The Association of California State Supervisors (ACSS) met with the Department of Mental Health (DMH) on Friday, January 13, 2012, to discuss the Department’s transition plan to become the Department of State Hospitals (DSH).
Prior to the meeting, DMH provided a list of cost savings measures that the Department would be implementing to address the fact that the Department is operating above their allocated budget. DMH was very clear that the DMH budget has not been cut, but that they must address the operational deficit.
During the meeting ACSS provided a viable efficiency measure to reduce cost: Specifically, reevaluating housing of patients based on patients’ needs to allow for staff and resources to be allocated more efficiently.
DMH’s representative stated that the Department is currently evaluating adjustment of the patient population between hospitals to efficiently utilize the physical plants of each hospital. In addition, a few of the individual hospitals are evaluating adjustments in patient housing within each hospital based on criteria such as security needs, aggression, and treatment. This would be an ongoing process in placement of patients and could yield savings. The representative agreed to forward ACSS’ recommendation regarding housing of patients to Dr. Kate Warburton, Clinical Deputy Director of DMH.
In addition to possible cost saving measures, ACSS also identified additional sources of revenue from federal sources: Specifically, reimbursement for Medicare-billable services as well as deductibles. ACSS will be working with DMH to provide additional information for DMH to evaluate this recommendation.
If you have any concerns or questions regarding the implementation of the transition plan, please contact Nellie Lynn, ACSS Senior Labor Relations Representative at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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