Lakeview Center for Change owner and director Barbara Vandenberg approached the Lake County Board of Commissioners during their Tuesday, March 5, work session.
Vandenberg voiced concerns regarding claims of unfair competition between her business, a private operation, and Lake County Mental Health, a government-overseen entity.
Vandenberg read from a prepared letter, citing a variety of concerns that included claims of a lack of referrals to her business and the nature of the relationship between the county and its mental health department.
Specifically, she claimed that there had been an insinuation that the county contracts with Lake County Mental Health for its services. In her correspondence, she noted that Lake County is required to provide these services.
The county mental health department is supported by both the county government and taxpayers, she said, whereas her business is a private enterprise.
The Lakeview Center for Change accepts private insurance, Oregon Health Plan and also features a sliding fee scale based on poverty scale guidelines.
“At present, individuals coming in contact with particular Lake County departments are being told that since Lake County Mental Health is receiving these pass through funds, that they must receive the service at that agency, and in many cases, when they have received the same service from me that it ‘does not count’ as we do not have the ‘contract’ to provide the service despite our training and certifications to do that service,” Vandenberg wrote in her letter.
Vandenberg said that clients deserve the option of a choice in where they pursue services provided by both entities.
“People should be offered a choice to get their services,” she said to the commissioners. “I’m just asking for a level playing field.”
The Lakeview Center for Change was established in 2006, and serves as a private practice counseling service, as well as service provider for substance abuse treatment.
Lake County Community Corrections Dir. Jake Greer said that his door is always open and is always willing to talk. He asked for specific incidents so that he would is fully aware of such instances, and would like to be kept in the loop.
“We need to have that cooperation… and partnership and that trust built,” Greer said.