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 Post subject: Re: HOLY SHIT!
PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 11:40 am 
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IBenThere2 wrote:
What ta fuck,my computer gets cramped up for a couple months and i come back for an update just to read 20 minutes of politics and future canned goods,I really would have thought one of you would have just opened a new topic elsewhere,This one is Shot in my opinion and fuck the update!You folks didn't say anything about my topic did yea think it was open house?just think how you would react if yea open your topics and find that everyone is talking about (well its all above)Christ!,,I'll get over it but for now im just going to melt a 8 mg suboxone strip and i have a lot of them i don't hope your out!!!how inconsiderate and that's being polite!


Uhhhhhh.....are you really that angry that you need to come on here and curse at us? Really, dude, this happens on every forum, especially when the original poster doesn't come back for a very long time to add on. I mean, you posted on April 24th and then nothing until July 6th, and you are furious that it strayed off topic. Really?That's quite ridiculous, rude, and inconsiderate.

Sorry you are so unhappy and angry. I just don't agree with how you handled this, but I'm over it too and I'd like to here your update if you still want to post it.

laddertipper

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 1:08 pm 
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Although threads do sometimes go off on tangents like this one did, I do understand why IBenThere2 got upset. Just because he didn't return since April doesn't mean he gave up the topic of his thread. And people swear on the forum all the time. He didn't swear AT anyone and he does have a right to his feelings and I certainly don't blame him for being upset. I probably would be too. I don't think directing anger back at him solves anything.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 2:56 pm 
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Thank you hatmaker510 for your understanding and putting things to reason,I have calmed down from my element of surprise,as for laddertipper I can understand your attack to defend due to your key element in the continuation of the off topic conversations,As I did briefly explain I had computer problems in the mean time,Oh well,it came it went its over,like my past drug & alcohol use its in the past now and its all good I think what is best so that this topic does not take another turn for the worst is I will start a new one so others that read into it don't get miss-led because there is too much of a gap between where I want to continue and where I started,But i would like for others that may experience or that may have experienced what the rest of the story is/was and share that in the hopes that it can help folks to have an idea of what to possibly expect god forbid this ever happens to you or them or me again.I am not experienced with how forums operate I am new to this so my eyes are open to anything that can happen now,I did with common knowledge think that there will be negatives and positives and definitely realize that there will be alternatives in different folks thoughts and that's why I came here to share my experience and Learn from others and use some of their ideas and tools so to speak,I am eager to share my experience and thoughts because I do believe I can help to "Plant the Seed" so to speak in the helping of someone,As I shared in my opening about myself I do have 40 years in daily drinking and drugging and 13yrs sober from drinking and 4 years off the drugs with suboxone as my lifeline so to speak,Thanks for listening and I do try to re-frame from any personal attacks,I don't believe I made any but maybe I opened a blind eye to being accountable and responsible for one's actions versus justifying and throwing blame on another,Ill start a new thread if you want to hatmaker510 you can delete this one,Thanks again for understanding.IBenThere2

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 4:57 pm 
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As the former owner and founder of the SCG program, i feel compelled to address some of the issues touched upon here as well as a myriad other places "out in the wild".

While this thread started out with a different direction than it ended with, i'm confident that which follows will not fall upon deaf ears.

First and foremost, the dynamics which led to the ultimate demise of Synergy Counseling Group were due largely to forces outside of my control and multiple efforts to counter those dynamics took place between the months of January 2011 and April 2011. Ultimately, the weight brought to bear by the powers that be were more than we could contend with and left me with no choice but to close down as abruptly as we were forced to do. Understand that, within that, there was no appropriate context which would have opened the door to any ethical conversation between ourselves and our patients regarding the external dynamics which we were fighting that brought us to our knees. I will own the percentage of responsibility which is mine that had to do with other choices which i could have made in the years prior which "could have" buffered us from the changes which were threatened. Finally as part of this preface, my heart still aches for the persons who were negatively affected by the our hand which was ultimately forced by those dynamics and the resulting decision.

