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Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: South Texas. most of my life I lived in Austin and Dallas
Home country: United States
Current location: Bryan, Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 85,804

About Me

Middle-aged white guy who believes in justice and equality for all. Math and computer analyst with additional 21st century jack-of-all-trades skills. I'm a stud, not a dud!

Journal Archives

Feds: Texas Responsible for Misspent Medicaid Dollars

Texas is “ultimately responsible” for millions of misspent Medicaid dollars, according to a new federal audit, because a state agency failed to properly oversee the contractor that reviewed the medical necessity of Medicaid claims.

For nearly five years, the Texas Medicaid and Healthcare Partnership (TMHP), a subsidiary of Xerox, allowed workers with limited expertise to approve dental claims for Texas’ Medicaid program, the joint state-federal insurer. State spending on orthodontic services spiraled out of control: Between 2003 and 2010, Texas Medicaid payments for orthodontic services grew by more than 3,000 percent — from $6.5 million to $220.5 million — while program enrollment only grew 33 percent. By 2012, federal and state auditors found that the contractor’s actions had opened the door to a “massive Medicaid fraud scheme” that cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.

Federal auditors now say the Texas Health and Human Services Commission is responsible for the uncontrolled spending growth because the state agency failed to ensure that its contractor, TMHP, followed state Medicaid guidelines to evaluate the medical necessity of orthodontic claims. According to the audit, which was released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General on Aug. 6, the state’s lack of oversight allowed TMHP to approve claims that may not have been medically necessary.

“Although TMHP failed to properly use the prior-authorization process to determine the medical necessity of orthodontic services, the State agency is ultimately responsible for contractor compliance,” the audit says.

More at http://kut.org/post/feds-texas-responsible-misspent-medicaid-dollars .

What does it mean

when you pass gas and the four farts ascend in a major chord? (e.g., C-E-G-C)

Another of life's anally retentive (well, maybe not) questions from the guy that posted the "I'm not a philosopher, but" thread last week: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10025353361

I got out of a crisis center tonight

to hear the news about Robin Williams.

I went to an initial psychiatric evaluation on Friday and mentioned that I've had suicidal thoughts and the means to commit suicide, but at the time I was not feeling that way and was actually kind of upbeat that I was finally getting some help. While I understand the psychiatrist's obligations, she sent me for a 48 hour hold to a crisis center. I can't say that it made me feel any better and in some ways it made me feel worse because I was so bored that during most of the stay I dwelled on my problems and the impact it has on others.

You might be asking why if it was a 48 hour hold that I didn't get out until tonight. The reason why is that crisis center does not discharge any patients over the weekend so I knew that I wouldn't be out until Monday around noon. This morning I found out that my brother who was providing my ride home had to work so I didn't get picked up until this evening (80 hours). When I saw my brother I learned that he had to return to the hospital where he worked so I spent about an hour there waiting for him to take care of a patient. He is all hyped up tonight since he was called into work on PRN status at about noon and then again for a couple more hours so we almost got into an argument. I recognized that he was probably going to say some things I didn't want to hear so I went for a late night walk to let things settle down.

Anyway, he was still upset when I got back so I offered to help him get his scrubs laundered since he works tomorrow. I have an early morning meeting with my case manager and there are going to be a few things that I want to discuss with him. I'm a bit upset about a few things, but I think that I'm handling things fairly well. Still the news about Robin Williams was startling to hear this evening.

For those that have a mental illness, or have family or friends with mental illness, I'll take time to think about you tonight and hope that tomorrow will be a better day. I know that I've been pretty down myself over the last few months, but I haven't given up yet which is why I'm seeking help. I may not be getting the help that I want or need, but I made it through another day and I am not a disposable Towelie.

RIP Robin and condolences to his family, friends and fans.

GOP Rep. Lois Kolkhorst announces bid for Texas Senate District 18

Republican State Rep. Lois Kolkhorst on Thursday made official her intentions to run for a state Senate seat and plans to publicly kick off her campaign Tuesday in her hometown of Brenham.

Kolkhorst, who was first elected to represent House District 13 in 2000, said she will file for Texas Senate District 18 if and when the position is vacated by Senator Glenn Hegar, who won the Republican nomination for comptroller in March and is favored to win against his Democratic opponent, Mike Collier, in the general election.

The 49-year-old wife and mother of two said her decision to run came after "many, many months of thinking about it, praying about it, looking at the issues and making sure I could be a good candidate."

Senate District 18 is made up of 21 counties including Washington County. As a senator, Kolkhorst would not be representing Burleson or Grimes counties as she currently does in the House.

More at http://www.theeagle.com/news/local/gop-rep-lois-kolkhorst-announces-bid-for-texas-senate-district/article_171d22fe-fd8d-5985-9047-0bbdd470bbe3.html .

