Terrell State Hospital

Advocates Respond to News of Relationship Between Janek and GEO Care Lobbyist: Communication Raises Concerns about Current and Future Contracts

Austin, TX - Last Thursday, the Austin American-Statesman released a report that revealed on-going communication between Texas Health and Human Services Commissioner Kyle Janek and Frank Santos, a paid lobbyist for the private corporation GEO Care. Emails between the two revealed an early scheme and timeline to privatize a state hospital in the state. [node:read-more:link]

Advocates Declare Victory After Contract to Privatize Terrell State Hospital Scrapped

After a 9 month battle, a coalition of mental health, labor, and civil rights groups, including Grassroots Leadership, was able to declare victory last week over GEO Care/Correct Care Recovery Solutions' efforts to take over the Terrell State Hospital. This effort was a privatization scheme that was part of the company's expansion ambitions into state hospital and civil commitment centers. [node:read-more:link]

Private Prison Medical Corporation Correct Care Solutions Found at Fault After Man Dies in Montgomery County Jail Facility

Recently, in a Montgomery County Jail, David Courtney died while under the care of the private medical corporation Correct Care Recovery Solutions. Correct Care was formerly known as GEO Care, an o

ffshoot and former subsidiary of the for-profit private prison company GEO Group. Interestingly, this is the same company that was tentatively awarded a contract to operate Terrell State Hospital (TSH) last October.

Following the death of David Courtney in December, the Texas County Commission on Jail Standards ruled that the Montgomery County facility was out of compliance. Courtney had been complaining about his health since September but was not seen by a doctor until October 31. Although Courtney was found to have died of natural causes due to complications with AIDS, the Texas County Commission on Jail Standards determined that the facility failed to administer care in a timely manner. Since then, the facility has moved to increase  staffing by hiring six additional nurses and extending  the doctor’s weekly hours in order to address “a personnel shortage.” In addition, officials will be monitoring medical grievances weekly and making attempts to improve the facilities current record keeping protocols. Currently, Correct Care is facing scrutiny and  litigation in two other death cases; one in a Kansas facility and another in Colorado.


Advocacy groups express concerns about tentative contract with GEO Care to operate Terrell State Hospital

Austin, TX -  The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) announced yestarday that they are awarding a tentative five year contract to GEO Care, a spin off and former subsidiary of private prison company GEO Group, to operate Terrell State Hospital. Texas HHSC hopes to have a decision on whether or not the state will enter a contract by the end of the year. This award comes as a result of a HHSC Request For Proposals (RFP), issued on June 9, 2014. [node:read-more:link]

Humpday Hall of Shame: TX Health and Human Services Commissioner Janek takes tips from GEO Group on how to privatize mental health hospitals

The Texas Sunset Advisory Commission regularly reviews state agencies to assess functionality and efficiency. This year Texas’ Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) is under review. During its response to the Commission yesterday, Health and Human Services Commissioner Janek felt compelled to use his time in front of legislators to promote privatization of state hospitals which provide voluntary and court-ordered inpatient mental health treatment.

The Sunset Staff Report, which called for immediate action to address the “current crisis in the state mental health hospital system,” did not include recommendations that warrant the privatization of state hospitals. Yet Comm. Janek touted the recent release of a Request for Proposals to run Terrell State Hospital as a supposed solution. "We are in the business of operating facilities when we could contract with someone to operate those facilities,” he began. “I don't feel any hesitation if the private sector can run our facilities, I think they could offer something."


Humpday Hall of Shame: Texas Department of State Health Services plan to privatize Terrell State Hospital

Allies across the state were hoping Texas’ attempts to privatize state hospitals ended in 2012 when Department of State Health Services Commissioner Lakey rejected GEO Group’s bid to take over Kerrville State Hospital. We celebrated that victory in a previous blog post, but now, two years later, DSHS has issued a Request for Proposals for operation of Terrell State Hospital. DSHS plans to award a five-year contract as soon as August 15, 2014.

The RFP raises concerns for various reasons, but most notably because it indicates that eligible applicants “must be an entity with at least three years’ experience operating a Joint Commission-accredited psychiatric inpatient facility and demonstrate the financial strength to operate a large psychiatric hospital.” These requirements narrow the applicant pool considerably, leaving the bidding to only a few large companies, including the for-profit private prison corporation GEO Group, which has a sordid history delivering mental health services in Texas facilities.


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