Now, as no attention whatsoever has been paid to the first point i am about to make, i will begin at that juncture. In the late summer of 2010, the State medicaid system, upon which we relied for 90-95% of the revenue which kept us in business, made threats of significant reimbursement cuts to certain categories of medical providers. All of the services we were providing were affected by those cuts. ALL of them. They "threatened" to make those cuts in the pending months, but gave no clear timeline for such. Nonetheless, because the writing was on the wall at that point, administrative decisions had to be made. One of those decisions, which clearly falls under the label of "business is business" was the laying off of numerous staff positions in the Fall and Winter of 2010 as well as contract adjustments for the remaining staff. This, obviously, created some discontentment amongst the staff which remained. There were also efforts to diversify the services we were offering in order to compensate for the services currently being provided which were doomed to the pending draconian cuts. So we increased our efforts to provide primary care style medical services beyond just the addiction medicine components we were providing. This was a calculated gamble.

Fast forward to January of 2011. With the first Medicaid reimbursement which arrived for the new year, we were shocked to see that reimbursement arrive 50% lighter than was expected or budgeted for. We scrambled to find answers to why our reimbursement was so abysmally low. For more than a week, we received a vast and convoluted run-around from the State representatives as to the justifying those numbers. Ultimately, they conceded that, in the middle of the night, behind closed doors, had implemented their cost reduction scheme presented in the previous year. This plan ultimately reduced our typical weekly payments between 40 and 50%. This was immediately unsustainable, but the choice was between bailing out at that point or finding a way to pull it together for the benefit of the patients and the staff. The choice was obvious. In the following week, we presented to both the staff and the patients, the plan to downsize, closing the Berlin clinic and moving a percentage of that staff to the South Burlington clinic. The exact reasons for that downsizing were spelled out in black and white for EVERYONE to see. The writing was now on the wall for all to see and in large bold letters. In January of 2011, we conceded that we were in trouble, but were dedicated to moving forward.

After the reconsolidation was complete and things were more or less "settled" in S. Burlington, i was hit with demand after demand from our MD's and Nurses for "more money". Of course, these members of our "team" knew as well as anyone else what our financial situation was and the reasons we were in that situation. Yet, they threatened to walk if their "requests" were not honored. One of those Nurses actually sued us for having not increased her salary according to the terms of her old, and now defunct contract. She won that suit and was immediately provided with an order that intercepted our next week's reimbursement from medicaid and pocketed that money. This was damaging for us, but, again, there was no context by which any of this could reasonably be disclosed to anyone. Remember, at this point, the news of our financial health was public.

As the months between January and April progressed, we became further and further in default of a number of bills which were owed by the company, not the least of which was the rent which we were now months behind on. All of this despite the layoffs, clinic closure and the now months old decision to no longer draw a salary for myself (which ultimately led to the foreclosure of my own home and eviction of my family). In the last week of March, 2011, we were dealt with a double blow. First, our landlord informed us, that due to the default of our lease agreement, we would be locked out of the facility the following wednesday. Finally, the external billing company which we were using for our A/R, shut us off from utilizing their services as of noon that Friday.

With no backing in the bank, no ability to continue to bill for services, no place to do business in the next week, and no willingness from the staff to work without pay (an understandable point), our hand was forced. After a weekend of much consternation, a decision was announced the following monday morning, that we would be closed by that wednesday.

Now, there is much, much more that i could add with regard to how LITTLE attention was paid to us and the good work we were doing all that time as well as the void of attention which was paid to the countless pleas i made to the medical community and the public at large as to what would keep us sustainable and moving forward in a volatile economic environment, but that discussion is for another post or another forum.

I also will not take this opportunity to tout our successes during the years of our existence. The healthier lives of our patients are a testamant to that.

The correct context simply needs to be applied to the dynamics around the events of 2011 for synergy, as any other representation, lacking those facts, is inaccurate.

Thank you for your time

James Hamel


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:20 am 
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Thank you, RJ Hamel, for this explanation. Even though I wasn't affected by your closure, a lot of us lately have been abruptly cut off from Sub and we don't always understand the forces at work behind an office closure. It sickens me that healthcare providers can suddenly be paid 50% of what is expected (which was already probably low to begin with), while somehow we always seem to find enough money to start another war. But I won't go off on another political tangent.

There has to be some way of providing a backup for Suboxone patients. I understand that there is a 100 patient limit, but with so many of us physically dependent - and with several of us reporting being cut off abruptly just this month alone - there needs to be some safety net in place where a non-approved MD can write a prescription on an emergency basis.

I'm sorry for the loss of your business and the hardship to your family. I pray that this society can come to the realization that caring for people is more important than getting rich. I hope you can find a way back to the work you do, which is so valuable to the community.


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