Tag Archives: California

Reducing Correctional Health Care Spending

Source: Laura Tobler and Kristine Goodwin, LegisBrief, Vol. 21 no. 12, March 2013
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State spending on corrections quadrupled during the last two decades, making it second only to Medicaid in budget growth, according to a Pew report. Aging inmates and the associated expenses for their health care services are among the factors driving costs. … This LegisBrief is based on a forthcoming report from the State Health Care Spending Project an initiative of Pew and the MacArthur Foundation that will outline state actions to contain correctional health care spending in more detail.

State Action
To stem the tide of correctional health care spending, states are adopting various policy reforms to both reduce costs and ensure quality.

A 2004 survey of state corrections departments found that 32 states had shifted all or part of their prison health care services to private firms. Rather than managing contracts with multiple health care providers, states are saving money by contracting with a private company that provides medical, dental and/or mental health services at a capped rate. To ensure high-quality health care, some states offer incentives and/or penalties if the provider fails to meet performance measures. After contracting with Health Net, California’s medical contracting costs dropped from $845 million in 2008-2009 to $380 million in 2011-2012. …

Using Private Money for Public Good

Source: Jennifer Ginn, Council of State Governments, Capitol Ideas, March/April 2013

In January 2013, Rikers Island kicked off a new program called the Adolescent Behavioral Learning Experience, aimed at reducing the number of 16- to 18-year-olds who reoffend…. New York City is paying for this $9.6 million, four-year program by becoming the first entity in the country to enter into a social impact bond. It’s a new financial tool that may be able to make an impact of some of the country’s most intractable problems….

Social impact bonds are a way to bring new money into old problems. Costa said governments select a population and set goals—such as creating a 10 percent reduction in the number of homeless people sleeping on the street six months or more—and decide what they’re willing to pay for the results. An outside group, called an intermediary, sets up the contract language, finds investors willing to finance the project and manages the service providers. The government repays the money only if the goal is met, as judged by an independent evaluator. If the program works better than anticipated, the funder earns a small profit on its investment….

…Costa said social impact bonds do have potential pitfalls. The Center for American Progress recommends they not be used for any essential services….
Goldman Sachs Hopes To Profit By Helping Troubled Teens
Source: NPR, March 24, 2013

Custodians at Stanford Hospital express grievances with managers

Source: Brendan O’Byrne, Stanford Daily, March 12, 2013

…Their complaints are varied. Managerial abuses, increased workload and a hostile work environment top a long list of grievances. But regardless of the specific issue, they all focus on a particular set of managers: those who don’t work for Stanford….After Stanford hired the outside contractor Sodexo to manage their custodians in at least four buildings in the School of Medicine in 2007, those custodians say the jobs they had enjoyed for decades took a drastic turn for the worse. Workloads increased in 2008 due to a rough economy, and they increased again when the custodians’ contract was renegotiated in 2011. When several custodians brought up that a doubled workload may merit a pay increase, they were shut down….In addition to workload increases, several custodians detailed specific instances when they felt their Sodexo managers mistreated them….

Davis, Calif., Forms Public-Private Partnership to Hire Chief Innovation Officer

Source: Colin Wood, Government Technology, March 11, 2013

Davis, Calif., just 15 miles west of the state’s capital city of Sacramento, is hiring a new chief innovation officer — a position that is funded equally by both the city and technology leadership nonprofit techDAVIS as outlined in a three-year agreement that was finalized on March 5.

And on March 25, Rob White will begin as the city’s chief innovation officer, reporting directly to City Manager Steve Pinkerton and leading the city’s technological innovation efforts, focusing directly developing the local economy through technology projects and partnerships with local organizations….

…White’s top priority will be creating a unified approach to economic development in Davis, he said. …

Covered California’s plan to partner with Wal-Mart is criticized

Source: Chad Terhune, Los Angeles Times, March 7, 2013

The state wants retail workers to help consumers enroll in healthcare expansion. Critics say Wal-Mart does not provide adequate health coverage and shouldn’t be advising consumers on the matter….California officials face mounting criticism from union leaders over plans to let retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc. enroll shoppers in President Obama’s healthcare expansion. The state wants employees at Wal-Mart and other retailers to help consumers learn about their options and assist them in buying federally subsidized private insurance. These plans are part of state efforts to implement the federal healthcare law and reach out to 5 million Californians eligible for new coverage starting in January….

