Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

Tag: optumhealth


MENTAL HEALTH: Optum provides innovative vision

Re: “Mental health provider scrutinized” (TNT, 3-31).

The Optum Pierce RSN (regional support network) I know consists of individuals with the “right stuff.”

In a public mental health sector that is desperate for encouragement and innovation, they demonstrate the ability of boldness and daring to both excite and perform. They offer a platform to start connecting in new ways. They encourage us to focus less on the mental illness and more on the person with the illness who can recover. How inspiring!

They invite us to form a dynamic co-creative group of providers that is solution-focused. How motivating!


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MENTAL HEALTH: Optum’s for-profit status is irrelevant

Re: “No vacancy” (TNT, 3-10).

Thanks very much for publicizing the damage being done to mental health services by continuing reductions in state funding for mental health.

However, I want to rebut a comment attributed to Amnon Schoenfeld, director of King County mental health and substance abuse services, in a sidebar article. He said that OptumHealth does not loan beds, that “They get some of that money and that is their bottom line. There’s their profit.”‘

Wrong! Optum has the same Regional Support Network (RSN) contract as all other RSNs in the state. By contract, all are allowed

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MENTAL HEALTH: Are vulnerable people shut out?

Re: “Fewer Pierce County bedds for mental-health patients” (TNT, 3-10).

If OptumHealth, a for-profit company, profits from fewer admittances and then must pay fines for too many patients admitted, isn’t that the red flag that says vulnerable people are being shut out?

The Mental Health Professional system should also be examined. I have had numerous maddening exchanges with MHPs, and after reading this, it’s not just the laws they say they’re following, but someone must be telling them there’s no beds available, leaving people to further deteriorate. Who are the MHPs accountable to?