[font color=green]Just my luck. I thought I'd never have to be concerned about her representing my interests after I moved from Brenham last year. Now she could become senator for the district that I live in now. Here is hoping that the SSDI or a job comes through so that I can move again.[/font]
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Aug 8, 2014, 02:02 AM (1 replies)

I'm not a philosopher, but

Important post in Video & Multimedia for Texans

Video posted by ashling:

Greg Abbott while on the Texas Supreme Court ruled in favor of Kirby Vacuum Company who failed to perform a routine background check on a salesman that raped a young mother. Abbott stated that the company owed no duty to perform the background check.
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Aug 7, 2014, 11:54 PM (2 replies)

Judge told flesh-eating disease caught in time

GALVESTON - Derry Dunn (R) considers himself lucky. If the Orange County justice of the peace had waited a little longer to begin treatment, he could have been among the 30 to 40 percent of victims who lose their limbs due to a bacterium that causes a flesh-eating disease.

Dunn, 69, the Precinct 2 judge, was admitted to Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center around midnight Wednesday with a severe case of vibrio vulnificus on his right leg. He believes his leg became infected July 27, when he splashed into the surf at Crystal Beach to pluck his 8-year-old grandson out of the water.

"Everybody thinks we got to it soon enough to stop it," Dunn said.

Dunn is one of the more than 20 cases that doctors see every year on the Texas Gulf Coast, said Dr. A. Scott Lea, assistant professor of infectious diseases at the University of Texas Medical Branch here. "In Galveston, we see it four or five times a year," Lea said. "We've seen two this year already."

More at http://www.chron.com/news/article/Judge-told-flesh-eating-disease-caught-in-time-5675625.php
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Aug 7, 2014, 10:40 PM (3 replies)

Lorena man’s estate gives record $35 million scholarship to UT

A Lorena native willed $35 million to the University of Texas at Austin for engineering scholarships, the largest single endowed scholarship gift in the university’s history.

T.W. “Tom” Whaley, a UT alumnus who died last year, instructed his estate to make the gift to UT’s Cockrell School of Engineering and its annual giving program, Friends of Alec, the university announced.

Whaley received his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from UT in 1968.

UT projects that the T.W. Whaley Jr. Friends of Alec Endowed Scholarship will create $1.6 million in merit scholarships and fellowships each year, according to a university press release.


Whaley obtained his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Texas A&M University and worked for General Dynamics building F-111 aircraft. He was recruited to work for the CIA after graduating from UT because of his expertise in antenna technology.

More at http://www.wacotrib.com/news/higher_education/lorena-man-s-estate-gives-record-million-scholarship-to-ut/article_f660e5be-f655-5deb-909e-a1ddf0bd9c48.html .

Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Aug 7, 2014, 10:30 PM (0 replies)

Update: Marlin police detective fired after controversial rant about SNAP beneficiaries

A Marlin police detective who posted a controversial rant on his Facebook page was fired Wednesday afternoon, officials said.

Detective Rob Douglas had been on administrative leave since Monday, after Marlin officials learned of the post during the weekend.

The post on Douglas’ Facebook page discussed his frustration with seeing people at the grocery store who receive public assistance or food stamps, but who may have tattoos or expensive tire rims on their vehicles.

“I promise, if I ever snap and go on a killing spree, it will be in a supermarket on the first,” the rant concluded.

More at http://www.wacotrib.com/news/marlin-police-detective-fired-after-controversial-rant/article_a6bdddf3-a1d5-5bf1-bd2a-64758969db28.html .

Related thread:
Marlin detective on administrative leave after Facebook rant about SNAP beneficiaries

Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Aug 7, 2014, 10:22 PM (2 replies)

Marijuana Apparently Unpopular in Texas

This shows the rate of marijuana use "in the past month" by people 12 and older. The data were collected in 2010 and 2011.
Credit SAMHSA, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, NSDUH, 2011 and 2012

Texas has one of the lowest rates of marijuana use in the country, according to a closely watched federal report. Recently released state level data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) shows less than five percent of Texas adults said they had used marijuana in the last month.

Among teenagers, six percent reporting having used marijuana in the last month. That rose to almost 14 percent for the 18-25 year old demographic. Only three percent of adults over 26 in Texas said they had used pot in the last month. The survey data was collected in 2010 and 2011.

"People who are against (marijuana legalization) will say, 'See, prohibition works,' and those who want to legalize it will say, 'There's no real danger,'" says William Martin, director of the Baker Institute's Drug Policy Program at Rice University. "I think you see in states like Colorado, there doesn't seem to be any rush to use by young people, which is what I think is what most people are most concerned about."

The NSDUH survey did not ask about specific concerns, but 38 percent of Texas adults said using marijuana once a month carries a "great risk."

More at http://kut.org/post/marijuana-apparently-unpopular-texas .

[font color=green]This poll and the headline are bullshit.[/font]
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Aug 7, 2014, 10:03 PM (8 replies)
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