Tag Archives: Nevada

Nevada, Xerox in private talks to settle $75 million health care contract out of court

Source: Kyle Roerink, Las Vegas Sun, October 1, 2014

After firing Xerox for major flaws with its health insurance software, Nevada’s leaders are in confidential talks with the tech company to close out the $75 million contract and keep the dispute out of court. The Silver State Exchange, the agency in charge of the software, hired Xerox in 2012 on a three-year contract. The company’s job was to build software to accept online applications and payments from consumers buying from Nevada’s health insurance marketplace under the federal Affordable Care Act.
The state launched the software a year ago today. But it never worked correctly. An audit found 1,500 glitches and consumers complained they paid for insurance but got nothing in return. Under the original contract, the state was scheduled to pay Xerox $22 million by now. But the state has paid only $12.3 million. Xerox has filed invoices, or requests for payment, for an additional $4.4 million this year. Requests for about one-quarter of that money came after the state fired Xerox in May, according to documents obtained by the Sun through a request under Nevada public records law. That money hasn’t been paid, and it’s unclear why….
Another state nixes its health exchange
Source: Ferdous Al-Faruque, The Hill, May 20, 2014

Nevada fired Xerox Tuesday from managing its state health exchange website, Nevada Health Link, after a series of problems with the site. The Silver State Health Insurance Exchange board voted unanimously to cut ties with Xerox, stating it had lost faith the company could fix a slew of problems that plagued its insurance exchange site before the November enrollment period begins.

Medicaid prisoners ‘devastating’ Carson-Tahoe Health’s bottom line

Source: Geoff Dornan, August 27, 2014

When the state decided to shift prison inmates to Medicaid to save the state on their health-care costs, no one asked what the impact would be on Carson-Tahoe Regional Medical Center. According to Carson Tahoe Health CEO Ed Epperson, the impact has been “devastating.” Lawmakers and the governor in 2013 decided to drop the Hometown Health plan they had used for years to cover inmate hospitalizations. With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, state officials were told inmates could qualify for Medicaid coverage at a much lower rate. But Medicaid pays the hospital far less than the Hometown Health plan. …

Epperson said CTH gets about 85 percent of inmate hospitalizations in the northern half of the state, and more than any of the big hospitals in Southern Nevada. … Schardin said unless something is done, “you may be hearing about us not taking care of the prisoners because it’s devastating to our bottom line.” …

Nevada reluctantly OKs Xerox contracts

Source: Sean Whaley, Las Vegas Review-Journal, August 12, 2014

Gov. Brian Sandoval voted reluctantly to support two contracts with the Xerox Corp. on Tuesday to provide services for the state unclaimed property fund. The contracts are worth $7.8 million over four years. He did so despite his displeasure with the company’s performance in implementing Nevada’s trouble-plagued health insurance exchange.
Sandoval leery of new Xerox contract with treasurer
Source: Kyle Roerink, Las Vegas Sun, July 30, 2014

After being blamed for problems with the state’s troubled health insurance exchange and losing the associated $75 million contract, Xerox is back in negotiations with Nevada. The tech company is looking to renew two contracts worth up to $7.8 million with the state treasurer’s unclaimed property division. But the deal is facing skepticism from Gov. Brian Sandoval. The contract talks come three months after the state fired Xerox for building software that crippled the state’s online health insurance marketplace, Nevada Health Link.

Corporate Entrepreneurs Are at the Heart of Downtown Revitalizations

Source: Alan Greenblatt, Governing, Vol. 27 no. 4, January 2014

Private-sector actors are reshaping the center of some cities in ways local governments no longer have the ability to do themselves. … The examples getting the most attention just now are Las Vegas and Detroit, where Tony Hsieh of Zappos and Dan Gilbert of Quicken Loans, respectively, have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in downtown projects that are not only boosting employment but also reshaping the entire landscape. The reality is that they are creating the urban infrastructure that they want around them—parks, transit, better sidewalks—in ways that builders of one-off projects rarely have to worry about. …

Nevada-DOT Crafting $1 Billion Public-Private Partnership

Source: Keeley Webster, Bond Buyer, January 15, 2014
(subscription required)

…. The Nevada Board of Finance on Tuesday approved a $100 million revenue bond sale to buy properties located in the right-of-way of 1-15 from Sahara Avenue to the Interstate-90 connector. The bonds are expected to price Feb. 26 in a competitive sale. They will be repaid using money from the federal highway fund that is replenished using gas taxes. …. The NDOT board approved using a public-private partnership in June 2012, the first time NDOT has used a P3. “We are using design-build-finance-operate-maintain because we want to get the project done in three years as opposed to 10-to-12 years,” Nellis said.

Fitch Sees More P3s As Government Funding Dwindles

Source: Jim Watts, Bond Buyer, January 13, 2014
(subscription required)

More public-private partnerships for transportation projects are on the horizon for 2014 due to declines and uncertainties in state and federal funding streams for highways and bridges, Fitch said in a recently released report. Availability payments, which provide annual state subsidies to the private partner rather relying on fee revenues to support debt issued for P3 projects, will probably be considered as state-supported debt, the rating agency said. … Kentucky doesn’t have P3 enabling legislation, but the governor supports the idea, Kim said. A state P3 bill under development in the Kentucky legislature is expected to be considered in the current session that begins this week and end in mid-April. …
U.S. P3 Funding Activity Likely to Rise
Source: Fitch Wire, January 10, 2014

Fitch Ratings-New York-10 January 2014: U.S. states are likely to pursue public-private partnerships (P3) more frequently in the coming year, Fitch Ratings says. Last week, Kentucky and Ohio submitted a financing plan for the Brent Spence Bridge Project to the Federal Highway Administration that includes a P3 model. This will be Kentucky’s first P3 project, if it is procured. Nevada is also considering a P3 project for the first time with Project Neon. Other states with active P3 programs include Florida, Indiana, Maryland, and Virginia among others….

