insurance to attend “life-saving” therapy. So when she graduated and started her own mental health counseling practice in Westminster, D’Agostino-Vigil was adamant that she would open her doors to Medicaid patients.  “When it was my turn, […]

Posted inOpinion, Opinion Columns

Opinion: We need a national prevention strategy for health and behavioral health problems

The lack of preparation in advance of COVID-19 cases in the United States has left hospitals, schools and commnunities struggling to find effective medical, educational and social solutions to combating the virus. Early warnings from China and other Asian countries foreshadowed the serious nature of a virus that knows no physical boundaries. Many public health […]