According to gripes from the U.S. Department of Justice, the state of North Carolina is mishandling mental health patients, violating the Americans With Disabilities Act by failing to provide adequate housing. The DOJ may sue the state and force 1,200 mental health patients out of adult care homes — inadequate facilities which it says are operating as mental health care facilities.
WCNC Charlotte reports the DOJ’s threats are the latest black marks in years of allegedly failed mental healthcare policy in the state. Back in 2001, the state overhauled its system and farmed out mental healthcare to for-profit companies, freezing out county providers. The companies have been accused of providing inadequate care at high rates. A newspaper investigation concluded the state wasted more than $400 million on the system.
As many as 38 institutions in the state may be forced to close because of federal guidelines that forbid Medicaid to fund places with a majority of younger residents who are housed there due to mental illness.