The Public Policy Foundation of West Virginia has released a report that reviews the impact of bureaucratic governance on the state's seven hospitals and proposes a process to consider privatization of the state's facilities.
The Department of Health and Human Resources, through its Office of Health Facilities, provides direction, support, and oversight to all state-owned facilities for the care of individuals in the State of West Virginia with behavioral health and medical needs. The Department of Administration, however, dictates personnel and purchasing policies.
As a state agency, each of the state's seven hospitals are subject to an extensive number of rules and regulations. While other agencies of state government may operate efficiently and effectively under such a bureaucratic model, the rule-driven, top-down control, compliance-based model that governs our state hospitals has proven to not only be ineffective and inefficient in a highly-competitive health care market, but has created a situation in which state hospitals are underutilized.
It is important to note that the staff at each hospital provides a high quality of health care to their respective client base. Nevertheless, the bureaucratic model that governs these hospitals have produced three realities:
Each hospital is chronically underfunded;
Each hospital suffers from critical shortages and wasteful turnover in health care providers;
Each hospital is underutilized due to their inability to attract and maintain staff.
The Public Policy Foundation of West Virginia (PPFWV) conducted an examination of each these facilities that included site visits, interviews with key leadership and a review of available other information.
The PPFWV has issued a special report that sets forth the results of the examination as it applies to the impact of operating the state’s hospitals under this bureaucratic model and propose a process by which the Legislature can review other options for operating such facilities in a manner that will provide greater service to the people of West Virginia.