Source: Phil Kabler, Charleston Gazette-Mail, September 19, 2017
Privatization of West Virginia’s Workers’ Compensation insurance was successful, particularly in lowering employer premiums and increasing competition, Brickstreet Insurance CEO Greg Burton told legislators Tuesday. Whether those successes would apply to privatization of the state Public Employees Insurance Agency health insurance remains to be seen, he said. “I’m not sure all the successes that happened with Workers’ Comp privatization, particularly with the decreases in rates…would translate over to PEIA,” he told a legislative interim committee studying PEIA. … According to a report on state employee health benefits published by the National Conference of State Legislatures on April 2, only two states exclusively use private insurers to provide health insurance to public employees, Idaho and North Dakota. According to the NCSL, 29 states, including West Virginia, have fully self-funded health insurance plans, while the remaining 19 states provide employees with coverage options, including self-funded plans. …
Source: Business Wire, May 12, 2017
A major state contractor has been accused of systematically failing to pay overtime wages to thousands of home care workers in Pennsylvania in a lawsuit filed Thursday in federal court. The suit alleges Public Partnerships, LLC, a subsidiary of the nationwide management consulting firm Public Consulting Group, knowingly refused to pay workers for overtime despite its active role in hiring employees, administering services and issuing paychecks, a violation of federal and state laws governing wages and labor conditions. The issues raised in the case mirror those at the forefront of ongoing litigation throughout the country on joint employers and their responsibilities to their workers. …
Performance Audit: Department of Public Welfare’s Oversight of Financial Management Services providers
Source: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of the Auditor General, November 2013
From the press release:
Auditor General Eugene DePasquale today said an audit of a Department of Public Welfare shows long-term mismanagement of home care worker payroll providers caused undue financial and emotional strain on tens of thousands of people. Thousands of workers had paychecks delayed for up to four months. … Beginning in December 2008, DPW had agreements with 36 different providers for payroll services of home care workers across the state. However, from 2009 through 2012, auditors found that DPW did not adequately monitor these providers resulting in numerous instances of noncompliance with applicable state and federal laws, regulations, and financial services standards by some of the providers. … DPW issued a request for applications in January 2012, and in August 2012 selected the Boston, Mass.-based vendor, Public Partnerships Limited, to provide payroll service statewide. In the short time frame that DPW had to transition 20,000 care recipient files to Public Partnerships Limited, DPW ignored many red flags — including concerns expressed by the vendor — that the new vendor was not fully prepared to pay all direct care workers by the DPW-imposed Jan. 1, 2013 deadline. The audit also found significant flaws in the procurement process used to select Public Partnerships Limited. …
Source: Christian Hetrick, Press of Atlantic City, July 13, 2016
City Council on Wednesday will consider seeking bids to outsource some municipal services. Council will vote on requesting proposals for the operation of the Construction Division, payroll services and emergency dispatch services. Entering shared services agreements or giving contracts to lowest bidders to was mentioned in a June meeting on the city’s fiscal recovery plan. … City Council on Wednesday will consider seeking bids to outsource some municipal services. Council will vote on requesting proposals for the operation of the Construction Division, payroll services and emergency dispatch services. Entering shared services agreements or giving contracts to lowest bidders to was mentioned in a June meeting on the city’s fiscal recovery plan. The city’s 2015 budget doesn’t specify the costs of the Construction Division, which is within the Licensing & Inspections Department, or payroll and dispatch services. … The council recently approved seeking bids for trash and recycling collection. Levinson said the county is reviewing the city’s Meals on Wheels transportation service costs to see if the county can do to for cheaper. The council will also vote on authorizing the city to sell developer Bart Blatstein Garden Pier for $1.5 million and awarding a contract to a company to sell ads on the exterior of some city vehicles. …
Source: The Barre Montpelier Times Argus, April 12, 2016
This week, the Senate Government Operations Committee is expected to approve a bill that would delay the outsourcing of the work done by the office that oversee state workers’ compensation claims. … The jobs in question are within the Office of Risk Management, which includes 12 employees and has an annual budget of approximately $2 million. The office handles workers’ compensation and liability claims for state employees. In January, Secretary of Administration Justin Johnson requested bids from private companies interested in performing the work. In March, administration officials revealed they had received eight bids from private companies, none of which are located in Vermont. The bids came from companies located in Arizona, Tennessee, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maine and New Hampshire. …
Source: Eric Katz, Government Executive, October 26, 2015
The Office of Personnel Management has illegally allowed the same company to manage federal employees’ health savings account benefit for 12 years without holding open competitions for the contract, according to a new audit report. … ADP Benefits Services KY, Inc., formerly known as SHPS Human Resources Solutions, Inc., was initially awarded the contract to run the Federal Flexible Spending Account Program (FSAFEDS) in 2003. OPM has extended the contract on four occasions without opening up a bidding process. OPM awarded the extensions despite “substantial changes” to the program’s requirements, the IG said. … The IG has previously brought the issue to the attention of OPM, which said it would have a new contract in place by December 2014. OPM missed that and subsequent deadlines, causing the IG to tell agency management the issue has reached a “critical stage” and to stress that “future extensions should not be considered.” The most recent extension of the contract is scheduled to expire Dec. 23, 2015, though in response to the report, Cobert said OPM will not be able to award a new contract until “early 2016.”
