The Texas Department of State and Health Services (DSHS) has failed to comply with a directive from the state legislature – but not without good reason.
Last session, the legislature asked DSHS to review proposals from companies interested in privatizing a state hospital, with the provision it be run at ten percent savings for four years. The agency was told to bring an approved proposal to the Legislative Budget Board and the Governor’s Office of Budget, Planning and Policy by Sept. 1. Instead, yesterday DSHS submitted a letter to those two agencies explaining why they were empty handed.
There was only one proposal submitted, by GEO Care for the Kerrville State Hospital. DSHS graded the proposal a 64 out of 100.
“Savings in the proposal were achieved primarily through reductions in staffing and benefits,” DSHS Commissioner David Lakely wrote, “to a degree that would put both our patients and the State of Texas at risk.”