Commissioner Dan Camp (left), State Representative Jim Christiana (right) / submitted photos

Beaver County Commissioner Dan Camp has sent a letter to State Representative Jim Christiana responding to his recent criticisms about the county’s current contract impasse with Gateway Rehab. Camp also forwarded a copy of his letter to State Representatives Rob Matzie, Jim Marshal, Aaron Bernstine, Mark Mustio and Jason Ortitay, State Senators Elder Vogel and Camera Bartolotta, along with Speaker of the House Mike Turzai.

Commissioner Camp’s letter is being published by the Beaver Countian in full below:

Dear Representative Christiana,

Behavioral Health Patients Have, and Will Continue to Have the Care They Need

Without checking with the Board of Commissioners or the Administration of Beaver County Behavioral Health for the facts, you have leveled accusations that Beaver County Medicaid recipients have been denied access to drug and alcohol services because of the County’s inability to contract with Gateway Rehabilitation Center. You have asked the State Department of Human Services to conduct an investigation, and you have alleged that “the decision by the County not to use Gateway’s services means people are forced to get treatment outside the county.” Further, you have charged that going outside the County is “an irresponsible use of state dollars.”

Nothing could be further from the truth.

A contract requires two parties, and agreements must be reached concerning what is a fair and reasonable payment for services that are to be provided. This is particularly the case when it comes to using tax dollars to purchase those services. As County Commissioners, we have the responsibility of using your tax dollars wisely, and efficiently. That often means refusing to pay unreasonable rates to a contractor who may not have the ability to provide all of the services our behavioral health population requires.

Here are some of the facts:

—— The Agreement which had existed between the County and Gateway was terminated by Gateway, not the County. The County refused to pay Gateway the rates it was demanding which, in some instances, were as much as 50% more than what the County had previously been paying and without Gateway providing additional services or improved patient outcomes.

—— The rates for services now being sought by Gateway continue to be far in excess of reasonable. Gateway’s last two set of proposed rates for Detox services were the highest in the state, and exceeded the average of the rates paid by all other counties for Fiscal Year 2015/16 by 81% and 99%. Gateway has rejected the rates being offered by the County, which we believe are fair and reasonable, although they are lower than what Gateway is demanding.

—— Gateway’s most recent proposal for Detox and other services included an estimated $927,000 of budgeted costs that are not permissible under federal regulations.

—— That proposal also included, without justification, 8 budgeted and full—time equivalent positions which would cost between $250,000 and $500,000.

—— As part of the contract negotiation process and entering into an agreement, the County may require its behavioral health service providers to sign an attestation that it is in compliance with federal and state regulations, particularly those that apply to the expenditure and accountability of funds. In the current contract negotiations, Gateway has declined to do so.

—- County residents continue to have Dr. Neil Capretto as a resource in the provision of drug and alcohol services. Dr. Capretto has served and continues to serve as a consultant to the County in the development and operation of its drug and alcohol programs and BCBH has relied greatly upon his expertise with these programs.

—— The tax dollars that the County receives to pay for drug and alcohol treatment services, whether for Medicaid or non—Medicaid recipients, are not unlimited. In fact, the tax dollars available to pay for non—Medicaid recipients are very limited and if the County were to acquiesce to Gateway’s demands with regard to the requested rates, the number of county residents to whom treatment service could be funded will be greatly reduced. Although the funding streams are different, the same holds true for the funds available to pay for those treatment services for Medicaid recipients.

