County Paying Head-Shrinker Third Of A Million Dollars

The county, at the recommendation of its behavioral health division director, CaSonya Thomas, will pay a psychiatrist more than $350,000 for his services.
The board of supervisors this week, after being called upon to do so by Thomas, approved a contract with Calvin Flowers, M.D., Inc., a professional medical corporation, to provide psychiatric services, in the amount of $527,879, for the period of December 1, 2015 through June 30, 2017.
The San Bernardino County Department of Behavioral Health utilizes the services of specialized medical personnel, including psychiatrists and physicians, for the treatment of adults and children with a mental illness or substance use disorder.
According to Thomas, “The recommended contract with Calvin Flowers, M.D. will provide psychiatric services to department of behavioral health clients at an estimated average rate of $135.06 per hour.
The department of behavioral health is the mental health plan for the County of San Bernardino, and similar to other health management organizations, is required to provide a qualified network of psychiatric providers to ensure timely access to mental health services. Per Contract No. 13-358 with California Department of Health Care Services, the department of behavioral health is required to maintain a qualified provider panel of psychiatrists sufficient to provide adequate medication support services, as specified in California Code of Regulations, Title 9, Sections 1810.225 and 623. The department of behavioral health utilizes the services of specialized medical personnel, including psychiatrists, for the treatment of children, youth, and adults with mental illness or co-occurring disorders.”
In her report containing the recommendation to hire Flowers, Thomas explained why he is being paid more than a third of a million dollars annually.
“Due to a severe shortage of qualified physicians and psychiatrists available to provide these services, recruiting and retaining physicians is extremely competitive,” Thomas said. “The county utilizes temporary staffing agencies to obtain psychiatrists and provide coverage during times of physician shortage or increases in patient caseloads throughout the county. This method of meeting department labor needs is consistent with County Policy No. 07-12 (employment of contract, temporary, extra-help and recurrent employees) and allows the department of behavioral health to meet mandated staffing requirements. On May 19, 2015, the board of supervisors approved contracts with three temporary agencies (Jackson & Coker;; and Staff Care) to provide for temporary psychiatric services, for the period May 19, 2015 through June 30, 2017. Each of these agreements included a recruitment fee (hiring fee paid by the county to the temporary agency) for any psychiatrist who agrees to become contract or regular staff at the department of behavioral health. Since July 2015, Flowers, M.D., Inc. has provided psychiatric services to the department of behavioral health clients as temporary staffing through the county’s agreement with Upon conclusion of the corporation’s temporary assignment, the department of behavioral health entered into negotiations with Flowers, M.D., Inc. to provide services as a contract provider under the board approved template services agreement. The template agreement for psychiatric and physician services with professional medical corporations is utilized to ensure these crucial services are available when needed. Due to unique changes to the terms and conditions specific to Flowers, M.D., Inc., the standard template language has been revised requiring a separate board action for this particular contract.”
Thomas said that “The proposed contract with Flowers, M.D., Inc. includes language whereby the corporation agrees to provide services for a minimum of one full year from the effective date of the contract. Should Flowers, M.D., Inc. voluntarily terminate its contract with the county without cause before the full 12 months, he agrees to repay the recruitment fee of $40,000. The amount of repayment will be reduced by one-twelfth for each full month of services provided by Flowers, M.D., Inc.”

Leave a Reply