Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Lack of accountability explains why Texas counties dropping UTMB jail healthcare

The UTMB-Galveston Faculty Association blog identifies the common reasoning between Jefferson County's recent decision not to hire UTMB for its jail healthcare (discussed on Grits here) and Dallas County's decision to end its contract with the Galveston medical school: UTMB wants "to make mistakes and have the contracting county eat the resulting lawsuits."

Bingo!

UTMB recently obtained a contract to provide healthcare at the Galveston County Jail, and supplies health services for inmates at the Texas Youth Commission and for most Texas prison inmates, much of it via "telemedicine.

5 comments:

Psychotherapist Kenneth Koym said...

Where's the due diligence? Could UTMB be looked in the eyes? In 2002 US District Court the Southern Center for Human Rights had this to say to the Fed Judge about NaphCare Inc:
"1. The fifteen named plaintiffs bring this suit on behalf
of themselves and all other female prisoners in Alabama. Women
prisoners in Alabama are at a substantial risk of serious injury
and death due to the outrageously overcrowded and dangerous
conditions in which they are forced to live and the denial of
minimally adequate medical and mental health care at the Julia
Tutwiler Prison for Women, the Edwina Mitchell Work Release
Center, and the Birmingham Work Release Center.
2. Women prisoners in Alabama are packed so tightly into
cells and dormitories that the extreme tension and volatility
caused by lack of space results in women slashing one another
with razors, fights, and other serious assaults. Security staff,
vastly outnumbered by the prisoner population, do not provide
security. The potential for violence is exacerbated by the lack
of air circulation and unbearably hot temperatures, the
dilapidated condition of the buildings, and the lack of proper
mental health treatment for mentally ill women mixed in with
other prisoners in open dormitories.
3. Defendants have failed to carry out their statutory and
constitutional obligations to maintain and operate correctional
facilities that provide for the basic safety, security, and
health care of women prisoners in Alabama."
NaphCare's Medical Director and even Alabama's Governor was named as defendants. Can we believe that TYC and those at Beaumont truly did their work before selecting NaphCare? Surely families of all Beaumont jail inmates have a right to know the history of the provider selected.

Psychotherapist Kenneth Koym at Dialoguemakers.org

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Thanks, Kenneth - do you have any links or other cites?

Anonymous said...

Go back and review the hearings of the Joint Committee. Especially the one where Jay Kimbrough started to say that there were problems with the UTMB contract with TYC. Whitmire jumped down his throat and told him that he was not going to hear anything negative about "UT", because "UT" is a fine institution, and he was not going to stand for anyone to say anything bad about "UT".

Anonymous said...

As more and more counties drop UTMB, there will be a tremendous increase in political pressure to expand UTMB's role in TYC. It is a matter of economics for UTMB.

Anonymous said...

UTMB will make up the difference by scheduling more TDCJ inmates for elective procedures. and deny they do this because they are the doctors, and who are we to question some one with A medical degree?