09 Feb 06

Shane V ValueOptions (Update)

Shane filed a lawsuit against ValueOptions who denied him psychiatric medication when he was released from prison – an omission that contributed to him committing a theft for which he was sentenced to eleven and a quarter years. Shane petitioned the court for an attorney – one of the grounds being that he has a mental illness – and was denied because he can write.

Through legal action, Shane secured paperwork illuminating ValueOptions pattern of slipshod service to Arizona’s mentally ill, which includes some disturbing cases. The multi-millionaire boss at ValueOptions – Dr Ronald Dozoretz – often claims that the suicide of a mentally ill patient is one too many, yet suicides and deaths linked to his company are prevalent in Arizona.
Take, for example, Ed Lui, a schizophrenic ValueOptions patient who shot dead two Wal-Mart employees. Are those two too many deaths, Dr Dozoretz?
And there’s Doug Tatar, who was deemed to be nondangerous by mental-health workers and was not committed for evaluation. Doug shot four people – killing two police officers – before blowing his brains out. Are these deaths three too many, Dr Dozoretz?
Christine Meyers begged ValueOptions for help for two months, before walking down a ravine, putting a gun in her mouth, and ending her life. Is that one suicide too many, Dr Dororetz?
Peter Hookirk, a twenty-two year old college student, was accepted by ValueOptions and wrote, “they’ve classified me as SMI [Seriously Mentally Ill], dad, so maybe now they can help me get well and get a job so I won’t be a burden.”
How did ValueOptions help Peter? They gave him free tickets to the Arizona State Fair, and advised his parents to petition the courts to have him committed. Unable to get the help he needed, Peter hung himself in a lonely desert area where he had played as a child. Is that suicide one too many, Dr Dozortetz?
Let us not forget Loren Spellers, a thirty-nine year old schizophrenic, whose ValueOptions doctor advised her that “nothing could be done” and that “these are the symptoms of your illness”, these claims by the doctor after Loren, accompanied by her mother, presented with “increasing psychotic symptoms, including increased auditory and visual hallucinations.” The doctor refused Loren’s mother’s request for a change of medication, and just five and a half hours later, Loren Denise Spellers committed suicide by shooting herself in the head. Still counting suicides, Dr Dozoretz?

At least Governor Janet Napolitano lambasted ValueOptions in a letter to Dr Dozoretz. She wrote about “the unacceptable courses of dealing (or more accurately, a lack of dealing) between ValueOptions and Arizona’s mentally ill.”
The doctor’s response to the Governor was long on spin and statistics, and read more like a bullish stock analyst's report on his company.

How many more people must die unnecessarily before this company’s contract is granted to a service provider who will operate for the good of mentally-ill Arizonans – not for the good of Arizona’s money?

Props also to Shane for his battle against ValueOptions.

Reader’s comments and advice for Shane would be appreciated.

Email comments to writeinside@hotmail.com or post them below

Copyright © 2005-2006 Shaun P. Attwood


Anonymous said...

Hang in there Shane.

It must seem like the weight of the world is on your shoulders and the authorities that should be helping clearly aren't.

There are many many of us on the outside that will do all we can to help. Just let us know who we have to email/write to in order to highlight your case and try and get you the justice and help you so rightly deserve.

Be strong, and stay with us.

Yours in friendship.


Anonymous said...

Bless you Shane. As with the writer before me, let us know who we have to email/write to. The more people know about your case, the better. I shall pray for you.
Terry B
Courageous of you and Shaun to highlight this.

Anonymous said...

I sent an email to ValueOptions requesting comment on their lack of assistance to those in need.

I asked about the "...one suicide is too many" question and below is their response.

Let us know what more we can do to assist.



Mr. ******,

As the Regional Behavioral Health Authority for Maricopa County,
ValueOptions is responsible for the care of more than 58,000

ValueOptions supports the Recovery Philosophy of treating mental
illness, and the use of medications is an important tool in this
treatment. On average, ValueOptions fills approximately 18,000
prescriptions per week.

The State of Arizona sets the policy for the use of medications in the
treatment of mental illness, and ValueOptions' formulary and pharmacy
guidelines have been developed in accordance with this policy.

Due to confidentiality restrictions required by the Health Insurance
Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), we are unable to discuss the
treatment of any specific individual, or even acknowledge whether an
individual is receiving behavioral health services.

I hope that this answers some of your questions, and we do appreciate
you reaching out to us for comment.

Best regards,

Tom Warburton
Vice President, Marketing & Communications

Anonymous said...

Reading this, and many of your previous posts, raises a question in my mind.

Is it that people are not informed of just how badly some of the more vulnerable citizens are being let down or is it that they simply don't care ?

Anonymous said...

Is it worth writing to the Governor of Arizona?
Terry B

Sam said...

If you just ignore the poor, mentally ill and uneduated population they will go away. They don't have the skills or means to fight so they get run over by those in charge. As someone that struggles to pay for medication even with an education, job and health insurance I can understand the frustration.

Anonymous said...

I must tell you I am a Value options patient. I takes more than 6 weeks to get an appointment and then My Dr. regularly cancels my appointments without warning or is more than an hour late. I asked to go back on a medication that I was on before and felt it was helpful and she told me NO. She said she wasn't sure that I was serious about taking it and would not prescribe it. My case worker is always MIA and when I can find her she never knows what to do, she always has to go find her supervisor to get the most simple answers. I need Value Options but they are by far the worst I have ever been subjected to and I should know I was ordered in the the state mental health program an April of 1992.

steve said...

shane, thanks so much for your courage...since 1974, ron dozoretz has tortured me with 14 committments and 200 forced injections of poisons ..he's an egolamaniac ..nothing can stop he and his bogus corporations ...steve

Paul said...

Very impressive list of murders and suicides to bash ValueOptions with.

How many deaths by overdose, dodgy pills and suicide are you responsible for whilst selling illegal drugs.......or does that not count.