County government, whether the Board of Commissioners or the agencies who serve at its direction, has an obligation to be accountable stewards of the funds given to it, whether those funds are from a federal or state source or raised through real estate tax dollars. As such, it is our responsibility to spend those funds judiciously, getting everything we can for each and every dollar spent in our efforts to assure that County residents who need these services will have access to them. We believe we are doing just that. To further increase the number of county residents that can receive treatment services, BCBH sought competitive bids from providers or residential Detox and Rehabilitation Services. In addition to having a comprehensive drug and alcohol treatment service network (both in and outside the County when the need for a service not provided within the County arises), we have worked hard to efficiently manage and apply available funds to the cost of service, while at the same time ensuring that any eligible individual who needs service is getting it. In fact, the treatment program and facility targeted for Beaver Falls is funded with dollars, some $2.8 million, saved and earned through good management of the HealthChoices (Medicaid) funds entrusted to the County, and which we are now being permitted to “reinvest” in a program that will allow us to provide more services to our residents in a cost efficient manner. With the good management of the HealthChoices funds and the earnings of “reinvestment” dollars for use in developing new and alternative programs, the County is essentially getting the use of those dollars twice. As an aside, Gateway was offered the opportunity to submit a proposal for that $2.8 million and that program. The proposal Gateway submitted did not provide for additional treatment beds or services, but instead, wanted to apply those earned savings to enhancements for its administration (i.e., its overhead), a proposed use of those funds which were not part of the program that had been approved by the State Department of Human Services. Gateway’s proposal was rejected by an independent committee established to review and make recommendations regarding all of the proposals submitted.

—— While Gateway is recognized as a quality provider of drug and alcohol treatment services, it does not provide all of the services required by County residents and it does not accept all County residents presented to it. Part of the reason BCBH contracts with a facility in Ohio is because it provides specialized services not available within the County boundaries.

The Board of County Commissioners are proud of the drug and alcohol treatment services we make available to eligible County residents and the cost-effective manner in which we use the tax dollars entrusted to us to provide those services and meet the needs of those recipients. Our performance and the manner in which we conduct that business is an open book. We would be happy to meet with you and any other interested legislator as well as the Pa Department of Human Services and make available our BCBH administrative staff to share the facts with everyone. The county looks forward to hear from you.

Respectfully,
Daniel C. Camp, III
Beaver County Commissioner

65 COMMENTS

  1. Did anybody read the article in the Times about Lawrence County putting together a big organized push to attract ancillary businesses to the cracker plant? Go back and read that and then come back here and read this, Connie Javens court case, the lawyers all positioning for the judge elections and understand that while Washington, Butler , Allegheny and even Lawrence, now, go after development and projects designed to grow their tax base and businesses and infrastructure, we sit here and have one shit fight after another. This is what they worked on this week around here.

    Our officials have this “build and they will come” and “they know where to find us” approach and we get out -hustled ALL THE TIME by other areas. If Shell wasn’t pushing for most of this themselves, we would be celebrating the opening of our 100th dollar store in the county.

    So what we have here is Blank Resume Christiana and Charlie’s nephew having a snit fight over who gets control of the junk head concession and Connie loses her day in court over some snotty high school style website comments and the lawyers all vying for a judgeship and that cushy pension that will keep them happy into their dotage. Don’t be surprised if we see a lot of business springing up everywhere but here. We’ll get to host the new waste dump and the 15 jobs that creates.

     
    • More chaos in the county with these new inexperienced, low educated commissioners. Can’t wait to get rid of them in 3 years! Our county is always in turmoil.

       
  2. Little Jimmy is cutting his own throat. Whata dick. He wants to be King of the County. I can’t figure him out. What’s he doing stirring shit in the county government? Look for him to back Tony Guy for commissioner. I don’t know I guess like they say ” follow the money”. There has to be some benefit for him to do this. Of course that’s just my opinion

     
  3. Thank You Dan Camp ! Back those who are fighting this battle, i.e. Our Commissioners, Administration of Beaver County Behavioral Health along with those who battle addiction.
    Anyone associated with jimchristiana should take this opportunity in time, to distance themselves from him. It is obvious he panders to the topic of the day. Remember: he was going to eliminate property taxes, and?
    Then when”family leave” was in the news, he could not find any of his constituents in need, so he championed this cause for a select few government employees. Making comparisons to IKEA ?
    Jobs- He seems to feel he brought Royal Dutch Shell to the banks of the Ohio, for “Job Expansion.” By the way they are here tax free.
    Now it’s OPIOID addiction, and jimchristiana … Here(your lingo)MY MAN, you are out of your league. It sickens me, that you suggest an investigation. You have also defamed those who are on the front line, making every effort to help those who struggle with addiction. With this attack, once more YOU MADE IT PERSONAL.

     
    • Oh by the way- I think Sandy and the rest of those who no longer put up with jimchristiana’s immature and bad behavior, may have tapped his phone. A word to Tony Guy, never let your guard down with this guy …… you see how it comes back to bite you in the ass.

