Input on Rider 63 RFP to Privatize a State Mental Health Hospital

Public Input Provided in 2011

Oct. 17, 2011

Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Public Hearing
Rider 63 Request for Proposal to Privatize a State Mental Health Hospital

The Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities is a 27-member, Governor-appointed board dedicated to creating systems change so that all people with disabilities can live independent lives in the community and exercise control over their lives. Thank you for the opportunity to provide input on the request for proposals (RFP) to privatize one state mental health hospital with an expectation that it will generate at least 10 percent savings annually for four years.

TCDD appreciates the opportunity to provide input on strategies to minimize adverse effects of privatization on hospital residents that we ask DSHS to address in the report that must be submitted to the Governor and Legislative Budget Board by November 30, 2011.

Minimizing Adverse Effects on Hospital Residents

  1. A privatized hospital should have the same mission as a state hospital – to promote hope, build resilience, and foster recovery.
  2. The rights of individuals entering a privately-operated state hospital should be the same as those afforded to individuals entering a state hospital and the privately-operated state facility must respect, protect, implement and enforce each client’s right in the manner found in “Patient’s Bill of Rights,” including, but not limited to:
    • Individuals should be given a copy of their rights before they are admitted to the hospital as a patient. And, if they desire, a copy should also be given to the person of their choice or their guardian, parent or conservator. The printed material must be available in the format necessary to accommodate a disability.
    • Individuals should have their rights explained in terms they can understand within 24 hours of being admitted to the privately-operated state hospital to receive services (in the language of the non-English speaker or sign language if required by the individual).
    • Individuals must be free from abuse, neglect, and exploitation, and the rules concerning abuse, neglect and exploitation should be the same in state-operated hospitals and privately-operated state hospitals.
  3. Individuals should be able to contact the DSHS Consumer Rights Central Office, not the Licensing and Compliance Division.
  4. A privately-operated state facility should adopt relevant competencies recommended by the DSHS Continuity of Care Task Force including clinical competencies for professionals, trauma informed care, peer support and an emphasis to help identify residual neuro-developmental disabilities.

Thank you for considering these comments.

Belinda Carlton
Public Policy Specialist