In a letter dated Monday, UTMB suggested:
An early casualty of impending state budget cuts could be the health care contract that serves most of Texas' 154,000 prison convicts.
Top officials at the University of Texas System, whose Galveston medical branch provides the health services, are threatening to cancel the contract because legislative budget-writers will not fully cover a projected $82 million shortfall.
The warning, issued to the top budget-writers in the Legislature, marked the latest crisis to surface over a projected $18 billion shortfall that Texas lawmakers could face when they return to Austin in January.
perhaps a "different structure" might be workable for the university — one in which it would continue to operate the prison hospital in Galveston "and provide physician and senior-level nursing expertise, while the Texas Department of Criminal Justice could employ the vast majority of nurses and other staff in the various units."So basically they're saying Texas' university-based managed care experiment - which California is considering emulating - didn't work out. UTMB is now urging Texas to shift toward a single-payer style system for day-to-day care, to use the parlance of national health reform debates.
The state could then pay UTMB for services based on "free world Medicaid rates," which prison officials said would probably end up being more than the current cost of just over $8 per day per prisoners.
Texas taxpayers currently spend more than $400 million a year for prison health care.
MORE: From the Galveston Daily News.