Wednesday, April 16, 2008

TYC-UTMB healthcare contract expired; Pay hike coming for incoming TYC JCOs

I should have mentioned earlier that TYC conservator Richard Nedelkoff told legislators today he will "make parity effective soon" for TYC entry-level JCO pay, increasing it to match TDCJ's recent pay raise for new recruits. That won't affect veteran staff, but will increase how quickly new applicants accelerate through the first few salary levels during the first 16 months, if the salary hike follows TDCJ's example.

In other interesting news, it turns out TYC and UTMB's contract has run out and they're currently operating month to month. Rep. Jim McReynolds said that UTMB told him they're losing money on healthcare at TYC - currently they receive about $500,000 per month - and they're negotiating, with UTMB seeking more money.

That's an odd negotiation, isn't it, between two state agencies who're statutorily required to provide healthcare services to youth inmates? The state of Texas, after all, is responsible for TYC healthcare - it all comes out of the taxpayers' pockets. I'm in the camp that believes the experiment of handing TYC's (and TDCJ's) healthcare over to UTMB hasn't turned out very well, unless you're just a big fan of telemedicine. But now that Texas' youth and adult prisons have divested themselves of their historic ability to provide in-house healthcare, however good or (very) bad it may have been, I'm not sure what options exist.

I won't get to listen to the entire hearing until tomorrow or Friday, but thought I'd add these tidbits to the mix this afternoon.

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

UTMB claimed that it was losing money on the TYC contract that just ended in 9/07, which is impossible since it was a cost plus $100,000 contract. Much of the cost was vague administrative overhead. I sat through enough monthly meetings where UTMB gave excuses about what they were attributing as costs. My conclusion is that UTMB claiming that they are loosing money on the TYC contract is about as believeable as me hopping into my car and driving to Mars.

Howard A. Hickman

Anonymous said...

I can tell you from personal experience that when UTMB took over TDCJ Health Services the system went in the toilet. After Ruiz, the state had really made some fantastic improvements, only to have it shift into reverse after UTMB took over.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Howard!

Anonymous said...

Ha I dont see how UTMB is loosing money! the Health Care they offer is bad Bad Bad, the current Treatment they do with the Youth in Brownwood is to Drink Water!!!! They need to get some Health Care that works well with everyone..
Whet TYC had its own health Care in Brownwood it was much better than this mess.
Loosing Money yeah right they are way over paid for the services they offer the Youth...

Anonymous said...

UTMB is a sorry excuse for a medical care provider. I wish the lege would take a hard, close look at them. I hope the Ombudsman's office will release a report on this topic. I hear they are looking into it.

Anonymous said...

Somebody needs to look into it and the commentary above is not surprising. Something/to what looks like everything they have paid for manages to hit the TYC budget, (tax payers and an agency are paying for something), yet these kits, if they need immediate care locally through emergency services, never gets paid for. Then it hits TYC or the Youth's credit and the medical providers do not like it. When TYC should have and could have paid for things as they went, out of our own budget when that is the source of funds anyway.

Anonymous said...

I was working for TYC in a clinical management position before UTMB took over health care and fo several years after. At first, it seemed like a benefit - they brought some expertise and resources TYc had not had. They also took over a lot of nurses and contract physicians who had a TYC history and connection. Over the years, UTMB lost many of these personnel and they seemed to progressively distance themselves from the overall TYC mission - they were just there to do the medical procedures - not help treat the whole kid. In my perception, that is when the system really started to deteriorate. They also pushed to do more and more of the care in Galveston rather than providing good local providers/contracts. Let's face it, UTMB Galveston is a huge medical machine. This further fragmented and distanced the overall care for TYC youth.

Anonymous said...

They will get the whole health department before this is over. Its already been decided.
Wonder what the administrators are going to do without the pschy's to run the facilties for them? (ADO)
And then they will let it fall to the level of just master level abilities NO Ph.D's will get in UTMB just like the prison system. Couldn't be worse than the leadership in place in Austin now for the psych's though.

Cheers

Anonymous said...

Just to add some fuel to the UTMB fire, before I left TYC UTMB was talking about taking over all treatment - medical, capital offender, sex offender, drug abuse treatment, correctional, etc.

Howard A. Hickman

Anonymous said...

Right 2:53, like a freakin Psy. knows what the hell they are doing when they are ADO anyways, shut up and go work for UTMB.

dirty harry said...

As a side note, I was in Austin yesterday (Thurs) at the TYC hearings. There were people from the units there that could have answered all the questions the committee members had. However, instead of calling them up to help testify, the TYC talking heads instead just stood up there and him-hawed at the questions, and looked like incompetent idiots everytime they opened their mouths.

There really are people working at TYC that could put the agency into shape. However, the lege will never hear from them as long as the limelighters in charge keep ushering them into the closet everytime the spotlight gets turned on.

Anonymous said...