Lawsuits Allege Private Prison Company Covered Up Youth Sex Abuse

Source: Chris Kirkham, Huffington Post, January 13, 2014

A pair of recent lawsuits against a private youth prison operator in Florida amplify claims that the company, Youth Services International, has frequently covered up reports that staff sexually abused young people held inside its facilities.

According to a suit filed in October in federal court, the top administrator at one YSI youth prison regularly made sexual advances toward teenage boys held there in 2010 and 2011 and on at least one occasion brought inmates home with him and into his bedroom. A separate case filed in Florida court in November alleges that a female guard at another YSI facility in 2012 began an “intimate and sexual relationship” with a 14-year-old inmate.

Florida officials at the Department of Juvenile Justice did not investigate these alleged incidents until months and even nearly a year after they occurred, according to accounts from the mothers of the victims and documents obtained by The Huffington Post. This was in part because the for-profit prison operator failed to immediately report the alleged episodes as required under its contracts with the state….

Florida Senator Pushes For Abusive Youth Prison Company To Face Hearing
Source: Chris Kirkham, Huffington Post, December 10, 2013

A top lawmaker in Florida is calling for a legislative hearing on abuses at the state’s juvenile prisons run by the troubled for-profit contractor Youth Services International. …

Prisoners of Profit
Source: Huffington Post, October 2013

Private Prison Empire Rises Despite Startling Record Of Juvenile Abuse
By Chris Kirkham, Huffington Post, October 22, 2013
This is the first in a two-part series.

From a glance at his background, one might assume that James F. Slattery would have a difficult time convincing any state in America to entrust him with the supervision of its lawbreaking youth.

Over the past quarter century, Slattery’s for-profit prison enterprises have run afoul of the Justice Department and authorities in New York, Florida, Maryland, Nevada and Texas for alleged offenses ranging from condoning abuse of inmates to plying politicians with undisclosed gifts while seeking to secure state contracts.

In 2001, an 18-year-old committed to a Texas boot camp operated by one of Slattery’s previous companies, Correctional Services Corp., came down with pneumonia and pleaded to see a doctor as he struggled to breathe. Guards accused the teen of faking it and forced him to do pushups in his own vomit, according to Texas law enforcement reports. After nine days of medical neglect, he died…

…Despite that history, Slattery’s current company, Youth Services International, has retained and even expanded its contracts to operate juvenile prisons in several states. The company has capitalized on budgetary strains across the country as governments embrace privatization in pursuit of cost savings. Nearly 40 percent of the nation’s juvenile delinquents are today committed to private facilities, according to the most recent federal data from 2011, up from about 33 percent twelve years earlier….

Florida’s Lax Oversight Enables Systemic Abuse At Private Youth Prisons
Source: Chris Kirkham, Huffington Post, October 23, 2013
This is the second in a two-part series.

Youth Services International confronted a potentially expensive situation. It was early 2004, only three months into the private prison company’s $9.5 million contract to run Thompson Academy, a juvenile prison in Florida, and already the facility had become a scene of documented violence and neglect.

One guard had fractured an inmate’s elbow after the boy refused instructions to throw away a cup, according to incident reports. Another guard had slammed a boy’s head into the floor after an argument. The prison was infested with ants and cockroaches, toilets were frequently clogged and children reported finding bugs in their meager portions of food. …

States Move Forward With Transportation Projects Involving Public-Private Partnerships & Tolling

Source: Sean Slone, Council of State Governments, Knowledge Center, Sean Slone’s blog, November 13, 2013

From the Columbia River Crossing bridge project in the Pacific Northwest to the Illiana Expressway project in the nation’s midsection to Maryland’s Purple Line light rail project, a number of transportation projects that involve public-private partnerships (P3s) and/or tolling have been in the news of late. Meanwhile, a state Supreme Court decision in Virginia appears likely to pave the way for more tolls and P3s in that state. I also have updates on projects in a number of other states as well as links to recent related reports and articles.

Cash-Strapped States Turn to Public-Private Partnerships

Source: Elaine S. Povich, Stateline, November 14, 2013

Still strapped for cash in the aftermath of the recession, states increasingly are partnering with private companies to build and maintain highways, prisons, water facilities, tunnels and even hospitals and schools. Since these partnerships began two decades ago, their popularity has increased to the point where today, two-thirds of the states have laws authorizing so-called “P3s,” and 24 states recently have considered legislation related to the partnerships, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. ….. The biggest skeptics of the state public-private partnerships have in many cases been public labor unions, who see jobs going away, particularly as the result of private companies owning and operating public facilities.

National Charter School Study 2013

Source: Edward Cremata, Devora Davis, Kathleen Dickey, Kristina Lawyer, Yohannes Negassi, Margaret E. Raymond, James L. Woodworth, CREDO at Stanford University, 2013

From the press release:
A new, independent national study finds improvement in the overall performance of charter schools, driven in part by the presence of more high – performing charters and closure of underperforming charter schools.

The National Charter School Study 2013, released today by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) at Stanford University, is an update and expansion of CREDO’s 2009 landmark 16-state study, Multiple Choice, the first study to take a comprehensive look at the impact of charter schools on student performance. The 2009 study found a wide variance in quality among charter schools, with students in charter schools not faring as well in the aggregate as those attending traditional public schools.

The National Charter School Study 2013 looks at performance of students in charter schools in 26 states and New York City, which is treated separately as the city differs dramatically from the rest of the state. In those states (and New York City), charter school students now have greater learning gains in reading than their peers in traditional public s chools. Traditional public schools and charter schools have equivalent learning gains in mathematics….