Report 2009-608 Recommendations and Responses in 2012-041

Report 2009-608: High Risk Update—State Overtime Costs: A Variety of Factors Resulted in Significant Overtime Costs at the Departments of Mental Health and Developmental Services

Department Number of Years Reported As Not Fully Implemented Total Recommendations to Department Not Implemented After One Year Not Implemented as of Most Recent Response
Department of Mental Health 3 6 1 1

Recommendation To: State Hospitals, Department of

To ensure that all overtime hours worked are necessary, and to protect the health and safety of its employees and patients, Mental Health should implement the Legislative Analyst's suggestion of hiring an independent consultant to evaluate the current staffing model for Mental Health's hospitals. The staffing levels at Mental Health should then be adjusted, depending on the outcome of the consultant's evaluation.

Response

The Department intends to comply with this finding in an alternate manner than that recommended by the Legislative Analyst's Office. The DSH has the in-house expertise to conduct the evaluation of state hospital staffing models. Within the next 90 days, the DSH will be conducting an internal review of clinical staffing models in the state hospitals using DSH staff that have expertise in DSH hospital staffing and operations. During the course of the department's evaluation, if it is determined additional expertise is required, the department may contract for outside expertise. As an outcome of this evaluation, we expect this evaluation to inform the DSH as to whether the existing use of overtime in the state hospitals is appropriate. Since 2009, DSH has taken action to reduce the use of overtime in the state hospital system. In September 2011, the DSH convened a group of fiscal mangers and retired annuitants with fiscal expertise to make recommendations to reduce hospital costs including overtime expenditures. This group of experts was known as the 'Transition Team.' The Transition Team made a series of recommendations to reduce costs at the hospitals that were implemented in December 2011. Implementation of these recommendations by the hospitals resulted in overtime reductions of $11.4 million in FY 2011-12 and projected to be $26 million in FY 2012-13.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Will Not Implement
  • Response Date: September 2012

Current Status of Recommendations

All Recommendations in 2012-041