       
    • At one time Gateway when DR. Twersky ran it and not a bunch of corrupt BC politicians was a decent place. But the house that Dr. Twersky built does not exist any more. Watch your back if you ever have to go into gateway. And im not talking about the patients.

       
      • Agree completely with you……I remember Dr. Twerski! Now it’s a place where they clean up and go right back out there to it.

         
  4. Poor Jimmy…..trying to be Mr. Big in county government and failing….He should spend his energy doing his job as state representative and stay out of county business.

     
    • It’s state money not county money. Christiana has every right to question usage of state funded tax dollars.

       
      • Yes, that’s very true. But he also has the responsibility to make sure that he knows his facts before he goes off half cocked which he inevitably fails to do just about every time he sticks his nose into the workings of the county.

        This is the sign of a megalomaniac and in my opinion that word fits him quite appropriately.

        Enough said.

         
  5. Ya hear that noise?????? From a far…….

    Ding…. Ding…… DING

    THE BELL TOLLS FOR THE’

    That’s called zing pow, you commissioner just bitch slapped ya….

    And the SPEAKER of the house. MIKE TURZAI already put your ass in the little table.

    Hmmmmm…… Seems like the lugs nuts are coming loose on this bus ride!

    What to do what to do. The light at the end of tunnel is beating on political career and he’s going off track……

    Bye bye little bitch boy

     
  6. I wonder if Mr. Christiani has received any political donations from Gateway. I applaud the commissioners on this issue.

     
    • Speaking of Gateway hey Bad Brad you and a lot of your colleagues sure are a shinning example of professionalism honesty and care and compassion for the addicts that enter Gateway. The place should be cauterized with a blowtourch.

       
  7. Little Jimmy C, it appears you should’ve contacted the Commissioners BEFORE you ONCE AGAIN opened your mouth and made a FOOL out of yourself. My suggestion? – Put a sock in it and go back to selling used cars.

    Way to go Danny, you FINALLY grew a set and dropped the mic on BoyWonder Christiana. Sounds like you now have a “take-no-prisoners” attitude like your co-commissioner Sandie Egley.

    Speaking of Sandie, VOTE SANDIE EGLEY FOR PENNSYLVANIA STATE REPRESENTATIVE 15TH DISTRICT.

     
    • Great!! This County is nothing more than a joke . Look at the probation office., there are so so many people on probation shooting needles , Od, dying Smoking weed snorting coke, everyday who never get drug tested. They laugh at the probation office. They all get away with every illegal thing under the sun. How many died from an Od? Maybe if they were violated they would be alive. I know this first hand believe me. I had a death in my family. She would be alive if her Po would have did a routine drug test on her.

       
      • @ Layla….You’re not really going to place the blame on Parole Officers for overdoses committed by individuals rolling the dice with their very own lives by ingesting drugs to achieve a desired high are you? Mungo offers condolences for the loss of your family member, but some of the best street drugs available are being bought, sold, and used in jails behind bars! So what does that say about the people who OD in prison and County jails? Do you blame the guards for not checking cell blocks and buttholes better? No amount of piss testing will ever stop an individual from recklessly risking their lives in pursuit if just one more fix. Until the addicted individual gets tired of being tired and decides to truly seek help no amount of intervention will be successful for long. You say in your comment ” She would be alive if her PO would have did a routine drug test on her ” That sounds pretty definitive and possibly criminal if evidence exsists that fault lies with that PO. However it still simply avoids the true culprit in most overdoses…….Lack of personal responsibility!

         
      • @Layla – P.O.s can only drug test clients that actually report in and show up for scheduled appointments.

         
  8. My hats off to commissioner Camp.. just like gateway to use the drug epidemic and the fact that pharmaceutical company have created a new means off lining their pockets. .l think that Big Pharmaceutical should have to pay for these programs anyway. Their drugs have created these victims make them pay doe anyone who needs treatment from their poison.

