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]
Terrell State Hospital
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]
March 25, 2015 (Austin, TX) - Mental health advocacy organizations, civil rights and civil liberties groups, and state employees today reacted to a damning audit of state hospital privatization plans. The State Auditor’s Office reviewed a tentative award for operation of the Terrell State Hospital to for-profit prison corporation GEO Care (now known as Correct Care Recovery Solutions). [node:read-more:link]
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
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.[node:read-more:link]
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]
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.
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.[node:read-more:link]