March 12, 2005
Still following the Colorado privatization mess

I haven't checked in with Father John for a couple of days, but he's keeping up with the Colorado privatization mess and the concurrent activities here in Texas in a big way. Here's a roundup of his latest on the issue:

The Greeley Tribune editorializes that the state must pay to fix the harm caused by computer glitches.

There's been progress made in cleaning up the backlog that resulted from the faulty transition, but it's due to state employees putting in 14-hour days, not from improvements in the CBMS program.

There may be progress, but there's still plenty of glitches to contend with.

If you read just one of these posts read this one, which explains why privatization in Health and Human Services is not the panacea it's been made out to be.

And finally, a Denver Post editorial which says that progress claimed for the CBMS program is illusory.

There is some good news in Texas. I'm told that Senators Bob Deuell and Ken Armbrister have agreed to sponsor the Senate companion bill to HB1674, which would require the HHSC to "suspend all activities related to establishing a call center" until the new program (TIERS) is "fully developed and tested", determine that the system is "operational for all programs with respect to which it will be used", and reported on these activities. Armbrister will also be sponsoring the Senate companion to HB1338, which will require the state auditor to "conduct an audit to review the determination by the Health and Human Services Commission that the use of one or more call centers for determining eligibility for health and human services programs under Section 531.063, Government Code, as added by Chapter 198, Acts of the 78th Legislature, Regular Session, 2003, is cost-effective." And finally, though it doesn't have a Senate cosponsor yet, HB2447 would require HSSC to "develop and operate a pilot program to evaluate each feature of the redesigned integrated eligibility and benefits determination system for health and human services programs" prior to statewide rollout. So there's hope that this train can be slowed down before it has a chance to wreck. If you think that's a good idea, drop a note to your rep and youe senator and let them know it.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on March 12, 2005 to Budget ballyhoo | TrackBack