     
  9. I love how everyone complains about Christiana, and WE (the voters) were given the opportunity in November to get rid of Country Club Jim and his shenanigans, but what do the voters do? Their sphincter tightens and are afraid to vote for the opponent, and now we complain through the internet like some Timmy Tough Nuts… grow a set and make a change, don’t hid behind a computer and make disparaging remarks. Unfortunately, accept the incompetence of the uneducated voters voters who voted just to say they voted but followed zero county, state, or national politics.. Maybe in the next election those that complain will make a find their manhood, and make a change for their communities rather than individual…

     
    • Couldn’t have said it better. I say it all the time. We have no one to blame but ourselves. We just vote for the person who has the letter beside their name we associate ourselves with. People would undoubtedly vote for a serial killer if they ran under the party that person supports. It’s embrassing. Where’s the same passion that everyone had the past year for the presidential election? If people only understood that local elections have the biggest impact on your life.

       
      • @j25- and Fuzzy
        JC was reelected time and time again. I respectfully want you to know that is not the point. If we all follow the bouncing ball, JC was uninformed, and made unfounded accusations and should be held accountable for. Please know that JC took his misinformation to the Times, and they(Times) ran with HIS story of improprieties by the BC Commissioners. He did all of this prior to getting any factual information, be that from the Commissioners, Gateway, or Beaver County Behavior Health.
        JC, has an agenda … I have no idea what that is, but he feels a need to grandstand, and this time..he did this very publicly, with not one bit of truth. Reread Dan Camp’s Letter also read JC’s initial article in the Times, and note JC went on Local Radio to pitch his attack. While on the radio program, JC was given the facts from a Beaver County Behavior Health Administrator. […On Air with JC was Sheriff Tony Guy. Tony knew of, and worked with this particular administrator. Sheriff Guy said nothing as JC was given factual information.]
        JC’s attack on the commissioners is personal in nature, and must be addressed, and stopped. The Commissioners and those at BCBH, now more than ever, need our support for this COSTLY( both lives and resources) epidemic. This is no time to be premature in threatening an investigation/grandstanding.
        JC (no matter how he got there) is an elected official, an employee of the people, and I want him to be more respectful and informed. This battle can be fought, and hopefully won, without someone pushing a hidden agenda.

         
      • @Walk I totally understand your point of view. I am just simply pointing out that Widner Law Schools finest student could have been voted out and he wouldn’t have had the stage to pull this crap. Just curious about what admin he was on air with from BCBH. Gerard Mike? Lisa McCoy? Kate Lowery? Frankly I can’t believe that Mike’s name hasn’t been brought up more, or that JP hasn’t written about him.

        PS. Hey James. How many times have you been absent from votes on the floor because you were at class? And who was the name of that VT linebacker you had an almost unfortunate run in with at certain wedding reception?

         
    • Lousy candidate against him. Tired old D retread. Get some young bllod. JC sucks and will be done next tine around.

       
  10. Isn’t it better to send addicts away from their druggie friends and dealers for treatment?

    Does Gateway’s facility in Center house addicts from Butler, etc counties? Will the new county facility bring in druggies from other counties? Where is the new facility going to be? Hopefully nowhere near me.

     
    • Give it some thought … Think about those who profit from this opioid crisis. There is a home protection company running ads about addicts and home break-ins. Halfway and three quarter houses, with no real guidelines. For profit rehabilitation centers with high rates of patients that relapse. Arrests, costing all involved, from the tax payer to the perpetrator to the policing man power and no real results. The statistics show high recidivism rates and more innocent people being violated. When it comes to this epidemic, The worst crime in my opinion: Those who misuse influence spewing lies to sway public opinion for personal gain.

       
  11. Our newest industry around here. Do you see some of the $$$ figures thrown around for dealing with the opioid crisis? We’re going to have treatment centers going up like dollar stores all with a staff of addiction specialists to get some of that pie.

     
  12. Commissioners and representatives are going back and forth like a high school debate class over the most pressing and dire epidemic facing our county at this time. No offense to The Beaver Countian intended but including this 3rd party commentary site and blowing this up shows us the disaster this deal has become. If these people really cared from the beginning they would have been meeting regularly and working out all this stuff instead of inviting public judgements that have very little to do with getting real people off hardcore addictions.