Perris: Library supporters to push for funds

Source: Peter Surowski, Press-Enterprise February 14, 2013

Three years ago, the city of Perris cut off funding for a nonprofit organization that supports the library. Now, members say its time to get that money back… The library gets its funding from the county and is managed by LSSI, a private contractor, said Barbara Howison, the administrator for the Riverside County Library System. Its total annual budget is $1.14 million, which includes a payroll that amounts to 12 full-time employees, though many work only part-time, Howison said. …

Founder: Worker killed by lion was female intern

Source: Gosia Wozniacka and Tracie Cone, Associated Press, March 6, 2013

A female intern-volunteer was killed Wednesday by a lion at a private wild animal park in Central California, and authorities were trying to determine what might have caused the fatal attack. Cat Haven founder and executive director Dale Anderson was crying as he read a one-sentence statement about the fatal mauling at the exotic animal zoo he has operated since 1993….

…The male African lion, a 4-year-old male named Cous Cous, had been raised at Cat Haven since it was a cub, said Tanya Osegueda, a spokeswoman for Project Survival, the nonprofit that operates the animal park. Since the 100-acre facility just west of Kings Canyon National Park opened two decades ago, it has housed numerous big cats, including tigers, leopards and other exotic species. It is permitted to house exotic animals by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and is regulated as a zoo by the U.S. Department of Agriculture….

Glenwood Gardens in the national spotlight

Source: KGET.com, March 4, 2013

The 911 tape of last week’s incident at Glenwood Gardens in Bakersfield has been played on national news and has created a buzz across the country. Glenwood Gardens is owned by Brookdale Senior Living, based in Tennessee. It is the nation’s largest owner and operator of senior living communities, with more than 645 facilities. And, the 911 tape has created concern with many, that what happened here could happen at all of the other facilities….
Bakersfield, Calif. Police reviewing 911 call at center of CPR controversy
Source: Chris LeClere, NECN/NBC News, March 5, 2013

Glenwood Gardens death may spark industry changes, regulatory oversight
Source: John Cox and Rachel Cook, Bakersfield, Californian, March 4, 2013

What If Your Employer Tells You Not to Try and Save a Life? (audio)
Source: Daniel J.B. Mitchell, EPRN blog, March 5, 2013

No CPR’ policy common at independent living facilities
Source: Duane Marsteller, The Tennessean, March 5, 2013

After facility worker shuns 911 operator’s CPR advice, questions arise: Are legal fears the reason?
Source: Debra Cassens Weiss, ABA Journal blog, March 6, 2013

San Rafael’s red-light camera vendor investigated for corruption

Source: Megan Hansen, Marin Independent Journal, February 26, 2013

…San Rafael’s elected officials aren’t fretting about recent news that the red-light camera company the city contracts with is being investigated for corrupt business practices, but they say the city does plan to take a closer look at its red-light program.

Redflex Traffic Systems Inc. of Phoenix, Ariz., which services the city’s two red-light cameras, has come under scrutiny amid accusations top company managers gave thousands of dollars in lavish gifts such as vacation packages to a former transportation official in Chicago who oversaw that city’s red-light program….

California cities turn off red light cameras

Source: Jennifer Grzeskowiak, American City and County, March 4, 2013

For now, El Cajon, Calif., is putting a stop to its use of red light cameras. This past week, the city council voted to end its contract with Redflex Traffic Systems. The city will cover up the 10 cameras that were installed in 1996 and will remove signs informing drivers of the surveillance.

The change, however, isn’t yet permanent. According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, the council will reconsider the issue in six months, at which time the Police Department will report on action at the intersections. While the police chief said that automobile accidents in the city have been reduced by 31 percent since the cameras were installed, collisions have increased at two intersections monitored by cameras. The city was paying Redflex $4,300 monthly per camera for its services. The $490 fine for running a red light was split among the city, county and state….Eliminating red lights cameras has become a trend in Southern California. El Cajon and San Diego join several other area cities, including Los Angeles, Corona and Murrieta, which banned the use of cameras by ballot.

El Cajon turns off red-light cameras
Source: Karen Pearlman, San Diego Union-Tribune, February 26, 2013

San Diego drops red-light cameras
Source: Matt Clark, San Diego Union-Tribune, February 1, 2013