What alot of these bloggers do not understand, (and it is obvious that they are the type of people who come into the ER with common colds on weekends to get a dose of tylenlol,) is that there is a such thing as a TREATMENT TEAM, TREATMENT PLANS,ANNUAL HEALTH SCREENS ETC. this does not only include nurses and telling kids to "drink water" (anyhow 9 times out of ten the problems with most complaints of youth are DIRECTLY RELATED TO DEHYDRATION everyone makes snide remarks about "drink water", and when you tell these rocket scientists this what is the first thing that comes out of thier mouth???" the water here tastes like shit" blame it on bottled water companies, addictions to soft drinks whatever, fact is the greatest majority of the youth in TYC are HEALTHY, if they do have chronic problems believe me, If my own children got even half of the medical care and benifits these delinquints get, I could not even afford it!!! These youth are constantly monitored and remonitored evaluated and reevaluated on all health issues, and if there is a problem noted, it is addressed, the paper work for medical is outragous and then even after all is monitored at each facility, there are others paid to get into files and make damn sure everything is completed. Hell I wish I could get health care this sufficient!!!! and by the way the few facilities that are still using TYC employees have everything so screwed up that UTMB emplyees have to come in from other facilities and fix or repair the problems they have. If TYC gets rid of outside healthcare the health care will be completely FUBAR'ed

Anonymous said...

MD. v. MD. - why have TYC program monitors failed UTMB in their former "One Team" program reviews -and those medical complaints were compared state wide and shared with UTMB? There was a common denominator amoungst all reports, that being, drinking water was the cure all for every ailment - even the kid who had his asthma inhaler located in the infirmary, and away from staff access. When he had that asthma attack in the security unit, his treatment was "unnecessarily delayed, and told to ‘drink more water.’"

Now, it seems nothing has changed.

Anonymous said...

Howard Hickman where are you now?? I had called up the main line in Austin to speak directly to you and they said they didn't have you in your directory. I remember you being an attorney at TYC, and boy could we all use your expertise now.

John said...

Thanks for your blog. I find it very informative.

One criticism: Spell out abbreviations, some of us newbies are not familiar with them. Googling got me clear on TYC, but I'm still puzzled with JCO.

Anything obvious to you may not be obvious to your reader.

Thanks

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Sorry - Juvenile Corrections Officer (JCO). Thanks for reading!

Anonymous said...

11:58,

There aren't any facilities still using TYC employees fro medical are there? Which ones are you thinking of?

Anonymous said...

TYC should go back to the old medical care system. Put these people back on the payroll and use local practioners and specialists. I would like to know how money contracting with UTBM or Texas Tech actually saved TYC? IMO, not much! Howard do you know?

Anonymous said...

9:39,

I have not been with TYC since June 8th after I determined that the reform administration did not want my expertise, but rather that of incompetant friends and political hacks. My telephone number is listed with Austin information.

Howard A. Hickman

Anonymous said...

5:59,

don't worry I don't know of a psych who ever wanted to be ADO (administrative duty officer) anyway.

Anonymous said...

There was a time when the medical providers were an integral part of the team. UTMB is still seeking to take over psychology. That would further weaken the treatment team approach. This is all about saving money - it has nothing to do with providing the best treatment for the kids to try to get them to turn their lives around. There is little or no interest in rehabilitation in this state. The voters see young criminals in the same light as grown criminals. Lock 'em up, punish 'em, and when they have "paid their debt", turn them loose to re-offend, then lock 'em back up again. That's the way you treat criminals. Don't spend any money up front to try to turn them around, spread the spending out over a lifetime.

Anonymous said...

utmb and tyc will both be shocked by the effects of trying to put psychology in UTMB. Psychologists wear many different hats. UTMB can hardly get their nurses to go in the security unit, how are they going to deal with suicide issues, security unit issues, providing support for rehabilitative programming, specialized treatment services, intake evaluations, mental health referrals, forensic evaluations.......not a chance. TYC is not TDCJ.

Anonymous said...

It has never been about the youth! It is all about money for Contract Providers! You will never see the top TYC people pulling TYC out of the mud, not when there is money to be made by contractors. Never forget Ned was put in place by Gov. Goodhair and he has friends who want to haul off some of your tax dollars.

Before the entire TYC story unfolds the public will be convinced how bad all concerned are at providing services and the entire operation should be contracted out.

Texas has the best state government money can buy!

FTM (Follow the Money)

Anonymous said...

Can someone tell me what LBB stands for?

dirty harry said...

Anonymous said...
"Can someone tell me what LBB stands for?"

I believe it refers to the Legislative Budget Board.

Another interesting inference by the Inspector Generals' office in a recent meeting. That being, if you work for TYC and you are lazy or incompetent, your job is probably safe.

I wonder if Needlekoff or the taxpayer agree with this philosophy?

Hamhead said...

Ha... We gotta a kid (former kid) that's about to be selected in the NBA draft. How many of those in TDCJ can say that? We gotta another one who'll race for the 100meter state title in two weeks who was wanting to stay in TYC so he could take the title. How many prisoners in TDCJ can say that?

No TDCJ in TYC, we do it a little different don't ya think? We build winners one at a time, and stay on those until they achieve something. What a concept. It may be expensive, but who is winning in the end? Those boys are girls are... we need to post more stories of what we're producing. Had a neighbor tell me he'd rather have one of our kids walking in the hood than one of the locals that need to be with us. I told him, "give it time." You guys need to be proud of your work with these youngsters. I know many of you are, but look at them. I know I am.

Anonymous said...

I hate to burst your bubble but we have had former NFL players, Judges, Professionals (doctors, lawyers, etc.) and of course politicians, incarcerated in tdc/TDCJ.Let's hope your "golden kids" make it.

Retired 2004

Anonymous said...

We have seen the implementation of the JCO hike, and have received news of the new UTMB contract being signed, but JCOs still do not have parity with TDCJ, because TYC employees do not have parity with the TDCJ retirement. We still do not know what the new UTMB contract entails.

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