     
  13. If there is not enough work in Harrsburg to keep JC from sticking his nose in county business, then perhaps he should put all his energy in getting his job eliminated via reducing the size of the state legislature. Sad fact with gerrymandering, he often runs unopposed.

     
  14. Hey Raven
    You know Jimmy is an Italian Catholic? His grandfather ran a numbers racket on his bread route. Does that validate your previous diatribe?

     
  15. I hope that Mr. Camp is wrong when he says the new addiction facility will be in Beaver Falls. Why can’t those people who work in the county building consider other towns? Does every program, every half way house, every new housing project have to be put in Beaver Falls? Time to consider other towns that might need the addition to their tax base. I’m sure most of those people who are in Beaver County Behavioral Health don’t live near their offices in Beaver Falls. With their overblown salaries, I’m sure most are proud to call Beaver, Brighton, Chippewa their home. Every town is having problems with addiction, and overdoses. My heart goes out to the overworked paramedics and EMT’s having to deal with this repeatedly on a daily basis. They’re the ones needing a salary boost!

     
    • stevenj- I agree PRIORITY ONE -paramedics and EMT’s deal with this on a daily basis. They’re the ones needing a salary boost!

       
    • The new facility is not going in Beaver Falls. And no, not all of us live in Beaver, Brighton, or Chippewa because we cannot afford to on the county salaries we get paid. Some of us do actually have a Beaver Falls address.

       
  16. Hey nothing for nothing but the post on facebook last January by Brian Wozniak praising sheriff tony guy and his huge drug seizure which made no impact at all concerning the drug problem and also the sheriffs dept. are only glorified security guards. Ya way to go Brian. Im sure you and your insurance business get along fine. Question are tony guys boys enemies your enemies. If you have issues with another man at least have the decency to try and act like a man. Doing tony guys dirty work is not a sign of integrity.

     
  17. What about tony guy and his uneducated comments about hiring on physical training and backround checks, not family and friends. Why was a background check not done on ur midget ass??? I bet the people of beaver county would love to know what a slimeball cheating no good punk you really are. Your mouth and actions are costing the tax payers all kinds of money. And I hear it’s far from being over!!! You are the poorest excuse for law enforcement.!!!!!!!!

     
  18. It’s Amateur Hour once again in Beaver County. I wonder who actually penned this. From what I hear, Danny Boy isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer.

     
  19. Why is it that someone that requires a shot of NARCAN to save their life from a heroin overdose doesn’t face some kind of legal ramification? Personally, I would like to see Christiana in his role as a law-maker do something about making it a crime to overdose on heroin. On it’s surface, that might seem a bit cold, but I’m sure there are some individuals who might be dissuaded by the threat of a criminal charge. And for those that won’t be dissuaded, it might force them into a drug treatment program if they are arrested and charged with a crime.

     
  20. Addicts are cash money. opiate addiction can be brought under control in the USA. Very easily free methadone for those that need it.The state or the addict that does work pays a meth clinic a minimum of $100.oo dollars a week.counseling is a joke. Do away with the methadone clinics designate certain pharmacies and hospitals. All these so called counselors have accomplished what in all these years. opiates methodone are one of the cheapest substances in the world. It is there artificial value that inflates the price.a[A gallon of methadone that can supply a thousand doses costs no more than 30.00 and that’s a high estimate. You want to solve the opiate problem everyone already has the answer.

     
  21. One is reminded of that great sage, Ebenezer Scrooge, “if they would rather die, they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”

     
    • Giving unfortunate addicts the drugs they crave and need in a compassionate responsible way keeps them alive and healthy eradicates drug dealers and the corruption that allways goes with it. And when the addict is ready and as the past 100yrs has shown us only when the addict is ready he or she will stop.

       
  22. Camp’s letter is misleading. If you look at all of the information about this situation including what is NOT published here, Christiana is right. Anyone understand government accounting standards and how “restricted” funds are to be used? Let’s start there. See, no one is watching. The state audits are a joke. Hey, let’s look at dog licenses or let’s look at pension funds for a specific department ONLY. And you have a county Controller who is great at politically pointing out deficits for which he had oversight and knowledge and for which he was responsible, after the fact. Good grief! Beaver County has no chance of ever getting their act together as long as you have muppets running the show.

     

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