Source: Adam Rubenfire, Modern Healthcare, August 29, 2015
Experienced RNs are in high demand and have many more types of job opportunities than they used to. Outpatient care, travel nursing, care management and health information technology have given nurses alternatives to the physically grueling hospital environment. It’s particularly hard to find replacements for retiring nurses in operating rooms, intensive-care units and emergency departments, jobs that require advanced skills and critical thinking, said Rhonda Anderson, CEO of Cardon Children’s Medical Center, Mesa, Ariz. … To gain an edge in hiring, some health systems now use recruitment process outsourcing firms, or RPOs, such as Cielo, rather than their own human resources departments. RPOs generally are contracted to handle the full range of hiring duties for non-executive positions, including initial outreach, interviewing, reference checks, and new employee orientation.
Source: Lydia DePillis, The Washington Post, August 14, 2015
An employment attorney who reviewed her contract — speaking on background so as to avoid the perception of giving legal advice in a case he was not handling — says her contact does appear to include responsibilities normally reserved for employees. Duties like monitoring grant performance can be inherently governmental in nature, the attorney says, and the contract matches many criteria listed by the Department of Labor as being indicative of an employee-employer relationship. … The federal government and state labor agencies have been cracking down on misclassification, which allows companies to dodge taxes and other overhead associated with bringing on full-time employees, and is especially prevalent in low-wage industries like construction and trucking. But it happens in white-collar jobs too, and now the media attention is waking up those workers to the idea that their employers could be part of the trend. …
Source: Associated Press, August 6, 2015
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration is privatizing management of some state worker benefits, hiring a Chicago-based company to oversee family and medical leave programs across nine agencies. The administration announced Wednesday the hiring of ComPsych, for a one-year contract that will cost $497,000 and could be renewed for two additional years. … ComPsych will handle the programs for nine cabinet agencies, including the economic development, public safety, corrections, health, transportation, social services, juvenile justice and revenue departments and the Division of Administration.
Source: Ryan J. Foley, Associated Press, June 17, 2015
Iowa’s state government has hired a company to track employee absences at a cost of $32,000 per month, seeking to improve its management of the Family and Medical Leave Act. The move means state human resources employees will no longer determine when employees qualify for FMLA, the federal law that guarantees up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave annually for certain family and medical reasons. Instead, those decisions will be made by the Reed Group, Ltd., a Westminster, Colorado-based company that says it helps employers reduce the cost and legal risk of managing employee absences. ….
Source: Susan McCord, Augusta Chronicle, August 4, 2014
Four years after city leaders pushed to outsource the government’s health and welfare benefits administration to global outsourcing firm Automatic Data Processing, the service might be headed back in-house. According to Human Resources Director Tanika Bryant, despite ADP’s contract to handle most benefits-related calls from current and retired employees, the two city benefits representatives are still swamped with calls. It would be cheaper to replace the benefits administration portion of ADP’s contract with three additional city staffers, she said….
$1 million price tag, internal memo listing ‘ADP Issues’ may doom privatization plan
Source: Chris Thomas, News 12, January 25, 2012
Commissioners recently all but rubber stamped a plan to privatize Augusta’s Human Resources and payroll department….We got our hands on two pages of supposed issues with ADP that were compiled by the city administrator’s office….The list makes mention of workers dropped from health care coverage.